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 — Corey Wynant's leadoff home run in the fourth inning sparked a four-run rally as Crater held off North Eugene 5-4 in a nonconference baseball at Anhorn Field on Monday.
The Comets (16-9), who finish their regular season today against South Umpqua, will host a Class 6A first-round playoff game next Monday.
Wynant's smash was his sixth of the season. It cleared the left centerfield wall and gave way to four more Comet hits in the inning.
RJ Morgan later added a two-run single for the Comets. After Highlanders pitcher Toby Woods balked to advance Morgan to second base, Tyler Aplin's single knocked home Morgan to put the Comets up 5-0.
The Highlanders (16-9), however, made a late surge by driving in two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Crater ace Chris Painter improved to 4-2 on the year, allowing two runs on nine hits, five strikeouts and a walk in five innings.
For the Highlanders, Quinn Wallace went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Dane Stapley was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
North Eugene 000 022 0 — 4 10 0
Crater 001 400 x — 5 7 2
Moore, Woods (3) and Owens; Painter, Fox (6) and Aplin. W — Painter (4-2). L — Woods. 2B — NE: Delaney, Woods, Shuster, Wallace. HR — C: Wynant.
ASHLAND 7, SOUTH MEDFORD 3 — Ashland took advantage of South Medford's pitching woes and scored early and often to secure its fifth straight victory in nonconference play at Harry & David Field.
The Grizzlies (15-9) were walked 10 times and added 10 hits to open a 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning in the runaway victory, their eighth in the past nine games.
Ethan Schlecht went 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs and Taylor Humphrey was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI for Ashland, which used four pitchers in a warmup for the state playoffs. Ashland freshman Steen Fredrickson pitched three scoreless innings to highlight the effort.
For South Medford (8-15), starter Zach Smith struggled from the outset. The senior faced only seven batters before being replaced by sophomore Brandon Lupton, who was making his varsity debut. Smith walked four and hit two among his batters faced, and also struck out one batter. Lupton allowed nine hits, five walks and five runs in 31/3 innings.
Kirk Eastman went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI, Eric Wallan was 2-for-3 with one run and Austin Reames 2-for-2 with one run to pace the Panthers, who play host to Century at 4:30 p.m. today in a Class 6A state play-in game at Harry & David Field.
Ashland 221 200 0 — 7 10 1
South Medford 000 120 0 — 3 8 1
Fredrickson, Glick (4), Carlson (6), Schlecht (7) and Westhelle-Grant; Smith, Lupton (1), Cooney (5) and J. Walker. W — Carlson (1-0). L — Smith (1-1). 2B — A: Carlson.