ENUMCLAW BASEBALL: Hornets’ rally earns third-place finish

At the conclusion of his 13th campaign as a baseball head coach and fortuitous seventh season at the helm of the Enumclaw High squad, Eric Fiedler had guided his 2010 club to a 20-7 record overall and reeled in third place at the Class 3A state championships at Seattle’s Safeco Field May 29.

The never-say-die Hornets rebounded nicely from an 18-9 debacle at the hands of a swinging O’Dea High crew Friday, only to one day later come back and dam up Columbia River 9-1.

It was evident during Enumclaw’s second contest of the two-day state trial Columbia River was pondering what had gone wrong the day before against Camas during its heartbreaking 3-2, 11-inning setback.

Conversely, EHS left Friday’s abysmal pitching performance in its rearview mirror.

Enumclaw threw five different pitchers at O’Dea, but two of the Irish hitters from last year’s 3A state champion crew, Keenan Forch and Paul Sitkowski, accounted a home run, a triple and two doubles for a multitude of runs batted in. Pitcher Daniel Engelhart did not relinquish a hit until the third stanza.

EHS showed its character by tallying eight runs in the final two innings.

Fiedler was proud of the way his crew put the nightmare behind them and came out with renewed vigor against Columbia River, outhitting the Chieftains 13-5 and committing no errors.

“We desperately needed something to stop the bleeding from the day before,” Fiedler said, and junior mound ace Marcus Madden was just what the coach ordered.

“It didn’t hurt to have our starting senior catcher Grant Hathaway back from his one game suspension, either,” Fiedler said.

Hathway was shown the exit by the home plate umpire during the state quarterfinals against Mount Rainier. He was ejected for a “malicious” bumping incident and was automatically suspended for the O’Dea game.

Hathaway is one of the five seniors who Fiedler will be say farewell – Riley Carel, Kailen Bickler, Kramer VanWieringen and Claire.

Also expected to return next season is Tyler Carlson who went 4-for-7 at the dish with two roundtrippers, two intentional walks, a ringing base hit and a ground-rule double that fell between O’Dea’s center and right fielders and bounded effortlessly over the fence.

Just for good measure, Carlson also touched them all in the Columbia River rendezvous for third and fourth place in the state on Saturday.

He hammered a tape-measure job over the left field fence in the top of the fourth inning that electrified the sizable throng of Enumclaw rooters who had made the trip north to cheer on the Hornets.

“Ty pretty much exemplified the youth movement on our team this season,” Fiedler said. “He had great power for a sophomore. He also has fantastic bat speed, is an excellent athlete and can even pitch as well although we didn’t use him a lot in that capacity this season.