Saturday’s 2A Baseball: Bearcats Roast T-Birds to Reach Regionals
By The Chronicle
W.F. West scored early and often here at Wheeler Field on Saturday evening in order to ensure they’d be returning to the Regional round of the state playoffs for another run. The Bearcats posted runs in every inning in order to defeat Tumwater 14-6 and place third in the District 4 2A baseball tournament.
“It feels great. The kids really responded after the loss the other night to Ridgefield,” said W.F. West coach Bryan Bullock. “It was a complete team effort today. It’s hard to pinpoint one or two players. Everyone really had a part today.”
Tanner Vaughn earned the win on the mound against Tumwater immediately after earning the save in the Bearcats’ first game of the day against R.A. Long. He finished the game with three strikeouts while allowing two earned runs over five innings. Brit Lusk finished the final two innings of pitching duties and allowed one earned run on two hits.
However, it was the W.F. West offense that powered the way to victory with 14 hits. The Bearcats put up five runs in the third inning alone to help take the air out of Tumwater. Lane Douglass, Brit Lusk, and Luke Bennett all had three hits and three RBI to lead the way to victory for W.F. West. Brock Jones and Daniel Fagerness added two hits each.
Bullock said the win against Tumwater capped a great day for Bearcat baseball.
“First game I liked how we didn’t quit. We got down. We showed some resilience. Second game we continued to hit the baseball and score runs, every inning we were putting pressure on them,” Bullock said. “We obviously would have liked to have been the number one seed and win the district championship. We fell short of that but it’s nice to respond this weekend.”
W.F. West will face Archbishop Murphy on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Wheeler Field.
Bearcats Take Lumps Early, Outlast Lumberjacks to Stay Alive
Who Done It?: ‘Scoob’ Fagerness Delivers W.F. West to Brink of State
By Jordan Nailon
There were a few moments, especially in the early going, where R.A. Long looked like they might drive a spike through the Bearcats season here at Wheeler Field on Saturday. W.F. West proved to be a pesky foe, however, as they scored two runs in the seventh inning to dial in a 7-6 win over the Lumberjacks in District 4 2A baseball loser-out action.
Daniel Fagerness started, and nearly finished, the game on the mound for W.F. West. He wound up throwing into the seventh inning for the win but that longevity was not an obvious outcome early on. The Lumberjacks jumped on the Bearcats out of the chute, scoring two runs in the first inning and another pair in the second. Only one counted toward the pitcher’s earned run average but Fagerness’ concern was more immediate than that — Lose the game and he and his teammates would be finished for the season. His career as a Bearcat would be over.
With that reality in focus Fagerness and company finally began to find their groove
“I was a little nervous when I was first throwing but my team had my back,” said W.F. West senior Daniel Fagerness. “Even though we had some errors we still stepped up to the plate and did what we needed to to win that game.”
Fagerness held R.A. Long at bay in the third and fourth innings and then the Bearcats began to mount their charge all at once.
Luke Bennett walked to start that fortuitous inning and then Cade Haller kept things going with a single before Lane Douglass was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Josiah Johnson then reached base on an error that allowed Bennett to score before Brock Jones stroked a double to score Haller and Douglass. Fagerness kept the Bearcats circling the bases with an infield single that set up a sacrifice fly by Max Taylor to score Johnson.
After all of that the Bearcats held a 5-3 lead, but the Lumberjacks weren’t ready to bow out quietly. In a deja vu moment from the first inning Jacob Childers roped an RBI double for R.A. Long. This time around, though, the Lumberjack’s senior catcher brought home a pair of runs instead of one and the game was knotted up at 5-5.
W.F. West managed to load the bases in the top of the sixth but a pair of strikeouts left all three runners stranded and the Lumberjacks consequently pounced on the opportunity to pull ahead. Sam Lindsey led off the R.A. Long half of the sixth frame with a single then advanced to second on a sac-bunt before swiping third base and scoring when the throw from the catcher skipped into the outfield.
The inning ended on consecutive strikeouts for Fagerness but the Bearcats were left in a tight spot with only three outs and a one run deficit to overcome. It turned out the boys from Chehlalis were up for the challenge.
Accordingly, Fagerness led off the top of the seventh inning with a single off of R.A. Long reliever Kevin Barnett to get the make-or-break rally started. Max Taylor then drew a walk and the Lumberjacks called on Westin Scheurich to pitch. After registering a strikeout Scheurich surrendered a single to Luke Bennett that scored both Fagerness and Taylor to give the Bearcats their lasting advantage.
With the one run lead Fagerness started seventh inning on the mound but after the leadoff batter reached on an error, W.F. West coach Bryan Bullock summoned sophomore Tanner Vaughn to slam the door on the Lumberjacks. Fagerness admitted he wanted the chance to finish what he’d started but insisted that he also knew the outcome would be in good hands with Vaughn.
After allowing a single to the first batter he faced Vaughn managed to induce an infield fly out of the always dangerous Childers for the first out. Vaughn then struck out the final two Lumberjacks to end the game emphatically.
“That was huge. He’s done that all year for us and it was nice to see him blow it by a few kids at the end,” said Fagerness of his teammate’s high leverage save.
Fagerness wound up with the win, registering seven strikeouts and allowing no walks over six innings.
Douglass and Fagerness each had two hits for W.F. West. Jones finished with one hit and three RBI. Luke Bennett drove in two runs while Max Taylor and Josiah Johnson also drove in runs for the Bearcats.
The win set W.F. West up to play Tumwater for third place and the final spot to the Regional round of the playoffs. Earlier in the day Tumwater defeated Woodland 7-3.
BEARCATS 7, LUMBERJACKS 6
W.F. West 100 050 2 — 7 9 4
R.A. Long 210 021 0 — 6 9 2
Batteries: W.F. West — Daniel Fagerness, Tanner Vaughn (7) and Lane Douglass; R.A. Long — Jadon Williamson, Kevin Barnett (6), Westin Scheurich (7) and Jacob Childers
BEARCATS 14, T-BIRDS 6
Tumwater 010 121 1 — 6 7 6
W.F. West 125 2321 X — 14 14 3
Batteries: Tumwater — Lewis, Anderson (3), Bourbon (4), Gaither (6) and N/A; W.F. West — Tanner Vaughn, Brit Lusk (6) and Lane Douglass