Taft High senior baseball players Caleb King, Josh Salsbery and Jack Stempel have been named first-team Class 3A All-State
In a season of pioneering achievements at the plate, on the mound and in the record book, the Tigers’ gripping scripture of small-school baseball lore came to a tumultuous conclusion in an 8-6 home defeat to La Pine in the semifinals of the OSAA State Baseball Championships.
A familiar foe in name only will take the field at the Pit Tuesday when the Taft High baseball team plays La Pine to advance to Friday’s Class 3A State championship game.
Senior right-hander Caleb King shut down Joseph/Enterprise/Wallowa with a three-hit, 10-strikeout performance Friday to help lead the Tigers into the semifinals of the Class 3A OSAA State Baseball Championships.
The West Valley League will step to the plate wielding a big bat Friday with three quarterfinalists in both baseball and softball representing the conference at OSAA tournaments to determine the best Class 3A team in each sport.
Junior second baseman Cody Knott drove in four runs with a homer and double Wednesday to lead top-seeded Taft High to a 9-2 home victory over Clatskanie and into the quarterfinals of the Class 3A OSAA State Baseball Championships.
Like brothers who have shared life’s pleasures and pitfalls; like sons to the men they have played for and aspire to emulate; to the people they have touched and who have moved them, Taft High baseball stars Caleb King, Josh Salsbery and Jack Stempel are like family.
Any concerns that “Taft got the shaft” would become the battle cry throughout Lincoln City were quelled late Saturday with the announcement that the top-ranked Tigers have been seeded No 1 in next week’s Class 3A State baseball championships.
No. 1-ranked Taft High, playing night after night with a target on its back, got struck in the bull’s eye Thursday in squandering an eight-run, seventh-inning lead to fall 9-8 to Santiam Christian in a league home playoff loss that broke the Tigers’ 16-game winning streak.
The No.-1 ranked Taft High baseball team posted some gaudy numbers this season – the most important, of course, being 12-0, the team’s perfect record in winning the West Valley League regular-season championship.