Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

E-W heads back to state regionals

Warriors beat Eagles, Tomahawks to advance to district title contest

By David Pan
Weekly Herald Sports editor
Edmonds-Woodway outfielder Jason Smarr (second from right) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run in the first inning of a first-round 4A D...

For the Weekly Herald/DANIEL BERMAN

Edmonds-Woodway outfielder Jason Smarr (second from right) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run in the first inning of a first-round 4A District 1 playoff game against Arlington May 5 at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Edmonds-Woodway punched its ticket to the state regional baseball tournament with an 8-6 victory over Marysville-Pilchuck May 7 at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Up next for the Warriors is a showdown with Lake Stevens as the two face off in the 4A District 1 championship game at 7 p.m., May 10 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“They've been putting up a lot of runs,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Dan Somoza said of the Vikings, who have scored 31 runs in victories over Kamiak and Jackson. “It'll be a great challenge for our pitching staff. Our pitching staff has done a good job this year. I believe in our team.”
The Tomahawks scored two runs in the top of the first but the Warriors responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Edmonds-Woodway scored four more runs to take an 8-3 lead into the sixth. Marysville-Pilchuck then pushed across three runs in the sixth.
“Tonight we played hard,” Somoza said. “It's the way playoff baseball is. It's close.”
Jorgen Arnesen relieved starter Patrick Bernard in the sixth inning and closed out the game to earn the save. He'll likely be the starter against Lake Stevens, Somoza said.
Ryan Budnick, Troy Rheinford and Alex Hull each had two hits for the Warriors.
Edmonds-Woodway opened the district tournament with a 6-1 victory over Arlington May 5 at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Budnick pitched a complete game and helped himself at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and 4 RBI.
“It was great to get that first win,” Somoza said. “Ryan played a great game. He really carried us. He brings great senior leadership.”
Budnick, who allowed seven hits, was effective with his off-speed pitches, Somoza said. “When he starts throwing those pitches for strikes, it makes him pretty tough on the hill.”
The Edmonds-Woodway pitcher drove in two of the Warriors' three runs in the first inning. When he returned to the mound in the second inning, Budnick didn't relax. Instead he upped his intensity.
“Once I got that lead I wanted to step on the pedal,” Budnick said. “I wanted to protect the lead.”
Budnick drove in two more runs in the fifth as Edmonds-Woodway extended the lead.
“That made it 5-0. That's a real big swing,” Somoza said.
The Edmonds-Woodway coach also saw solid play from his defense.
“There were no errors. We had a lot of ground balls,” Somoza said. “We turned a double play. One through nine hitters competed. We did exactly what we wanted to do in the first round.”
Troy Rheinford and Ben Roquet went 2-for-3 for the Warriors. The Warriors were coming off an 11-9 loss to Kamiak in the final regular season game. Edmonds-Woodway had a 9-1 lead at one point in the game.
The loss didn't sit well with the Warriors, who already had clinched the No. 1 seed to the district tournament.
“It helped us prepare mentally,” Budnick said. “It's going to help us in the long run.”