Back In The Dugout

By Jeremy McDonald

KEIZER, Ore.–  You know when you get Neil Forste as a coach, the 1987 North Marion graduate will be looking for you to step up your game and live up to your potential.  You can see the after-effects of playing for Huskie-legend Randy Brack in his coaching.

This summer has been an interesting one for sure for Forste, who was helping Robert Shaffer and Lance Livingston coaching the NM Magic 06 14U squad with the craziness stemming from the Pandemic; but there’s nowhere else the former ballplayer would rather be.

Especially being able to return to North Marion where he played and coached so long ago.

“It’s beautiful.  Going back to the old home and being around familiar settings, it reminds me of being there a long time ago.  Now that I’m back in it, I’ve got things back in the stove where I wanted to go higher in the game back where we use to be summer-wise back in the A-level.  High Level,” said Forste.

Forste talking to two of his players Monday at Keizer Little League (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Monday the former North Marion Softball Coach (2010-2013) and current St. Paul assistant coach since 2016, was back in the dugout with Shaffer, coaching the At-Large Gray Underclassmen team at the Fastpitch Northwest Championships at Keizer Little League.

“Oh gosh, I’ve been missing it.  Rob pulled me in earlier in the year with the Magic, it’s been fun.  This here, this is really neat and the talent out here is great,” said Forste.  “We saw a girl out here earlier hit a ball, clear both fences.  Just a few minutes ago.

“These are top-notch kids.  I’m really excited to be back.”

In his first game, Forste lost to one of his former players in the opening game in Brandi Bowling with the Idaho Red squad 11-6 Monday morning to start the seeding games.  The squad bounced back in their 1pm game to defeat the At-Large Black team 6-5.  Melanie Boatman from Pendleton struck out six in four innings and was 2-for-4 with 2RBI’s in the win.

Forste’s squad fell in the trilogy finale 6-2 to the Washington Kelly squad, Skyline High School’s (Washington) Finley Caringer went 2-for-5 and an RBI as they battle for the third/fourth seed Tuesday.  Forste’s At-Large bid squad would need a big upset of the Oregon Royals in their 9:30am game back at Keizer Little League to get back into Championship Contention

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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