Where’s the best Class 4A baseball played in Washington?
That’s easy – the South Puget Sound League.
Three SPSL teams – traditional powers Puyallup and Kentwood, plus upstart Beamer – punched tickets to the state semifinals Saturday.
“Three SPSL teams in the final four,” Beamer coach Jerry Peterson said, “that’s pretty exciting.”
Beamer held off the SPSL North’s Tahoma 3-2 in the quarterfinals at Heidelberg Park. Brett Oyer went 3-for-4 and pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings in relief and earned the victory.
“Tahoma is a really good offensive team and Brett did a good job shutting them down,” Peterson said.
In a 4-0 win against Jackson earlier in the day, Titans ace Matt Bower struck out 11 and threw a two-hitter.
“Matt was dominant, he was awesome,” Peterson said. “He was confident and on fire. When he’s like that the team plays with confidence behind him.”
In the semifinals, Beamer will face Kentwood at 7 p.m. Friday at Gesa Stadium in Pasco. Puyallup will play perennial power Richland at 4 p.m.
The Vikings beat Issaquah 3-1 in the first round at Everett Stadium, getting a complete-game effort from pitcher Matt Becker. Puyallup followed with a 10-6 win over Lake Stevens to secure its first semifinals appearance since 2009.
Cash McGuire’s hot hitting led Kentwood past Edmonds-Woodway 8-3 in the first round at Kent Memorial Park. The senior went 3-for-3 with three doubles and three RBI. Skyley Genger struck out nine and allowed six hits, throwing a complete game.
McGuire kept it up in the quarterfinals, drilling a two-RBI single that helped the Conquerors beat Redmond 5-0.
Earlier Saturday at Heidelberg Park, Tahoma rallied to beat Rogers 7-4.
The Bears trailed 2-0 in the second when relief pitcher freshman Christian Saez entered, inheriting a bases loaded jam. Saez got Tahoma out of the inning unscathed and soon after the Bears offense came alive.
Tahoma erupted for three runs in the fourth and fifth innings and never looked back.
Saez surrendered four hits and no earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Saez, who celebrated his 15th birthday the day of the game, credited his teammates with keeping him calm.
Tahoma coach Russ Hayden didn’t balk at giving the ball to a freshman pitcher.
“Christian has come up big for us all year long,” he said. “He doesn’t seem to panic. We wanted him to finish the game. It was his 15th birthday today and we wanted to give him a great birthday present.”
The Rams were disappointed with the outcome, but Rogers coach Brett Jaime said his players shouldn’t hang their heads.
“We’re proud of the season we had,” Jaime said. “We had a great year. We made it pretty far. Like I just told the guys, nobody wanted to face us in the playoffs. We were a tough team to beat.”
Staff writer Shaun Scott contributed to this report.