Monday, October 18, 2021

Crook County downs Taft for Madras tourney win

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crook county and taft
Sophomore catcher Eli DeMello and pitcher Jack Stempel have a talk at the mound – Photos by Eric DeMello

Crook County overcame 12 errors by taking advantage of nine by Taft to erase a five-run deficit and defeat the Tigers 18-9 Thursday on the opening day of the Madras Spring Break Baseball Tournament.


Crook County beats Taft “You are not going to win very many games when you have as many errors and walks as we did today,” Taft Coach Matt Hilgers said. “We have to get back to the basics in all aspects of baseball.”

The Class 4A Cowboys (2-3. 0-0 4A Tri-Valley) snapped a three-game losing streak by handing the Class 3A Tigers (6-2, 1-0 4A West Valley) their second straight loss after six wins to open the season.

Taft loses to Crook County Crook County scored all of its runs in the final five innings off four Taft pitchers, who walked nine batters.

Sophomore Brody Connell drove in six runs and senior leadoff hitter Josh Norris collected four of Crook County’s 11 hits off Taft senior starter Jack Stempel and three relief pitchers.

Taft Crook County defeat

Junior infielder Cody Knott and sophomore catcher Eli DeMello led Taft with three hits each, while senior infielder Josh Salsbery added two.

Salsbery scored three runs and Stempel two for the Tigers, while senior Caleb King and DeMello drove in two runs each.

Demello Guns down another
DeMello guns down a runner at second

Taft plays Tillamook at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the three-day tournament. The Cheesemakers (2-2, 0-0 4A Cowapa) lost 10-0 in six innings to Madras (4-1, 0-0 4A Tri-Valley) in Thursday’s opener.

NOTES: The No. 1 –ranked Taft softball team will open action Friday with a tripleheader in the Napa Spring Break Tournament in Petaluma, Calif. The Lady Tigers (6-0, 0-0 Class 3A West Valley) will open against host Petaluma at 9:30 a.m., then meet Rancho Cotate (Calif.) at 11 a.m. and Douglas (Nev.) at 5 p.m.

Crook County 18, Taft 9



Josh Norris 6 2 4 2

Heath Pickhardt 3 3 1 1

Carson Smith 5 2 0 1

Brody Connell 5 2 3 6

Combee 4 0 0 0

Garett Bernard 0 1 0 0

Devin Wilson 5 2 2 2

Hunter Bishop 3 2 0 0

Payton Faust 3 1 0 0

Diego Smith 3 3 1 0

TOTALS 37 18 11 12


Josh Salsbery 5 3 2 1

Eli DeMello 5 1 3 2

Caleb King 4 0 1 2

Jack Stempel 2 2 0 0

Cody Knott 4 0 3 1

Kam Kessler 4 1 0 1

Tyee Fisher 4 1 0 0

Bleiz Kimbrough 1 0 0 1

Caleb Jones 1 0 0 0

Trenton Fisher 3 1 0 0

TOTALS 33 9 9 8

CROOK COUNTY 004 361 4 — 18

TAFT 050 003 1 — 9

LOB–CROOK COUNTY 10, TAFT 10. ERR– Combee, Brody Connell (4), Carson Smith (3), Payton Faust, Diego Smith (2), Kyle Knudtson, Josh Salsbery (3), Tyee Fisher, Kam Kessler, Eli DeMello, Cody Knott (2), Caleb Jones. 2B–Brody Connell, Josh Norris, Devin Wilson, Eli DeMello, Cody Knott. HBP–Combee, Hunter Bishop, Payton Faust. SACF–Caleb King. SACB–Trenton Fisher. SB–Hunter Bishop,Josh Norris, Tyee Fisher.


Kyle Knudtson (W) 5.33 7 8 3 5 5 0

Augustus Williams 1.67 2 1 1 0 2 0


Jack Stempel (L) 4.00 7 7 3 2 3 0

Bleiz Kimbrough 0.33 1 6 3 3 0 0

Tyee Fisher 1.67 2 4 3 2 1 0

Josh Salsbery 1.00 1 1 1 2 2 0

WP–Tyee Fisher, Jack Stempel. BB–Brody Connell, arson Smith,Hunter Bishop, Payton Faust, Diego Smith (2), Heath Pickhardt (3), Bleiz Kimbrough, Jack Stempel (3), Caleb Jones.

Taft roster and schedule

Crook County roster and schedule

Class 3A West Valley League standings

Class 3A OSAA rankings

Jim Fossum
Homepage Executive Editor and former longtime Sports Editor of the near-200,000 circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fossum brings 40 years of award-winning experience covering virtually every facet of print and digital journalism to Lincoln City Homepage. The former longtime reporter for the Newport News-Times and Lincoln City News Guard is also Editor-in-Chief and Senior Columnist for, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.

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