Woodland wins title in laugher

Beavers keep mood light during 11-1 win over Rochester

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

CASTLE ROCK — The Woodland Beavers talked a little trash Saturday afternoon during the Class 1A District 4 baseball championship game.

Toward each other.

Anytime a Woodland batter took a swing at a bad pitch, he heard about it from his own dugout.

All in good fun, of course.

All in good fun.

The Beavers had a blast Saturday, taking down Rochester 11-1 to earn their second consecutive district title. And they did it their way.

"We just all work well together. We all act like idiots, and we're idiots together," Woodland senior Colton Lucas said. "A bunch of idiots working together."

No one is immune from the chatter.

"Everyone gets it," Lucas said. "We're all just joking around the entire time. It's just a fun atmosphere."

That behavior just might be the way the Beavers relieve the pressure of being ranked No. 1 in Class 1A Washington baseball.

They sure looked No. 1 on Saturday, scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning. Eleven of the first 12 hitters reached base safely.

"We were all having a ball," Lucas said. "We were giddy in the dugout. You couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces during that inning."

Starting pitcher Trevor Huddleston had a big lead before he threw a pitch. When he did get on the mound, he had a simple job.

"Get it over the plate and let your defense make the plays," he said.

No need to be fancy with a big lead, but he still got six strikeouts in his three innings of work.

Woodland added two more runs in the second, two in the third, and the game was called via the 10-run rule after five innings.

Trevor Huddleston had a double and drove in two runs, Lucas was 3 for 3 with a double and RBI, and Tanner Huddleston went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs for the Beavers.

Next up for Woodland is the Class 1A state tournament.

The Beavers will return to this same field, playing in the Castle Rock regional against Charles Wright Academy of Tacoma on Saturday.

Woodland coach Stephen Short said he appreciates all the accolades this team has earned the past two seasons, and he does not mind the top ranking at all.

"These guys deserve the recognition. They deserve all the attention they are getting," Short said. "We don't hide from (the ranking). The tendency is don't talk about it. We do talk about it. We embrace it. We take it on, with the idea that we know we still have work."

The Beavers might be the target, but they are the ones shooting for the ultimate prize.

"I don't want it to be something they fear," Short said. "They aren't afraid to win a state title."

To get to this point, the Beavers have done everything — and more — that the coaching staff has asked of them. Short said the team has 100 percent participation during voluntary Sunday workouts.

"They've sacrificed a lot of time to prepare themselves for moments like this," Short said.

After going 28 years between district titles, this moment was a second title in two seasons. Plus, there is that top ranking.

"I like having the re

spect," Trevor Huddleston said.

The Beavers have earned it.

And they've had a lot of fun along the way.