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Lefty Kimbrough blazes way for Tigers’ 10th straight baseball win

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Eli DeMello
Eli DeMello robs a Sheridan player of a base hit

Junior reliever Bleiz Kimbrough made the most of a rare start Tuesday with a one-hit, 10-strikeout road shutout of Sheridan for Taft High’s 10th straight victory and seventh in a row shortened by the state’s 10-run mercy rule.

Bleiz Kimbrough
Bleiz Kimbrough

The top-ranked Tigers moved to 16-2 overall and 7-0 in Class 3A West Valley League play behind the southpaw’s 10-0 five-inning victory over the Spartans, who fell to 1-13, 0-7.

“We came out flat tonight and the energy went where we need it to be,” Taft Coach Matt Higers said. “We were glad to get the win tonight, but we know we better be looking ahead and not overlook anyone.”

The Tigers scored a run in the top of the second inning and three in the third before erupting for six in the fourth for a 10-0 lead after defeating the Spartans 28-0 at home on March 21.

Eli DeMello Bunt

Junior second baseman Cody Knott went 3-for-3 with four RBIs to lead the Tigers at the plate. Senior shortstop Josh Salsbery and sophomore Eli DeMello, playing third, had two hits each for Taft.

Cody Knott
Cody Knott

Josh Salsbery
Josh Salsbery

Senior centerfielder Caleb King drove home three runs, while King, Salsbery and senior first baseman Jack Stempel scored twice each.

Caleb King
Caleb King

Salsbery, Stempel and junior Kam Kessler, starting at catcher, also drove home runs for the Tigers, while DeMello, Knott and cousins Tyee and Trenton Fisher scored once apiece.

Jack Stempel
Jack Stempel

Sophomore Josh Rogers had Sheridan’s only hit, while junior starter Cole Arthur suffered the loss.

The Tigers host Horizon Christian/Tualatin (10-3, 4-1) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at The Pit. The Hawks, who defeated Dayton (6-10, 3-3) 8-6 at home on Tuesday, were the last team to hold Taft under 10 runs despite losing 4-1 to the Tigers at home on April 3.

Taft 10, Sheridan 0
Josh Salsbery 4 2 2 1
Eli DeMello 4 1 2 0
Caleb King 4 2 1 3
Jack Stempel 3 2 1 1
Cody Knott 3 1 3 4
Kam Kessler 3 0 1 1
Tyee Fisher 3 1 1 0
Bleiz Kimbrough 3 0 0 0
Trenton Fisher 1 1 1 0
W Mcallister 1 0 0 0
Spencer Adair 1 0 0 0
TOTALS 28 10 12 10

Josh McCallister 3 0 0 0
Cole Aurther 2 0 0 0
Josh Rogers 2 0 1 0
Chris Savoldi 1 0 0 0
Brennen Meneley 2 0 0 0
Hunter Hass 1 0 0 0
Donnie Henley 2 0 0 0
Kaden Eggers 1 0 0 0
Tegan Eggers 1 0 0 0

TOTALS 17 0 1 0
TAFT 013 600 — 10
SHERIDAN 000 00x — 0

LOB–TAFT 5, SHERIDAN 4. ERR–Hunter Hass, Kaden Eggers, W Mcallister. 2B–Cody Knott, Josh Rogers. SB—Jack Stempel.

Bleiz Kimbrough (W) 5.00 1 0 0 2 10 0
Cole Arthur (L) 5.00 12 10 9 2 4 0
PB–Chris Savoldi. WP–Bleiz Kimbrough. BB—Trenton Fisher (2), Hunter Hass, Chris Savoldi.

Taft roster/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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