BURLEY, Idaho — The North Medford Mavericks American Legion A baseball team fell to the Mission Valley (Mont.) Mariners 9-8 in 10 innings in the opening round of the Northwest Regional tournament on Friday.
The Mavericks have, however, been in this position before. North Medford (50-18), which will play the Glasgow Reds at 9:30 a.m. today, lost in the opening round of the state tournament before recording five straight wins to claim the title.
Up against an older, more experienced team in the Mariners, who have three college-bound freshmen — including a redshirt — and seven graduated seniors, the Mavericks had their work cut out for them.
With his team trailing 8-7 in the ninth inning, North Medford's Christian Gillis capped a three-run rally by driving home the tying run and sending the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Mariners' Chris Clary doubled home the winning run to stop the Mavericks.
"To come back being down to an older team with a college freshman on the mound shows a lot of character and a lot of growth," said North coach Brett Wolfe. "We competed."
Before Gillis' game-tying hit, Troy Fowler singled, Taylor Raff reached on an error and Austin Zavala hit a sacrifice fly to begin the Mavericks' run. Micah Brown followed with a run-scoring double, which set up Gillis' big single.
The Mariners' Justin Evertz, a redshirt freshman at Montana State Billings, pitched all but the 10th inning and surrendered eight runs.
Brown went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and Gillis was 2-for-5 and drove in a run for North Medford.
North Medford 102 002 003 0 — 8 8 2
Mission Valley 002 401 100 1 — 9 13 2
C. Westfall, Gillis (4), Pearson (7), J. Evans (8) and Zavala; Evertz, Molzhon and Humphreys (10) and W — Molzhon. L — J. Evans (5-1). 2B — NM: Raff, Brown, Gillis; MV: Webster, Clary. 3B — MV: Clary, Young.