SHORELINE — The Edmonds-Woodway baseball team accomplished plenty during the regular season including winning the Wesco South 3A regular-season title and earning the top seed into the district playoffs.
One thing it didn’t accomplish? Beating Shorewood.
Not until Saturday, that is, as senior ace Nick Hull fanned seven to give the Warriors the 3A District 1 title with a 2-1 victory over the Thunderbirds at Meridian Park.
“We knew it would be close because they beat us the last two times,” said Hull, who will pitch at Grand Canyon University next season.
E-W (17-6) advances to the 3A state tournament as the No. 1 seed from District 1 and will play at the regional tournament in Mount Vernon next Saturday. Shorewood (17-6) is the No. 2 seed and will play at Curtis High School in Tacoma.
The Thunderbirds beat the Warriors twice in the final week of the regular season, so Saturday’s win meant a measure of redemption for E-W as it claimed what is believed to be the first district title in program history.
“We’re always excited to play Shorewood,” E-W coach Dan Somoza said. “Coach Wyatt (Tonkin) does a great job and that team is always competitive and they have good pitching. You always want to go against the best and that battle-tests us for state next week.”
Hull worked out of several jams including a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the second. He managed to strike out the next hitter before inducing a double-play ground ball to get out of the inning.
“Sometimes I try to overthrow because I want to strike them out,” Hull said. “But we have one of the best defenses in the state, I believe, so I just let them hit a ball and it rolled to short.”
In the fourth, Shorewood’s Arthur Pate led off with a double and Jake Fredrickson followed with a single to right. E-W right fielder Karsen Tjarneberg came up throwing and caught Pate in a rundown for the first out. Fredrickson later scored on an RBI single by Will Smith, but that proved Shorewood’s lone run.
Then, with the Warriors clinging to a 2-1 lead in the sixth, an error, a walk and a sac bunt put runners at second and third with one out. But Hull got a ground ball to drawn-in shortstop Brandon Mitchell and struck out the next hitter to escape that jam.
“I figured I did it before, I can do it again,” Hull said. “I just attacked the hitters. When you go right after them they start to lose their focus and they’re like, ‘Oh god, what’s he going to throw next?’ When I’m ahead in the count it’s pretty bad to be the hitter.”
The Warriors struck first when Mitchell worked a two-out walk and came home on an RBI single from Jacob Kitchen.
After Shorewood tied the game in the top of the fourth, E-W took advantage of two errors to plate what proved the winning run in the bottom of the fifth. Julian Kodama reached on a one-out error, and scored one out later on another error.
“This team has battled all year long,” Somoza said. “We’ve played in a ton of close games and this one was no different. It was a close one throughout and we happened to come out on top against a really tough team in Shorewood. We’re really excited.”