Central Whidbey 13-14 baseball team wins district title, heads to state

Ben Etzell shows his disgust after a defensive play. He more than made up for it with his work at the plate and led the Central Whidbey offense at district.  - Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times
Ben Etzell shows his disgust after a defensive play. He more than made up for it with his work at the plate and led the Central Whidbey offense at district.
— image credit: Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times

The Central Whidbey 13-14 baseball team is state-tournament bound.

Winning six of seven games over six days in the district tournament, the Central Whidbey club fought through the losers' bracket to earn a berth in the state tournament which starts Saturday, July 17, in Medical Lake (outside of Spokane). CW will face a yet to be determined team from East King County at noon.

After defeating North Whidbey 11-1 Friday, Central Whidbey defeated previous unbeaten South Skagit 3-2 and 9-7 Saturday at the South Whidbey Community Park to earn the title.

Earlier in the tournament, South Skagit topped Central Whidbey 12-8.

In the Central Whidbey's win over North Whidbey, Aaron Trumbull pitched a complete game. Coach Chris Tumblin said, "He threw strikes and let the defense scoop it up and shut them down. We played a really good game defensively."

Offensively, Central Whidbey jumped on their northern neighbors early and never let up. Both Jake Tumblin and Ben Etzell collected three hits and a double.

Kurtis Smith and Carson Risner had two hits apiece, and Wade Schaef and Trumbull rapped doubles.

The loss eliminated North Whidbey. Coach Hans Mertins said, "The bats disappeared. Our defense was solid, we just couldn't come up with the key hits."

He added, "We couldn't get guys on base; we wanted to be aggressive."

Brent Mertins led North Whidbey with two hits.

Central Whidbey's 3-2 squeaker over South Skagit was "a good game," according to coach Tumblin.

Etzell put the local squad on the board first with a fourth-inning solo home run.

Skagit took a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh. Tumblin said Brendan Ameluxen-Coleman's triple with Risner and Smith aboard produced the game-winning runs.

Korbin Korzan pitched most of the game, according to Tumblin, with Etzell finishing it up.

The second South Skagit game, Tumblin said, was a "back-and-forth" affair.

Central Whidbey scored two in the first. Smith singled, Jake Tumblin walked and Etzell, who carried a big battle all tournament, doubled them home.

Hits by Smith, Morgan Payne, Etzell and Aaron Curtin produced two runs in the second.

A mixture of South Skagit errors and walks helped Central edge into the lead 8-6 after six innings.

In the seventh, Central Whidbey added an insurance run. Smith singled and Tumblin walked. A passed ball and a ground out by Etzell pushed across the run.

Coach Tumblin said, "Our pitching and defense were solid; we kept the errors to a minimum. They (South Skagit) earned the runs they had."

Central Whidbey Little League spokesman Bob Martin said, "We're trying to raise money for the teams and have placed a 'Donate' button on our Web site. Over the next week these teams will need to raise money for food, lodging and transportation, the league will cover some of the expenses, but are asking for contributions."

Those wishing to donate can visit the league's Web site,, and click the "Donate" button on the upper left side of the page or mail a check to P.O. Box 222, Coupeville, WA 98239.

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