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Tigers crank up hit machine in 19-0 rout of Dayton

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Kam Kessler
Kam Kessler

Now we know precisely why the Taft High baseball team is recognized as the finest small-school team in the state.

Every batter collected at least one hit and scored and drove in at least one run Friday in a hitting exhibition likely to rival any in school history as the No. 1-ranked Tigers routed Dayton 19-0 in a West Valley League home game limited to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.

Trenton Fisher
Trenton Fisher

“We had some guys who have been slumping come out of it today,” Taft coach Matt Hilgers said.

No kidding.

The first-place Tigers scored 11 runs in the first inning and eight in the second, and supported senior starter Jack Stempel with 18 hits to win their ninth straight game and sixth in a row with 10 runs or more.

Tyee Fisher
Tyee Fisher

“When the team jumps out early, it makes our job easier,” Hilgers said.

Centerfielder Caleb King went 3-for-3 with three runs and five RBIs for Taft as six of the nine players collected at least two hits each against three Dayton pitchers.

Caleb King
Caleb King

Jack Stempel
Jack Stempel

Stempel held the Pirates (6-9, 3-2 West Valley) to just two hits, struck out five and walked none for the Tigers (15-2, 6-0), who have averaged 11.5 runs this season.
Senior Josh Salbery and sophomore Trenton Fisher also had three hits each for Taft. Sophomore Eli DeMello drove in four runs and scored three times, along with King, Salsbery and sophomore Caleb Jones.

Josh Salsbery
Josh Salsbery

“This was one of those days that anyone could have been throwing against us and we would have hit,” Hilgers said. “We were zoned in and had some good approaches at the plate.”

Eli DeMello
Eli DeMello

Taft plays next at last-place Sheridan (1-12, 0-6) Tuesday, April 24. The Tigers defeated the Spartans 28-0 at home earlier this season.

Tigers win 19-0 – Interview with Stempel, Salsbery and King

The first-place Tigers scored 11 runs in the first inning and eight in the second, and supported senior starter Jack Stempel with 18 hits to win their ninth straight game and sixth in a row with 10 runs or more.

Posted by Lincoln City Homepage on Friday, April 20, 2018

Taft 19, Dayton 0

Zach Russell 3 0 0 0
Josiah Primbs 3 0 1 0
Tristan Fergus 2 0 0 0
Luke Primbs 2 0 1 0
Liam Munoz 1 0 0 0
Garrett Doran 2 0 0 0
Kaden Fergus 2 0 0 0
Gavin Arce 1 0 0 0
Jarin Miguez 1 0 0 0
Kobin Oliveria 1 0 0 0
Dylan Lane 1 0 0 0
TOTALS 19 0 2 0

Josh Salsbery 4 3 3 1
Eli DeMello 4 3 2 4
Caleb King 3 3 3 5
Jack Stempel 4 1 1 1
Cody Knott 4 1 1 1
Kam Kessler 4 2 2 2
Tyee Fisher 4 1 1 1
Caleb Jones 3 3 2 1
Trenton Fisher 4 2 3 1
TOTALS 34 19 18 17

DAYTON 000 00 — 0
TAFT (11)80 0x — 19

LOB–DAYTON 5, TAFT 7. ERR–Gavin Arce, Kaden Fergus, Liam Munoz, Garrett Doran, Kam Kessler, Cody Knott. 2B–Eli DeMello, Cody Knott, Jack Stempel. 3B–Kam Kessler. HBP–Liam Munoz. SB–Josh Salsbery, Cody Knott.

Tristan Fergus (L) 1.00 12 11 10 0 1 0
Zach Russell 2.00 6 8 4 2 3 0
Liam Munoz 1.00 0 0 0 2 1 0
Jack Stempel (W) 5.00 2 0 0 0 5 0
PB–Luke Primbs (2). BB–Josh Salsbery, Caleb King, Eli DeMello,
Caleb Jones.

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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