Dayton’s Doyle looking to carry on legacy
DAYTON – In four years, Dayton’s Tim Doyle has gone from intimidated freshman to senior stalwart, charged with connecting the bridge with past Dust Devils to future ones.
“I’m trying to pass on the legacy that the players passed on in my freshman year,” Doyle said. “I know how it feels to be a freshman and to look up to the seniors. I used to look up to the seniors when I was a freshman and I want to do that for them.”
Doyle has played almost his entire career on the varsity team after being called up during his freshman season. Now, that he is in his final season he is looking to get back to the highest level possible: the state championship. The second baseman came to the Dust Devils in the middle of three straight trips to the 3A state tournament and hasn’t been back since his sophomore year.
“That’s my only (team) goal,” Doyle said. “My personal goal: Keep leading this team and do my best to get us to state.”
No one in any of the state’s four athletic classes has been more consistent than Doyle. When he came up as a freshman he was tasked with being the leadoff hitter in front of some of the Northern 3A’s best bats and he has stayed in the role ever since. This season he has hit .516 through 11 games, driven in 11 runs, scored a team-high 18 runs and leads the team with two homers.
And while Dayton coach Jay Merrell says that Doyle has a “huge deuce (curveball),” he would rather platoon him at second base because of his strong fielding.
“I don’t like to do it,” Merrell said of putting Doyle on the mound. “He’s one guy, since I took over, he’s playing second base for me. He’s just stability up the middle because Conner (Oliver) and Logan (Garling) both pitch so I just need that one guy up the middle that’s going to be there every inning”
For all of the positives going for Doyle, there are two things still holding him back from reaching the next level in baseball. Because he plays in the 3A, rather than the more talented 4A, many college scouts are apt to overlook him. Adding to the dilemma is Doyle’s stature. At 5-foot-7, he is far from protypical college height, but even so Doyle doesn’t have to look far for inspiration.
“I know Matt Bowman was a hell of player and he didn’t get anything,” Doyle said. “He got a walk-on and I’ve been thinking about that. He was a lot bigger than me and more powerful, so I just got to keep giving it my all and hopefully something comes along.”
The best deal the 5-foot-8 Bowman could find after dominating the 3A at Dayton was a preferred walk-on spot for the Nevada baseball team. All he did there was earn a starting job during his freshman season where he went on to accumulate a laundry list Western Athletic Conference honors.
Thus far, Doyle has had a sniff from a collegiate program and will likely begin his search at the junior college level. Former Dayton standouts have gone on to successful JC careers, such as, Tommy O’Brien (Feather River) and Cory Yoder (Butte College).
“(It’s frustrating) because this something that I really want to do,” Doyle said. “This is what I planned on doing; it’s all I’ve got going on after high school. I’m clueless, this is what I really want to do.”