Sports

Klahowya baseball finally gets revenge against Fife.

Klahowya’s Seth Green slides under a Fife tag on Tuesday as the Eagles finally beat the Trojans 8-5 after losing to Fife in both football and boys basketball. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Klahowya’s Seth Green slides under a Fife tag on Tuesday as the Eagles finally beat the Trojans 8-5 after losing to Fife in both football and boys basketball.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Klahowya catcher Chris Miller remembered what it was like to get crushed by Fife in football this fall.

Eagles coach David Neet, an assistant boys hoops coach, still winces at the memory of Fife’s win against Klahowya in basketball.

But thanks to the Eagles baseball team, the third time really was Klahowya’s charm.

In the 2A West Central District opener on Tuesday at KSS, the Eagles outlasted Fife 8-5 to move into the next round. The loss ends Fife’s season, something the Eagles have waited months to say.

“It gets the monkey off our back,” Klahowya starter Rusty Devitt said. “I’ve been thinking about that all day. It’s good to beat them.”

The then-undefeated Trojans toppled the Eagles 56-8 in a 2A state preliminary football game this fall. Fife then upended the Eagles 70-69 in a district boys hoops game this winter, aided by a controversial call.

So needless to say, Tuesday’s win was a relief for everyone involved.

“Oh man, it feels awesome,” Miller said. “After getting demolished in football, I was pretty excited to play Fife.”

“I’m telling you man, we were just going off what the kids were talking about,” Neet said. “It feels good beating ‘em in baseball.”

The teams exchanged small blows early, with Fife creeping ahead 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. But Klahowya blew the game open in the frame, scoring 6 runs en route to the victory.

The biggest hit in the rally came when freshman Seth Green ripped a two-run double to put the Eagles on top. Neet said clutch hitting like that is going to make a big difference in the postseason.

“Before we left a lot of runs on,” he said. “Then Seth stepped up and hit that big double. That’s what you need; clutch hitting. The momentum changed on that one swing.”

But aside from the actual game, Neet and assistant coach Rob Green said overcoming confidence issues has been a challenge, but one the team is overcoming.

“Over the years, the attitude of ‘we can’t win’ has been rampant throughout the school,” Rob Green said. “To actually get them to believe was an awesome obstacle to overcome. It’s huge.”

As a result, Neet said self-belief combined with a big win could do wonders for the Eagles in the quest for state.

“Sometimes key wins like this spark a team,” Neet said. “It’s that kind of winning mentality that you want. They’ve got to always believe in themselves.”

The team is keeping grounded after the big win, with a game last night against Eatonville at Tacoma Community College. Results were unavailable at press time.

“It’s just working and getting the job done,” junior Jordan Green said. “We’ve just got to come out and keep practicing hard. We’re a good group of kids. There’s not a lot of attitude. We’re just a bunch of kids that come out and work hard every day.”

Devitt, who pitched a complete game in the win, said when the team is functioning like it did Tuesday, his job is that much easier.

“It’s great. It takes a lot of pressure off,” Devitt said. “My guys were hitting the ball today, fielding today. I can throw whatever I want. It’s a lot of confidence.”

Confidence the Eagles will need to advance to state.

“Our goal since the beginning of the year was to make it to state,” Devitt said. “We definitely enjoy beating Fife, but we’ll come back out and get to it.”

A win Friday would have put the Eagles in the hunt for the No. 1 seed to state.

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