Todd Beamer High School pitcher Taylor Davis didn’t blow many of his pitches by hitters Thursday.
But he located well and said he had “a bulldog mentality,” even after throwing 124 pitches in the Titans’ 5-3 win over Kentwood in eight innings.
“We had Taylor throwing today — we had no doubt that we were coming in here and winning it,” Beamer coach Jerry Peterson said.
“He is a gamer. He never backs down. Even at practice. You don’t pinch run for him, nothing. He stays on the field.”
Davis stayed on the mound for all eight innings and held Kentwood — the 4A South Puget Sound League Northeast champ — to three runs on eight hits. It was the Conquerors’ fewest runs scored in more than a month.
With the win, Beamer — the 4A SPSL Northwest champ — earned the No. 1 seed from the North to next week’s SPSL tournament. The Titans (14-6 overall, 10-2 4A SPSL) face SPSL South champ Puyallup at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kent Memorial Park.
Beamer shortstop Ben Arata hit a home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie. It was his third homer of the season.
“I was ready to go,” Arata said. “The first pitch was low and the second pitch — I was just on it and squared it up.”
Brycen Allen added an RBI-single for an insurance run and Davis headed back to the mound to face Kentwood’s 2-3-4 hitters for the bottom of the eighth.
He got two quick outs, but back-to-back singles put the tying run at first.
Peterson told Davis, who throws in the high-80s, mixes in a slider, curveball and change-up and is committed to Lower Columbia College, that he could face one more batter. So Davis struck out Kramer Sims to seal the win.
“I knew I could finish that game,” Davis said. “I wasn’t coming out. … I knew I had it in me. Rubber arm. I’m not coming out in this big of a game.
“In the bullpen (before the game), I knew I was on. I knew I didn’t have to throw hard. Just paint the corners.”
Kentwood (16-3, 12-0) had won 15 consecutive games and scored at least seven runs in its past 12.
The Conquerors were without junior Jordan Jones, a University of Washington commit, for the third consecutive game with a pulled hamstring, but Kentwood coach Mark Zender said Jones will be able to play in in Wednesday’s SPSL tournament game against the loser of Beamer-Puyallup.
Ben Wadowski hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth to cut Beamer’s lead to 2-1 and Kentwood took the lead in the bottom of the sixth on Cory Wabinga’s two-RBI single.
Beamer tied it and sent the game to extra innings when Chaz McKenzie hit a sacrifice fly to center field in the seventh.
Then Arata’s homer and Davis’ finish. It had Peterson pumped.
“We expected to win this one,” Peterson said. “Kentwood is well coached and they are a very good team. It just feels really good to beat them.”
Auburn Mountainview (15-1, 12-0 3A SPSL) clinched its third consecutive league title with two games to go, beating Bonney Lake (15-3, 10-2) for the second consecutive day.
AMV trailed 1-0 after Riley Miller’s RBI single in the top of the first, but got two runs back in the bottom half of the inning. The Lions got three more in the bottom of the second, including Jeffrey Morgan’s RBI single to score Garrett Neiss.