Dungies struggle to break streak

Third baseman Eli Demello (Taft H.S., 2020) couldn’t put the tag on this American Legion runner as The Mid-Coast Dungies struggle to break a five-game losing streak, The Dungies will meet the Salem Dodgers next Wednesday at Frank Wade Field in Newport. (Photo by R.W. Smith)

Newport team hosts Dodgerson on Wednesday

CORVALLIS — The Mid-Coast Dungies hoped that Independence Day would free them from a five-game losing streak before meeting the dreaded Post 20 Demarini Dirtbags and their bus full of college talent.

Unfortunately, the Dungies failed to light their fuses Thursday with a 5-1 loss to Beaverton during the 43rd Annual ‘Stars’ Spangled Baseball Tournament, sponsored by American Legion Post 11 in Corvallis. The Dungies were slated to face the Kaiser Dirtbags Friday.

The Salem team taps its main talent from Western Oregon State University, just down the road in Monmouth. In fact, the Dirtbags’ coach is WOSU head baseball coach Miles Kizer, who led his team to four state tournaments with a runner-up finish in 2017 and two other top-three finishes. Tournament play continues through Sunday at Corvallis High School’s Taylor Field.

Their last win came in June against Mt. Hood Select, 4-1, during the Willamette Classic on a one-hitter by Dungie hurler Bruce Bridge of Rockaway Beach. With only four hits to their credit, the Dungies managed some spectacular outfield catches and some solid base running to score one in the bottom of the fourth inning and four more in the fifth.

Playing shorthanded with only 12 players, three Dungies took body-balls at the plate. Two of the targeted batsmen went on to score, while Taft H.S. teammates shined in the win as Caleb King added a single and Josh Salsbery a double.

But for the past five games the Dungies have jumped out to a first inning lead and then failed to reach home with any wins. Typical of those heartbreaking losses was a June 21 game against the Vancouver Mavericks, where Caleb King of Taft H.S. pitched a solid game throughout with stellar play from catcher Kaden Burns, a sophomore at Newport High. They held the Mavs scoreless through five innings until an error on a high throw to first base lost the game.

Don’t give up on this young bunch, yet. Their next home game doubleheader at Wade Field in Newport will be Wednesday, July 10, against the Whitnell Dodgers from Salem. Games times are 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The Mid-Coast Dungies American Legion Baseball team, a AAA legion baseball team sponsored by Newport American Legion Post 116, was founded in 2016. Led by Newport H.S. coach Taylor Plesha, the team is packed with the most-gifted players from Newport, Taft, Toledo, Waldport, Nestucca and Siuslaw high schools.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R

DUNGIES         0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MAVERICKS     0 0 0 0 0 1 X 1

                    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R

SELECT       0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

DUNGIES   0 0 0 1 3 0 X 4

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