Youth baseball — The young team sweeps Waldport and gives Gaston a run for its money

ST. PAUL — After struggling with a youthful squad during the spring high school season, St. Paul head coach Julio Vela has seen the Bucks make some important strides during summer ball and it was evident over the weekend.

St. Paul swept its road doubleheader at Waldport on Saturday and despite the 6-2 box score, played well in a loss Monday to a seasoned Gaston SETH GORDON - Making a stop - Zach Tegland backhands a ground ball during St. Paul's 6-2 home loss to Gaston Monday. The Bucks hung tight with the more experienced Greyhounds before a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning propelled the visitors to victory.

“They stayed right in there,” Vela said. “That is huge progress.

Zach Tegland, Bradey Weise and Tyler Smith combined to allow eight hits and one earned run to help the Bucks top Waldport 4-2 in the opener Saturday, although it took a three-run sixth inning for St. Paul to pull out the win.

The Irish touched starter Carson Smith for five runs in the first inning, but Justin Herberger, who will be just an eighth-grade student in the fall, pitched seven innings of relief, allowing three runs.

That gave the Bucks time to find their form at the plate, which they did in the form of a six-run third and seven-run fourth en route to a 17-8 win.

“That was impressive because sometimes a team will get down, especially a young team, and they’ll tuck tail and run,” Vela said. “They didn’t. They just kept swinging it, kept playing defense.”

Cody Faber, the team’s only senior playing summer ball, was stellar through four innings against Gaston, but appeared to injure his leg and came out of the game. A three-run home run off Herberger in the fifth then proved the difference in the game.

St. Paul will close out its summer season with three games at Neah-Kah-Nie High School Friday and Saturday, where the players will stay over night for some team building.

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