Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
SURPRISE, Ariz. — North Medford baseball team overcame the Arizona heat and a powerhouse from New Mexico to cap a solid 4-1 road trip through the desert Friday.
Hayden Evans hit four doubles and drove in five runs and Brett Pearson staved off a Piedra Vista rally with some clutch pitching as the Black Tornado toppled the Panthers 12-9 at Valley Vista High School.
North Medford (8-1) let what was a 7-0 lead slip to 9-8 through four innings, but the Tornado tacked on a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to get some breathing room and Pearson held New Mexico's three-time defending Class 4A state champions scoreless in 22/3 innings of relief to pick up his first win of the season (1-0).
"This was our best overall game down here and it was a good test for our guys," North Medford assistant coach Nate Mayben said, "especially after playing five games in a row in the heat that they're not used to."
Evans and Micah Brown, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, both ripped two-run doubles in the second as North raced out to a seven-run lead heading into the bottom of the frame. The Panthers (10-3) stormed back with four runs in the second and four more in the fourth, however, to put the pressure back on North Medford.
The Tornado responded in the fifth when Christian Gillis led off with a walk, stole second and then scored on an error. In the sixth, North added two more on a sacrifice fly by Pearson and an RBI single by Troy Fowler.
"That just showed some maturity from our team, so that was really nice to see," Mayben said.
Fowler was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Gillis 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI for North Medford. Evans, a senior first baseman, was 4-for-5.
Cody Russell was 3-for-4 and Matt Martin 2-for-3 to lead Piedra Vista, which is 74-12 since the start of the 2010-11 season.
North Medford 250 212 0 — 12 13 3
Piedra Vista 040 400 1 — 9 15 5
Crofton, Gillis (3), B. Pearson (4), Brown (7) and Zavala; Russell, Bayless (3) and Ahlgrim. W — B. Pearson (1-0). L — Russell. 2B — NM: Brown, Crofton, Evans 4.
NORTH VALLEY 4, COTTAGE GROVE 1 — At Stayton, North Valley's Josh Cowell and Kevin Olmstead combined to throw a one-hitter as the Knights claimed the crown at the Stayton Tournament.
Olmstead earned the victory, pitching the final four innings, giving up one unearned run to go with six strikeouts. Cowell allowed a single and fanned seven in just three innings.
Dylan Dupont drove in a pair of runs for the Knights, who went 3-0 in the six-team event, and Marco Garmendia plated another. Both went 2-for-4.
Cottage Grove 000 100 0 — 1 1 5
North Valley 102 100 0 — 4 6 1
Bloom, Mihan (4) and Thompson; Cowell, Olmstead (4) and Dupont, Swanson. W — Olmstead (1-1). 2B — NV: Garmendia.
ROGUE RIVER 4-3, YONCALLA 3-2 — At Rogue River, DeAndrew Harris drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of Game 1 and the winning run in the seventh inning of Game 2 to give Rogue River a nonconference sweep.
In the opener, Harris' RBI single to right gave the Chieftains (3-4) a 3-2 lead, and he was part of a double-steal moments later that led to Rogue River's insurance run.
The clutch finish supported an outstanding pitching effort by Rogue River's Dylan Devish, who struck out 13 with only one walk. Also for the Chieftains in Game 1, Daniel Perston was 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
In Game 2, Harris hit a bases-loaded single with one out and the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh. Devish was 3-for-4 and scored the winning run and Garrett Carpenter added two hits and two RBIs. Rogue River pitcher Kollen Roohr struck out 10 and did not allow an earned run in a complete-game effort.
Yoncalla fell to 2-4.
Yoncalla 000 002 1 — 3 6 1
Rogue River 101 002 x — 4 6 0
Anderson, Shaw (6) and Dover; Devish and Harris. W — Devish (1-2). L — Anderson. 2B — Y: Shaw; RR: Devish, Perston.
Yoncalla 000 200 0 — 2 2 2
Rogue River 020 000 1 — 3 11 2
Shaw and Dover; Roohr and Harris. W — Roohr (1-1). L — Shaw. 2B — RR: Carpenter.
HIDDEN VALLEY 7, SOUTH MEDFORD JV 5 — Cameron Allen had three hits and Christina Commons two to lead Hidden Valley past South Medford's junior varsity.
Hidden Valley 211 010 2 — 7 10 3
South Medford JV 220 000 1 — 5 3 3
Lawson and Green; Britton and Dichter. W — Lawson (1-6). L — Britton. 2B — HV: K. Allen, C. Allen, Commons.