All-region: Loss in state semifinals can’t dampen Yinger’s pride in team
Camas senior not dwelling on how Papermakers’ run ended
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Twenty-six times this season the Camas baseball team stepped off of the field victorious. And yet, ace pitcher Kurt Yinger’s favorite moment followed the one game the Papermakers lost.
“After that semifinal game, when we came back out, all the families were there, and everyone was still so excited for us.” Yinger said. “Nobody was upset or said anything critical, everyone just kind of accepted it.”
Yinger took the loss that day for Camas, which finished third in the Class 3A state tournament. He did just about everything else right, though. The senior went 10-1, posted a 0.78 ERA and had a team-high batting average of .500. For all of that, Yinger is The Columbian’s All-Region baseball player of the year.
In fact, throughout the season, Papermakers head coach Joe Hallead acclaimed Yinger as one of the top pitchers in the state. And while opponents were incessantly frustrated by his stuff, UC Santa Barbara was impressed enough to offer him a scholarship.
However, because the Gauchos’ coaching staff was recently fired, Yinger admits he is re-evaluating his decision to move to California. In the meantime, instead of contemplating his future, he can reminisce on the past.
The Papermakers won their first 25 games of the season and for much of the year, were ranked No. 1 in the state.
In the state quarterfinals, they beat O’Dea, the team that defeated Camas in last year’s state championship game.
Yinger confessed that one point in the season, the desire “not to lose” was just as prevalent as wanting to win.
And even though expectations were stratospheric, Yinger looks back on the season with pride.
“We were undefeated for so long, so a lot of people thought it was a championship or bust, I still think we accomplished a lot,” Yinger said. “It was a great season. The guys on the team were great.”