Kent All-Star teammates mob Patrick Sanchez, far left, after the shortstop hit a game-winning, walk-off home run against FME/Steel Lake in an elimination game Thursday at Sunset Park in Auburn. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Kent All-Star teammates mob Patrick Sanchez, far left, after the shortstop hit a game-winning, walk-off home run against FME/Steel Lake in an elimination game Thursday at Sunset Park in Auburn. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Shooting stars

Kent survives elimination game, plays for District 10 championship against rival Auburn on Saturday

Down a run in a game they had to have, the Kent All-Stars dramatically pulled one out to play for another day.

Patrick Sanchez drilled a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, lifting Kent past Fife-Milton-Edgewood (FME)/Steel Lake 3-2 in a Majors Division District 10 semifinal playoff game at Auburn’s Sunset Park on Thursday night.

Kent advances to play rival Auburn, defending district champion, in the championship game at noon Saturday at Sunset Park. Kent, which lost to Auburn 2-1 earlier in the double-elimination tournament, needs to win to force a second, winner-take-all game Saturday. Game 2, if needed, will start around 3 p.m.

Rain scrubbed the original 6 p.m. Friday start to Game 1.

FME/Steel Lake’s season came to an end.

At stake for Kent is pride and an elusive state berth. Kent hasn’t been to state for several seasons.

“Auburn’s a good team, without a doubt. It’s going to be tough to get through them,” said Kent manager Ernie Hernandez. “They have great pitching … great team. We know them. We played against them for the last three years through summer ball. … Good athletes over there. It’s going to be very competitive. It’s going to come down to pitching and defense.”

Against FME/Steel Lake, it came down to a swing of a bat.

After Zachary Hernandez led off with a single to right, Sanchez stepped to the plate to rip a line-drive shot that carried about 260 feet over the left-field fence. After trotting around the bases, teammates mobbed Sanchez at home plate.

“Very strong kid,” Ernie Hernandez said of his standout shortstop. “He’s been (hitting home runs) during the regular season, and his bat’s been hot throughout this whole tournament with a lot of base hits, line drives … as you can see.”

Kent put up two runs during a walk-filled first inning, but FME/Steel Lake scored two of its own to even it up.

Kent had its chances, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and stranding two more base runners in the fifth.

Miles Ducharme beat out an infield single, scoring Eli Nordling from third base to give FME/Steel Lake a 2-1 lead in the sixth.

“My hat’s off to these guys here. Incredible. They played their heart out,” Ernie Hernandez said of FME/Steel Lake. “In my opinion, they probably could have won this game. Luckily, we had the last up (to bat).”

Elsewhere

Earlier in the tournament, Auburn defeated FME/Steel Lake 17-3 on Tuesday in a battle of unbeatens.

Tai Dumakilewe and Emilio Feliciano launched home runs and Landen Richards belted a grand slam for Auburn.

The Kent All-Stars’ Ethan Loghry delivers a pitch during his stout performance against FME/Steel Lake on Thursday. Loghry pitched into the sixth inning before reaching his 85-pitch limit. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

The Kent All-Stars’ Ethan Loghry delivers a pitch during his stout performance against FME/Steel Lake on Thursday. Loghry pitched into the sixth inning before reaching his 85-pitch limit. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

More in Sports

He’s Not Grey and Gary Wales score the feature victory on opening day at Emerald Downs. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO
He’s Not Grey sparkles on opening day

67-day meeting continues through Sept. 22 and includes 27 stakes

The Sockers’ Landon Donovan, left, and the Stars’ Vince McCluskey vie for the ball during Game 2 Saturday night at San Diego. COURTESY, Stars
Stars season ends in OT loss to San Diego, 7-6

Sockers sweep first-round, two-game series

Another no-no for Nate

Weeldreyer silences TJ as Auburn Mountainview rolls to 11-0 win

Ravens bounce Titans, move to 9-1 in league | NPSL Olympic girls tennis

Auburn Riverside defeated Todd Beamer 4-1 in a North Puget Sound League… Continue reading

Jefferson delivers unanimous decision against Gee in welterweight main event

Fight Night Brawl VII returns to Green River College

Grand day: Podliska powers Lions past Hornets 16-8 | NPSL Olympic softball

Emma Podliska launched a grand slam home run to lead Auburn Mountainview… Continue reading

Reporter honors the Lions’ Hilderbrand, Penn

Auburn Mountainview High School’s Kenzie Hilderbrand, water polo, is the Auburn Reporter’s… Continue reading

Stars drop Game 1 to Sockers 6-3

The Tacoma Stars kept pace with the San Diego Sockers through two… Continue reading

Sippin Fire wears down Canadian invader Weekend Wizard in a heated stretch battle to scored a three-quarter-length victory in the $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs last July. Sippin Fire, the Horse of the Meeting, returns to the Auburn track this season. COURTESY PHOTO
Off and running at Emerald Downs; track opens for 24th season on Saturday

Talented, deep jockey colony and top trainers return

Most Read