LINCOLN CITY — Taft dealt Dayton an 11-1 non-league loss Friday, ending a three-game losing streak that sent the Tigers tumbling from No. 3 to No. 9 in state rankings.
The victory was emphatic enough, however, to put the District 2 on notice that Lincoln City, 4-6 in pre-season, is swinging for the sand dunes as 3A league play begins this week at home against Rainier (Tuesday) and Warrenton (Friday).
In his first start of the season,
But Dayton, fresh off a cross-country exhibition in Arizona, seemed to wilt under the conditions. Kimbrough, who bats right-handed but serves-up fastballs as a lefty, opened the game by quickly fanning the first Pirate batter and retiring the next two on the easy fly and pop foul.
The fast work poised the Tigers for a four-run first inning. Taft’s speed advantage was immediately apparent as Trenton Fisher blasted a hard ground ball, then beat the throw to first base before stealing second and third on his way to the first score of the game off Eli DeMello’s ground-ball sacrifice.
The game quickly got out of control as Tiger runners played a pressure offense that yielded 11 11 hits and six stolen bases, including Tyee Fisher’s theft of home plate on a wild pitch.
Kimbrough threw 52 strikes and 32 balls while the Pirates, who never made it farther than first base on four hits, cycled through the bullpen looking for answers.
Taft put the icing on the win with a six-point run in the fourth stanza. With bases loaded, more wild pitches and off-target throws to home by Dayton allowed Cody Knott and Tyee Fisher to score in back-to-back plays. Meanwhile, a vulnerable left field allowed Kaden
1 2 3 4 5 R H E
DAYTON 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 6
TAFT 4 0 0 6 1 11 11 0