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 — It didn't come easy, but Crater secured a sweep of Grants Pass at Anhorn Field on Saturday to move into a tie for first place in the Southern Oregon Hybrid baseball standings with one three-game series remaining.
The Comets edged the Cavemen 2-1 in the first game and 7-5 in Game 2 to improve to 16-7 overall and 7-2 in SOH play.
North Medford also is 7-2 in conference play and wraps up the SOH slate with three games this week against Grants Pass (13-10, 3-6). Crater, which earlier won 2 of 3 against the Black Tornado, closes with a three-game series against Roseburg (13-7, 3-6).
Evan Erskine singled home Tyler Aplin in the first inning of Game 1 and Taylor Tibbets supplied a two-out single to plate Ty Fox in the fourth inning for the eventual game-winner. Grants Pass scored an unearned run in the fifth to narrow the gap but Nolan Bastendorff kept the Cavemen at bay on a four-hitter with six strikeouts.
Paul Turner went 2-for-3 for the Comets in the opener.
In Game 2, Grants Pass led 3-1 heading into the bottom of the second when Crater erupted for five runs, highlighted by a grand slam from Tibbets.
Aplin sparked the two-out surge with a single and Erskine walked before Anthony Martin supplied an RBI double. After an intentional walk to Fox, Tibbets sent a full-count pitch over the fence.
"That's the type of team that we have, we can get it done with two outs or no outs," said Crater head coach Jay Campbell. "We had good at-bats in that inning and Taylor got a pitch he could drive and didn't miss it."
Martin went 3-for-3 while Fox was 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI and Taylor Pardee was 2-for-4 and picked up the pitching victory in relief.
Easton Bents led GP by going 2-for-3 with one RBI in Game 2.
Grants Pass 000 010 0 — 1 4 0
Crater 100 100 x — 2 8 3
Glaeser and Leenknecht; Bastendorff and Aplin. W — Bastendorff (4-1). L — Glaeser. 2B — C: Martin.
Grants Pass 121 000 1 — 5 3 0
Crater 150 010 x — 7 11 4
Fulton, D'Amico (3), Sabota (5), Ingledue (6) and Leenknecht; Pearce, Pardee (3) and Aplin. W — Pardee (1-0). L — Fulton. 2B — C: Martin, Pardee. HR — C: Tibbets (1).
ROSEBURG 12-1, SOUTH MEDFORD 3-6 — South Medford used a four-run fifth inning to erase an early deficit in Game 2 and salvage a split in the SOH twin bill at Harry & David Field.
Brady Breeze plated Austin White with a game-tying single in the fifth, then Eric Wallan added an RBI single for the go-ahead run and Joe Cooney added a two-out, two-run single for South (12-10, 4-8 SOH).
Wallan finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Breeze was 2-for-2 with two runs and one RBI in Game 2, while Jimmy Sporer combined to go 4-for-6 with three runs and one RBI in the doubleheader.
Caleb Newman improved to 5-3 with his fourth complete-game effort for the Panthers. Pat Alexander and Forrest Pierson each went 2-for-4 with one RBI in the opener.
Cody Watkins combined to go 4-for-7 with three runs and two RBIs to pace Roseburg (13-7, 3-6).
Roseburg 110 513 1 — 12 12 1
South Medford 100 020 0 — 3 9 3
Haskett, Bassett (6) and Irvine; J. Cooney, Carle (4) and White. W — Haskett (5-1). L — J. Cooney (2-4). 2B — R: Irvine, Walker.
Roseburg 010 000 0 — 1 8 1
South Medford 000 042 x — 6 10 3
Fuller and Irvine; Newman and White. W — Newman (5-3). L — Fuller (1-3).
NORTH MEDFORD 11-14, EAGLE POINT 0-1 — At Eagle Point, North Medford smacked three home runs and ended both games of the nonconference doubleheader in five innings at The Yard.
In Game 1, Taylor Raff opened the game with a home run and sophomore Josh Berman hit a two-out grand slam as the Black Tornado (18-5) scored seven runs in the first inning.
David Crofton (4-2) limited Eagle Point to one hit and recorded his second shutout of the season. Bub Skogseth broke up Crofton's no-hit bid with a two-out opposite field single in the fourth.
Brett Pearson went 2-for-2 and scored twice.
Raff went 3-for-4 with five RBIs to pace North's 14-hit attack in the nightcap. Crofton also drove in five runs to go with a pair of hits, while Austin Zavala, Berman and Pearson each had two hits and scored three runs.
Jared Evans added to the Tornado offense with his first homer of the season.
North Medford 713 00 — 11 7 0
Eagle Point 000 00 — 0 1 3
Crofton and Zavala; Skogseth, O'Brien (5) and Hanguard. W — Crofton (4-2). L — Skogseth. 2B — NM: Zavala, Crofton. HR — NM: Raff (2), Berman (3).
North Medford 224 42 — 14 14 1
Eagle Point 010 00 — 1 3 1
Westfall, Gillis (2) and Zavala; Sattler, Korn (3), O'Brien (4) and Hanguard. W — Gillis (1-0). L — Sattler. 2B — NM: Raff, Zavala, Gillis. HR — NM: J. Evans (1).