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Lincoln City
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Eagles’ late-inning outburst ousts Tigers from State baseball playoffs

The Tigers make a plate appearance Friday in State quarterfinal play (Photo by Eric DeMello)

Santiam Christian broke open a 6-6 tie late in the game Friday to defeat Taft High 12-6 in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A OSAA State Baseball Championships.

Senior starter Tyee Fisher

In a showdown of State semifinalists from a year ago, the third-seeded Eagles scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on their home field to improve to 22-6 and end the 11th-seeded Tigers’ season at 17-11.

“We knew going into the game that we needed to make the routine plays to give ourselves a chance at the end,” Taft coach Matt Hilgers said. “We made a few blunders early on that led to some of their runs. We just didn’t play a really sound game on defense.”

Junior leadoff hitter Trenton Fisher had four hits in four plate appearances for the Tigers, while scoring twice and driving in two runs. Sophomore Darius Smith had three hits, while senior Cody Knott had two RBIs.

(Photo by Robert W. Smith)

Taft took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the second before four errors and eight walks by four pitchers allowed the Eagles back in the game.

Photo galleries by Robert W. Smith

“As coaches, we were proud of the showing we made today,” Hilgers said. “We battled our butts off all game. It was a very competitive game, and we showed up to compete. We just couldn’t hold on and get over that hump.”

Santiam Christian also won both regular-season games between the two teams, 11-10 at home on March 18 and 11-7 at Taft on April 4.

Jordan Hall (Photo by Eric DeMello)

The Eagles will host No. 7 Warrenton (18-6, 12-3 Special District 2) in the semifinals Tuesday. The Warriors defeated No. 2 Brookings Harbor (26-3, 15-0 Special District 4) 3-2 Wednesday to advance.

Defending State champion La Pine, seeded fourth, defeated No. 5 Rainier 4-1 Friday and will meet top-seeded Pleasant Hill, a 7-1 winner over No. 9 Joseph/Enterprise/Wallowa/Elgin in Tuesday’s other semifinal.

The State champion will be determined Friday, May 31, at Salem-Keizer Volcanoe Stadium.


Coach Hilgers’ thoughts on the season:

“This was a very rewarding season for as as coaches. We started the season with some holes to fill and many questions that needed to be answered. We took some time finding those answers.

“No matter who we played, we always managed to find a way to give ourselves a chance to win it in the later innings.

“We made leaps and bounds this year. We are looking forward to next year and committing to get better and compete every day.”

Coach Hilgers’ thoughts on his seniors:

Bleiz Kimbrough – “I have had him on my team since he was a freshman. He has made tremendous growth since that first year. He really stepped up this year on the mound for us. He was lights-out in his final pitching performance.”


Tyee Fisher – “I have had Tyee on one of my teams since his seventh-grade year in football. I’m going to miss seeing the big guy next year. His passion for the game and competitiveness really shined this year. He set an example for the younger guys to follow.”


Cody Knott – “He is one of the hardest workers I have seen. He’s what I call a ‘foxhole guy.’ If I’m in battle, I want him in the foxhole with me. He’s one heck of a competitor and I am excited to see what he does next year at Corban University when he focuses solely on wrestling.”

“I know all three will be around at different points next year to cheer us on, but I really appreciate the dedication and hard work they have put into our program we will miss them all.”


Santiam Christian 12, Taft 6
Trenton Fisher     4  2  4  2  Ely Kennel          2  1  1  1  
Eli DeMello        3  0  2  0  Ben Galceron        3  0  1  0  
Cody Knott         4  0  2  2  Mason Wirth         1  0  1  1  
Tyee Fisher        4  0  0  0  Patrick Otis        1  1  0  0  
Bleiz Kimbrough    4  0  1  0  Sean Riley          4  1  1  3  
FcoO Ramos         4  0  0  0  Devin Premsingh     3  1  0  0  
Darius Smith       4  1  3  0  Vandon Haugen       1  2  0  0  
Kaden Hindman      4  0  1  0  Rylan Kutsch        4  1  1  2  
Lucas Hindman      2  2  1  1  Josh Verdeyen       3  2  1  0  
*Ethan Thomas      0  1  0  0  *Jackson Risinger   0  2  0  0  
*Kalen Brawn        0  1  0  0  
TOTALS            33  6 14  5  TOTALS             22 12  6  7
TAFT                   130 200 0 --  6  
SANTIAM CHRISTIAN      042 006 x -- 12 

Jordan Hall (2), Cody Knott, Sean Riley (2). 2B--Trenton
Fisher, Cody Knott, Rylan Kutsch. HBP--Mason Wirth (3).
SACF--Ely Kennel. SACB--Eli DeMello, Ely Kennel. SB--Lucas
Hindman, Ethan Thomas, Darius Smith, Ely Kennel, Vandon
Haugen, Rylan Kutsch.
 TAFT                       IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Tyee Fisher               1.00    0    1    0    3    0    0
Jordan Hall               2.00    3    5    2    2    2    0
Trenton Fisher (L)        2.33    2    3    3    2    0    0
Cody Knott                0.67    1    3    3    2    0    0
Mason Wirth               1.33    5    4    3    0    1    0
Nolan Black               3.67    7    2    2    1    2    0
Konner Boshart (W)        2.00    2    0    0    0    2    0
WP--Cody Knott, Nolan Black. BALK--Nolan Black. SO--Tyee
Fisher (2), Bleiz Kimbrough, Fco Ramos (2), Josh Verdeyen,
Rylan Kutsch. BB--Lucas Hindman, Ben Galceron, Devin
Premsingh, Josh Verdeyen, Vandon Haugen (3), Patrick Otis

(Photo by Robert W. Smith)

Jim Fossumhttp://SilverandBlackToday.com
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 SilverandBlackToday.com, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.


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