Eagles flying high after 1st baseball title

It’s hard to find anyone within the walls of Klahowya Secondary School without a smile on their face and a heightened sense of school spirit.

It’s easy to see why when one of the first things visitors see upon entering the school is the ginormous WIAA Baseball State Championship trophy, a prize that before 2023 had never graced the home of the Eagles.

That was until arguably the best team in the program’s history earned it with a 12-1 demolition of top-seeded Naches Valley in the 1A title game May 27. One week later, spirits were still sky-high as the team paraded the trophy around campus.

“They played phenomenally,” assistant coach Alan Langguth said. “I was really impressed with the way we pounded the ball around.”

It was the perfect conclusion for an Eagles squad that had started the season with a chip on their shoulder after an opening-round loss in last year’s state tournament. The team was additionally out to prove the offense that scored 212 runs, or an average of 9.6 runs per game the year prior, was no fluke.

They did just that, jumping to a quick start by winning four of their first five games and 12 of their first 14. Both losses came via one-run deficits while all 12 wins saw Klahowya hold on to multi-run leads accomplished by equally controlling pitching and hitting.

“When we started the year, we were just hitting the ball like crazy, and our pitching just came together,” Langguth said. “We just kept fighting and fighting the whole year.”

The Eagles remained in the win column the rest of the way and coasted to a 3 seed in the state bracket, eight seeds higher than last year. But the question of whether they truly belonged remained unanswered. Searching for a way to bring the team closer, all of the players and coaches made the choice to go blonde.

“It’s something that brings guys together, you know,” senior Gabe Carpenter said. “Hair’s a valuable thing for a human, and if everyone just does it, it really bonds us together.”

The curious baseball superstition certainly didn’t harm their efforts as Klahowya won all four state games in convincing fashion—knocking off 14-seed Chelan 5-1, six-seed Deer Park 12-3 and seven-seed Cedar Park Christian 3-0.

The Eagle defense allowed just five runs in the four-game span, behind the pitching of sophomores Aiden Michael and Carson Langguth, among others, while the bats of Carpenter and sophomore Nolan Rowe led Klahowya in punishing some of the best pitchers in 1A.

“The score(s) looked bad, but they’re better than that,” Carpenter said about the other teams. “I mean, we were just really good this year.”

It’s a season that nobody at Klahowya will soon forget. Now with their worth proven to the rest of the state and plenty of youth returning next year, it’s feasible there could be a push to defend that title.

“We’ve got six sophomores and four juniors, so it’s going to be really fun next year,” Langguth said.