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Indians hope to defend Cowapa League title

Team is young but still figures to be a factor in league race


by: JOHN BREWINGTON - A chorus line. Scappoose baseball players loosen up with some foot drills during practice last week. The Indians are young this year, but still figure to be a factor in the Cowapa League race. Scappoose is the defending league champion, winning their first title since 1995 last season.The Scappoose Indians will field a young team this season, but it doesn’t mean the squad will be out of the Cowapa League baseball race.

It will be hard to duplicate the Tribe’s finish last year—winning their last four games and winning their first league title since 1995. Scappoose went on to beat North Marion in extra innings, but then their offense stalled against Molalla in a tight playoff game played at Tigard High School.

Coach Robert Medley, now in his 14th year, lost a good number from last year’s team and has a competition going for a number of starting positions.

“Good,” Medley said when asked how practices were going. “We’ll be young and don’t have a lot of experience, but I like our make-up and attitude at practice.”

Still, the Indians have a number of willing pitchers, and some pretty good talent out for the team.

Returning players for the Tribe include senior Kyle Durvin, and juniors Lionel Sandoval, Hunter Hoyt and Will Sprute.

Sprute, Hoyt, and Durvin will anchor the pitching staff this season, while others that could see some time on the mound include: Sam Padgett, senior; Sam Margheim, junior; Kyler Mizee, junior; Wade Nelson, junior; and Owen Fortney, sophomore.

There is also a battle going on for the other half of the battery between, Robby Backus and Anthony Bernal.

Hoyt is the returning shortstop and Sandoval comes back at third base. First and second base will be a competition between: Justin Hering, a sophomore; Nelson; Wyatt Patton, a sophomore; and Jesse Hanson, a senior.

Durvin will occupy one outfield spot, while Margheim, Mizee, Jake Ford, sophomore, Sprute, when he’s not pitching, Steven Johnson, sophomore, and Donovan Jackson, junior, will vie for the other two slots.

Medley foresees another battle in the Cowapa League.

“It’s hard to tell how some will do. The league is tough, but some have just one or two pitchers. Astoria has a great program and some pitching back. Banks has some good kids back. YC (Yamhill-Carlton) and Seaside lost a lot of seniors so it’s tough to tell. Tillamook has a good solid ace pitcher.

Medley said he will scout some of the league teams this preseason.

“Winning the championship last year was nice. Losing to Molalla (in the playoffs) by one run still leaves a bit sour taste in my mouth. That’s baseball, sometimes the ball drops where you want (and sometimes not). You always want to come out and have success,” the coach added.

“Every game we want to go out and play our best game. We want a quality product on the field. We’re not ready to go get beat,” he said.

The Indians were to have hosted La Salle on Tuesday in their first game. The field was starting to shape up and barring some heavy rain, Medley said they should be ready to play if they can get some dirt on the field. The team is at Valley Catholic Wednesday, and then hosts Philomath on Friday. They travel to North Marion on Tuesday, March 19. The Indians are also making their annual road trip to Eastern Oregon over spring break.

Scappoose Baseball Schedule

(Home team in caps)

March 12 LA SALLE

March 13 Valley Catholic

March 15 PHILOMATH

March 19 North Marion

March 22 Open Date

March 26 Baker

April 1 Rainier

April 2 BANKS

April 4 Banks

April 9 Yamhill-Carlton

April 11 YAMHILL-CARLTON

April 16 TILLAMOOK

April 18 Tillamook

April 22 Seaside

April 24 SEASIDE

April 26 ASTORIA

April 29 Astoria

May 1 BANKS

May 3 Yamhill-Carlton

May 6 TILLAMOOK

May 8 Seaside

May 10 ASTORIA