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...
GRANTS PASS — North Medford sophomore Colton Westfall and Grants Pass senior Chris Ingledue waged quite a pitcher's duel on Tuesday, with Westfall getting the better of the deal as the Black Tornado secured a 1-0 victory at Grants Pass High.
Westfall allowed only one hit and struck out eight with no walks to improve his pitching record to 9-1. More importantly, North Medford's Southern Oregon Hybrid win — combined with Crater's 8-7 loss at Roseburg on Tuesday — gives the Black Tornado (19-5, 8-2 SOH) a one-game lead in the title race with only Saturday's doubleheaders to go.
"Colton's come to our yard the last two years and given up one hit in 14 innings," said GP head coach Brian Diatte. "He has a pretty good feel for our mound and our yard."
Ingledue wasn't far off Westfall's pace, allowing only two hits on 70 pitches with three strikeouts and one walk. His only trouble came in the top of the first inning when he walked Taylor Raff to open the game and watched him come around and score after a sacrifice by Austin Zavala and a single to left field by Micah Brown.
Brown later singled in the fourth inning and finished with both of his team's hits in a 2-for-3 showing.
"Brown's got to be one of the best in the league, he had three great at-bats today," said Diatte. "The ball he probably hit the weakest out of all three at-bats was the one that determined the ballgame, and the one he hit the hardest was his only out all day."
Grants Pass (13-11, 3-7) got a two-out single in the third inning by Jake Stoffel, who stole second base but was stranded there. Easton Bents was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning but never advanced, and had GP's best chance at a comeback bid denied when his line drive to open the seventh was hauled in on a nice one-handed catch by center fielder Christian Gillis.
Westfall retired the last Cavemen in order, including two strikeouts to secure the win. Grants Pass has lost four of its last six games by one run and moved to 3-6 this season in one-run affairs.
"It's gut-wrenching but we're competing our butts off," said Diatte. "Our guy goes out and throws a two-hitter and takes a loss, that's a tough way to leave the yard."
North Medford 100 000 0 — 1 2 0
Grants Pass 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Westfall and Zavala; Ingledue and Leenknecht. W — Westfall (9-1). L — Ingledue (4-4).
ROSEBURG 8, CRATER 7 — At Roseburg, each team scored seven runs in the sixth inning but Roseburg clinched the SOH victory with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh by Trenton Allen.
Zach Wyscaver managed a leadoff single in the seventh for the Indians (14-7, 4-6 SOH) to end the pitching day for Ty Fox. Wyscaver moved to second on a wild pitch by Taylor Pardee, went to third on a flyout to right field and, after two intentional walks to set up a force play, scored when Allen singled to left field on the first pitch he saw.
Crater (16-8, 7-3) took a 7-0 lead behind an RBI single by Evan Erskine, a double by Anthony Martin, two-run double by Taylor Tibbets and consecutive RBI singles by Paul Turner and Pardee before Lane Ullom slapped a two-run single for his second hit of the inning.
Crater 000 007 0 — 7 8 1
Roseburg 000 007 1 — 8 11 1
Fox, Pardee (7) and Aplin; Watkins, Matthews (6), Bassett (7) and Irvine. W — Bassett (3-0). L — Fox (5-4). 2B — C: Martin 2, Tibbets. 3B — R: Irvine, Matthews.
SOUTH MEDFORD 4, EAGLE POINT 3 — Austin White scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning as South Medford capitalized on errors to win the nonleague contest at Harry & David Field.
With the game tied at 3 in the bottom of the fourth, White was walked before advancing to second on a balk. On Brandon Lupton's ensuing bunt, Eagle Point's third baseman overthrew to first base and White came home.
Trailing by two, the Panthers (13-10) posted three runs in the second. Eagle Point pitcher James Bowers tossed Trevor Meyer's bunt attempt down the right-field line, allowing White and Lupton to score. Jimmy Sporer, who went 2-for-3, then drove in Meyer.
Winning pitcher Lupton allowed eight hits and three runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Bowers tossed a three-hitter and Destin Adams finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and Eric Skogseth went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run for the Eagles (7-15).
Eagle Point 200 010 0 — 3 8 4
South Medford 030 100 x — 4 3 3
Bowers and Hangaard; Lupton and White. W — Lupton (4-2). L — Bowers. 2B — SM: W. Cooney.
NORTH MEDFORD 6, CRATER 0 — Maryssa Becker struck out 13 and allowed three hits and no walks to lead North Medford to the SOH triumph at North Medford High School.
The Black Tornado (22-1, 12-0 SOH) opened a 3-0 lead in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Becker that plated Grace Jovanovic and a two-run single by Katie Ramsay.
Crater (7-16, 2-10) committed two of its five errors in the fourth to allow another run to score, then North scored twice after a double by Michelle Draper on a fielder's choice by Jovanovic and ensuing throwing error home.
Crater 000 000 0 — 0 3 5
North Medford 003 102 x — 6 6 0
A. Sheperd and Doggett; Becker and Williamson. W — Becker (13-1). L — Sheperd. 2B — NM: Draper, Jovanovic.
GRANTS PASS 7, EAGLE POINT 0 — At Grants Pass, sophomore pitcher Amy Robinson tossed a one-hit shutout and Danielle Taylor blasted two home runs in the nonconference game.
Robinson (8-5) struck out eight and walked one.
Eagle Point's lone hit came on a second-inning single from Neeshaa Garcia.
Taylor's first home runs of the season were a pair of three-run shots.
Grants Pass improved to 11-12, while the Eagles fell to 13-11.
Eagle Point 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Grants Pass 013 030 x — 7 8 0
Merrill, Gonsalves (5) and Grady; Robinson and Stevens. W — Robinson (8-5). L — Merrill. HR — GP: Taylor 2.
ASHLAND 10, SOUTH MEDFORD 6 — At Ashland, Teresa Lehman was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, including a run-scoring single in a five-run second inning that helped the Grizzlies take control of the nonconference game at North Mountain Park.
Savannah Tobrock was 2-for-3 with three runs and Christina Kuykendall 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI for Ashland (7-16), which will take its longest winning streak of the season — three games — into Monday's regular-season finale versus Crater.
For South Medford (4-22), leadoff hitter Rachael Moore was 2-for-5 with a run.
Ashland pitcher Kylie Howson struck out four and surrendered four earned runs in 52/3 innings to pick up the win in relief.
South Medford 020 004 0 — 6 5 3
Ashland 152 020 x — 10 10 1
Moore, Britton (2) and Garrett; Lenthe, Howson (2) and Lehman. W — Howson. L — Moore.