Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
Last year's state runner-up Matt Pronesti began his trail back for another shot at a state title on Thursday during the opening day of the Class 6A District Tournament.
South Medford's Pronesti, the No. 1 seeded singles player, breezed through the second round, quarterfinals and into the semifinals to earn an automatic berth in the Class 6A state tournament.
He eliminated South Eugene's Jack Guenther, 6-1, 6-0, after topping Sheldon's Blake Nelson, 6-0, 6-0, in the second round.
Pronesti, with the assistance of doubles duo Jack Delaney and Marius Strack, helped the Panthers weave into third place in the tournament after the first day with 13 points, trailing only South Eugene (17) and Roseburg (16).
Delaney and Strack derailed Zach Williams and Blaze Hamann of Grants Pass, 6-2, 6-3, in the quarterfinals, to reel in a spot at state.
Also capturing a state berth was Grants Pass' Robby Hobbs. He bowled over Sheldon's Luke Coury (6-3, 6-2) in the second round and South Eugene's Isaac Leve (6-2, 6-0) in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals.
In singles, South Medford's Mitch Steadman and Grants Pass' Drew Van Delden both fell in the quarterfinals.
Steadman was taken down by South Eugene's John Jimenez, 6-0, 6-0. Steadman had earned wins over North Medford's Daniel Petersen (6-0, 6-1) and Roseburg's Cole Eibel (6-3, 6-2).
Van Delden lassoed a victory over South Medford's John Gerlick (7-6, 6-2) in the second round after outlasting Thurston's Eli Fuller (3-6, 6-4, 6-4) in the first round.
In doubles, South Medford's Adam Day and Fernando Coco Ruiz were taken down by top-seeded Roseburg Sam Stadler and C.J. Ball, 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Day and Ruiz earlier scored a second-round triumph over Nik O'Hara and Nathan Trujillo of Grants Pass, 6-1, 7-5.
North Medford pairing Eli Von Strahl and Kyle Campbell also fell in the quarterfinals.
The two were defeated by Jake Russin and Josh Slason of South Eugene, 6-1, 6-0. Von Strahl and Campbell had defeated Thurston's Eric Anderson and Brett Hill (6-1, 6-1) and South Medford's Tanner Johnson and Alvero Martin-Rivera (6-3, 6-3) in the first and second rounds, respectively.
TEAM SCORES — South Eugene 17, Roseburg 16, South Medford 13, Sheldon 12, Grants Pass 11, Thurston 9, North Medford 5.
FIRST ROUND — Blake Nelson, Shel, d. Tyler Broyles, GP, 6-0, 6-0; 2, Jack Guenther, SE, d. Zach Carter, Rose, 6-1, 6-0; Landon Sherbourne, NM, d. Ben Forrest, Thur, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4; Isaac Leve, SE, d. Bryce Vogt, Thur, 6-0, 6-0; Neil Cox, Rose, d. Kellin Peterson, NM, 6-1, 6-0; Luke Coury, Shel, d. Mike Myers, SM, 6-3, 6-2; Alec Johnson, Rose, d. Isaac Klump, Shel, 6-0, 6-2; Drew Van Delden, GP, d. Eli Fuller, Thur, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4; John Gerlick, SM, d. Reid Shipley, NM, 6-2, 7-6; Cole Eibel, Rose, d. Josh Richardson, Thur, 6-2, 6-2; Mitch Steadman, SM, d. Daniel Petersen, NM, 6-0, 6-1; Zach Hill-Thiry, Shel, d. Tucker Daniel, GP, 6-0, 6-0.
SECOND ROUND — Matt Pronesti, SM, d. Blake Nelson, Shel, 6-0, 6-0; Jack Guenther, SE, d. Landon Sherbourne, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4; Isaac Leve, SE, d. Neil Cox, Rose, 6-2, 6-0; Robby Hobbs, GP, d. Luke Coury, Shel, 6-0, 6-0; Nevin Taylor, SE, d. Alec Johnson, Rose, 6-0, 6-2; Drew Van Delden, GP, d. John Gerlick, SM, 6-7-6, 6-2; Mitch Steadman, SM, d. Cole Eibel, Rose, 6-3, 6-2; John Jimenez, SE, d. Zach Hill Thiry, Shel, 6-0, 6-0.
QUARTERFINALS — Matt Pronesti, SM, d. Jack Guenther, SE, 6-1, 6-0; Robby Hobbs, GP, d. Isaac Leve, SE, 7-5, 6-3; Nevin Taylor, SE, d. Drew Van Delden, GP, 6-0, 6-1; John Jimenez, SE, d. Mitch Steadman, SM, 6-0, 6-0.
FIRST ROUND — Troy Behnke-Logan West, NM, d. Mirek Brandt-Josh Taylor, SE, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3; Adam Day-Fernando Coco Ruiz, SM, won by default over Thurston; Nik O'Hara-Nathan Trujillo, GP, d. Michael Russo-Owen Loughran, Shel, 6-1, 7-5; Ryan Hogan-Kenny Pedersen, NM, d. Liam Chapin-Jones-Sogi Yoon, SE, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; Zach Williams-Blaze Hamann, GP, d. Jeff Bowman-Jessie Reynaga, Thur, 6-0, 6-0; Fen Wang-Noah Roberts, Shel, d. Trenton Marlar-Christian Wilson, Rose, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Tanner Baumgartner-Matt Gade, Rose, d. Hollen Audell-Chapman Voris, GP, 6-2, 6-1; Eli Von Strahl-Kyle Campbell, NM, d. Eric Anderson-Brent Hill, Thur, 6-1, 6-1; Tanner Johnson-Alvero Martin-Rivera, SM, d. Connor Jordan-Dorian Yeh, Shel, 6-3, 6-3; Zach Esrig-Jacob Kranitz, SE, d. Login Ellison-Read Wagar, Shel, 6-0, 6-2; Nate Hansen-Nick Foley, Rose, d. Hunter Grow-Johnathon Bybee, NM, 7-6, 7-5; Brad Johnson-Nic Visconti, SM, d. Bryce Thompson-David Werner, GP, d. 6-3, 6-1.
SECOND ROUND — Sam Stadler-C.J. Bell, Rose, d. Troy Behnke-Logan West, NM, 6-0, 6-0; Adam Day-Fernando Coco Ruiz, SM, d. Nik O'Hara-Nathan Trujillo, GP, 6-1, 6-4; Zach Williams-Blaze Hamann, GP, d. Ryan Hogan-Kenny Pedersen, NM, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4; Jack Delaney-Strack, SM, d. Fen Wang-Noah Roberts, Shel, 6-1, 6-1; Jake Russin-Josh Slason, SE, d. Tanner Baumgartner-Matt Gade, Rose, 6-1, 6-0; Eli Von Strahl-Kyle Campbell, NM, d. Tanner Johnson-Alvero Martin-Rivera, SM, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4; Nate Hansen-Nick Foley, Rose, d. Zach Esrig-Jacob Kranitz, SE, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6; Kyle Morris-Treyton Sherk, Thur, d. Brad Johnson-Nic Visconti, SM, 6-4, 6-1.
QUARTERFINALS — Sam Stadler-C.J. Bell, Rose, d. Adam Day-Fernando Coco Ruiz, SM, 6-0, 6-0; Jack Delaney-Strack, SM, d. Zach Williams-Blaze Hamann, GP, 6-2, 6-3; Jake Russin-Josh Slason, SE, d. Eli Von Strahl-Kyle Campbell, NM, 7-5, 6-1; Nate Hansen-Nick Foley, Rose, d. Morris-Treyton Sherk, Thur, 6-2, 6-2.
CRATER 6, SOUTH MEDFORD 4 — At Central Point, Crater's three-run burst in the fifth inning was enough to get past South Medford in a nonconference contest at Crater High.
The Comets' Haley Fox followed Kenzie Rhode's run-scoring double with an RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth. Fox later scored on a passed ball.
Fox, Rhode and Renee Murphy all went 2-for-3.
Murphy pitched six innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on six hits and a walk. She tallied seven strikeouts for the Comets (10-13).
For South Medford, Sierra Pidretti hit a bases-loaded, two-run single in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 3-all. She finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Katie Ramsay went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
The game was a senior project in dedication to Faith Fulmer and the Faith Fulmer Foundation. Fulmer passed away last year from cancer.
South Medford 010 200 1 — 4 6 1
Crater 021 030 0 — 6 10 2
Nunez, Newman (4), Jones (6) and Ramsay; Murphy, Sheperd (7) and Medina, Britton (4). W — Murphy (9-12). L — Newman. 2B — C: Rhode. 3B — C: Fox.