Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
CENTRAL POINT — Ninth-ranked Crater kept rolling along Saturday, securing a pair of Southern Oregon Hybrid baseball wins with solid defense and timely hitting against Grants Pass at Anhorn Field.
The Comets (13-1, 6-1 SOH) used back-to-back home runs by Anthony Martin and Blake Fahndrich in the third inning and a one-hitter by Matt Preston to score a 3-0 victory in the opening game of the doubleheader.
In Game 2, Nolan Bastendorff offered up solid relief of starter Chris Painter and Crater scored in four of its six innings at the plate to secure a 5-2 triumph.
Preston, a senior right-hander, was especially effective in the opener, facing only one batter over the minimum and tossing the complete game in only 78 pitches. He struck out four with no walks and allowed a leadoff single in the second to Justin Spinner. Preston also hit two batters but the Comets turned two double plays to erase any scoring threat.
"(Preston) just located really well today," said Crater head coach Jay Campbell. "He just kept them off balance and he used his defense and was pretty successful."
Tyler Aplin was 3-for-3 with two runs for Crater in Game 2, with Sebastian Reynolds and Taylor Pardee going 2-for-3 and Evan Erskine 2-for-4 with one run. Ty Fox plated Fahndrich from first base on a fourth-inning double to highlight the nightcap.
Matt Cole went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Grants Pass (5-8, 1-6) in Game 2, with Crater's Bastendorff tossing four innings of relief with one hit allowed against five strikeouts and three walks.
Grants Pass 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Crater 012 000 x — 3 5 0
Bennett, Polder (3) and Leenknecht; Preston and Aplin. W — Preston (4-0). L — Bennett. HR — C: Martin (2), Fahndrich (4).
Grants Pass 001 100 0 — 2 4 1
Crater 012 110 x — 5 12 0
Robinson and Leenknecht; Painter, Bastendorff (4) and Aplin. W — Bastendorff (4-0). L — Robinson. 2B — GP: VanEss, Cole; C: Reynolds, Wynant, Fox. HR — GP: Cole.
NORTH MEDFORD 4, MARIST 3, 9 inn. — North Medford's Hayden Evans doubled in the ninth inning and eventually scored on a walk-off single by Micah Brown with the bases loaded to clinch the nonconference victory.
Evans finished 2-for-3 for the Black Tornado (10-2), with Brown providing a pitching boost with six scoreless innings before giving way to A.J. Miller in the ninth.
After Evans' double, Austin Zavala moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Marist (2-7) then intentionally walked Taylor Raff and Bryan Carbonell to set the stage for Brown.
Marist 300 000 000 — 3 7 3
North Medford 010 020 001 — 4 7 2
Wonham, Jameson (4), Smith (9) and Hutson; Westfall, Walker (2), Brown (3), Miller (9) and Hyrst, Zavala (3). W — Miller (1-0). L — Smith. 2B — NM: Walker, H. Evans.
ROSEBURG 9-5, SOUTH MEDFORD 0-1 — At Roseburg, South Medford pitchers issued 13 walks in the first game and Roseburg's Jared Priestley held the Panthers to one run on six hits in the second game as the Indians completed a SOH sweep.
In the opener, Roseburg starter Josh Graham had 11 strikeouts and two walks in six shutout innings before being relieved by Brady Fuller.
South Medford's Eric Wallan hit a one-out double in the third inning for the Panthers (2-10, 0-6), but was left stranded after consecutive ground outs.
In Game 2, Pat Alexander and Nate Walker had two hits apiece to lead the Panthers, while starting pitcher Nate Namanny surrendered five runs on seven hits while striking out six.
For Roseburg (12-1, 5-0), Priestley struck out eight Panthers and walked two in the second game, while David Irvine, Kody Matthews and Graham had two hits apiece.
South Medford 000 000 0 — 0 2 4
Roseburg 321 003 x — 9 2 1
Reames, Berman (1), Cooney (6) and J. Walker; Graham, Fuller (7) and Leach. W — Graham. L — Reames (1-2). 2B — SM: Wallan; R: Newell.
South Medford 010 000 0 — 1 6 3
Roseburg 012 200 x — 5 7 1
Namanny and White; Priestley and Graham. W — Priestley. L — Namanny (0-3). 2B — R: Irvine, Guillen.
ASHLAND 10-12, EAGLE POINT 0-2 — At Ashland, Taylor Humphrey had four hits on the day and Jamie Flynn pitched a gem in the opener as Ashland picked up a pair of five-inning wins at North Mountain Park.
Humphrey was 2-for-2 with two runs in the first game and 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the second for Ashland (6-5), which has won three of its last four games. Also in the first game, Ashland's Bryce Rogan went 2-for-3 with a two-run single that gave the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and Evan Westhelle-Grant added an RBI double.
Flynn struck out 10 Eagles with one walk to improve to 3-1.
In the second game, Ashland's Billy Hansen was 3-for-3 with a two-run single in the first, and pitcher Jack Carroll struck out four batters in four innings to improve to 2-0.
With the Class 5A Southern Oregon Hybrid setbacks, Eagle Point (4-11) has now lost nine straight.
Eagle Point 000 00 — 0 3 2
Ashland 702 1x — 10 9 0
Bowers, Dixon (1) and Brammer; Flynn and Glick. W — Flynn (3-1). L — Bowers. 2B — A: Humphrey, Westhelle-Grant, Glick. 3B — A: Schlecht, Rogan.
Eagle Point 020 00 — 2 1 2
Ashland 600 42 — 12 9 2
Wilson, Brammer (1), Mickey (5) and Augino; Carroll, Fredrickson (5) and Westhelle-Grant. W — Carroll (2-0). L — Wilson. 2B — A: Humphrey, Hansen.