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Young Scappoose team makes strides battling older squads in summer baseball

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Wyatt Anicker follows the flight of his hit for Scappoose's Futures team in its summer baseball playoff game against Mt. Hood Select.The future is now — or will now very soon — for a whole bunch of up-and-coming Scappoose High baseball prospects.

Those particular players recently finished a summer of competing together on an Oregon Independent Baseball Association "Futures" level team.

It wasn't easy, as the Indians' lineup was about as young as it gets, but the Futures squad made it through 20-plus games and learned a lot, said Scappoose head baseball coach Cameron Webb.

"What those guys did well bodes really well for the future," Webb said.

The Futures team was like the junior varsity to the other Scappoose OIBA summer team, which included some returning varsity players and seniors-to-be.

The Futures lineup consisted largely of players who will be freshmen or sophomores in high school next year.

"We probably had like 75 percent eighth-graders, so those guys did a great job playing against older guys," Webb said. "They got to see high-level baseball and learn how we do things in our program."

Wins may have been few, "but it's all about development," Webb said.

"These are competitive kids, and when they lose a game, they can get down, but we keep reminding them about the long-term and the big picture," he added. "As long as we keep improving and keep that perspective, I'm really excited."

The Scappoose Futures team had to go up against opponents with rising sophomores and juniors.

"I'm really happy with the strides that team made," Webb said. "They were up against some very good teams and faced some really challenging matchups. They went through some days where a lot of teams probably would mail it it. But they battled all summer and stayed positive and competed against themselves and became better each day."

The Scappoose Futures' season ended last week with a chance to compete in the OIBA postseason. The Indians started well against a solid Mt. Hood Select Gold team before falling 11-2 in the first-round game at Centennial High. Mt. Hood had to make some key plays to keep the game from being closer. The Gold, for example, got a comebacker with two out in the second inning to end a Scappoose threat with the bases loaded.

Overall, Webb said the Futures team "really looked like a formidable ball club, especially thinking back to where we were at the start of the summer. I was thrilled with how those guys did."

Left-hander Wyatt Anicker, who will be a freshman, was a key pitcher this summer. Shortstop Chase Olsen, also set to be in the freshman class, "was excellent all day" in the playoff game. And another incoming freshman, Treyvin Fuller, was good behind the plate for Scappoose.

The members of the Futures team should prosper as much as anyone in the Scappoose program from all the offseason baseball work being planned.

"In the fall and winter, we'll be able to do a lot of individual work inside," Webb said. "We'll work in the cage and on their swings, things like that. I think these kids now having a craving to get in the cage and work."


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