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 — The Crater baseball team was focused only on what it could control on Saturday — a doubleheader with Roseburg at Anhorn Field — and the Comets came away with a split, winning the first game, 4-3, and dropping the second, 9-4.
After North Medford swept Grants Pass that same afternoon, Crater was destined for a second-place finish in the Southern Oregon Hybrid — a league that features all five squads in the OSAA power ranking's top 12.
"Our focus was to get Game 1 and come out and hopefully get Game 2 and then see if we got any help," Crater head coach Jay Campbell said.
Though they finished third in the SOH, the Indians (15-8, 5-7 SOH) locked up the No. 2 spot in the power rankings, which help to determine future playoff pairings. North is first, Sheldon third, Clackamas fourth, Thurston fifth and Crater (17-9, 8-4) sixth. South Medford is 10th in the same rankings and Grants Pass 12th.
The rankings were frozen at 10 p.m. Saturday.
Tyler Aplin played the role of hero in the opener, launching a go-ahead, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to put Crater up 4-3. With one out, he smashed his first homer of the season to left-center field and drove in Taylor Pardee, who had reached on a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tanner Ryerson.
"He had had a good at-bat previously," Campbell said. "He's been in a mini-slump going into today. I had a feeling he would break through and, obviously, he came through with a clutch home run. He got a ball he could drive and didn't miss it."
Aplin finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored, while Pardee went 2-for-2 and Anthony Martin 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the fifth.
David Irvine was 2-for-3 with a run and RBI in Game 1 for Roseburg.
Nolan Bastendorff earned the win, giving up six hits, three earned runs and one walk with nine strikeouts.
The Comets took the 1-0 lead in the first inning on Ty Fox's RBI fielder's choice, which scored Aplin.
In Game 2, Zach Wyscaver hit a three-run homer in the Indians' seven-run second inning.
"We just didn't do a good job of locating and being able to control the strike zone," Campbell said. "We got caught in some counts where we had to throw fastballs and they hit them."
Aplin went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs and Pardee 2-for-3 for the Comets, who committed four errors.
Wyscaver finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs, Tristan Guillen 2-for-4 with two runs and Layne Westwang 2-for-3 for Roseburg, which recorded seven of its 11 hits in the second inning.
Roseburg 000 210 0 — 3 6 2
Crater 100 012 x — 4 8 1
Haskett, Watkins (6) and Irvine; Bastendorff and Aplin. W — Bastendorff (5-1). L — Watkins. 2B — R: Irvine. 3B — R: Bassett. HR — C: Aplin (1).
Roseburg 070 000 2 — 9 11 1
Crater 111 010 0 — 4 10 4
Fuller and Irvine; Pearce, Pardee (2) and Aplin. W — Fuller. L — Pearce (4-1). 2B — R: Irvine, Guillen 2; C: Aplin 2. HR — R: Wyscaver.
SOUTH MEDFORD 8-8, ASHLAND 5-6 — At Ashland, pinch-hitter Caleb Newman hit a two-run single in the top of the seventh to give South Medford the lead for good in Game 2 as the Panthers completed a nonleague sweep at North Mountain Park.
South Medford overcame a 5-1 deficit to beat Ashland ace Jamie Flynn in the opener, scoring five runs in the seventh, including three on Joe Cooney's bases-clearing double. Pat Alexander picked up the win, allowing five runs on eight hits in a complete-game effort.
In the second game, South Medford (15-10) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings only to watch the Grizzlies (14-10) tie the game with a five-run third. In the seventh, Jimmy Sporer led off with a single, advanced to third on back-to-back bunts and scored what proved to be the winning run on Newman's single through the left side of the infield.
Brandon Lupton had three hits and three RBIs on the day to lead South, while Cooney added two hits and four RBIs.
For Ashland, Steen Fredrickson and Flynn had three hits apiece, with Flynn also driving in three runs and scoring twice.
South Medford 001 200 5 — 8 8 4
Ashland 032 000 0 — 5 8 2
Alexander and White; Flynn, Glick (7) and Glick, Scott (7). W — Alexander. L — Flynn (5-3). 2B — SM: Cooney, Breeze.
South Medford 050 010 2 — 8 9 2
Ashland 005 001 0 — 6 8 1
Pierson, Newman (3), Carle (5) and Burton; Fredrickson and Glick. W — Carle. L — Fredrickson (5-4). 2B — SM: Breeze; A: Flynn.
MAZAMA 3-9, PHOENIX 1-3 — At Klamath Falls, Mazama swept Phoenix in Skyline action.
In the opener, Andrew Reynoso went 2-for-3 and Jordan Pond's RBI single in the top of the first inning gave Phoenix (8-17, 2-13 Sky) a 1-0 lead before Mazama scored three in the fifth.
In Game 2, Reynoso was 3-for-4 with a triple, Justin McCreadie 3-for-4 with a double and Aaron Hutchinson 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Pirates.
Dylan Smith had four hits for Mazama (7-18, 5-10).
On the day, McCreadie reached base six out of seven times.
Phoenix 100 000 0 — 1 3 0
Mazama 000 030 x — 3 6 0
Kentner, Botermans (6) and McCreadie; Lancaster and Edwards. W — Lancaster. L — Kentner (3-4). 2B — M: Edwards. 3B — M: Moore.
Phoenix 210 000 0 — 3 8 2
Mazama 213 300 x — 9 11 4
Hutchinson, Reynoso (4) and McCreadie; Haskins and Edwards. W — Haskins. L — Hutchinson (0-5). 2B — P: McCreadie; M: Comer, Marquit. 3B — P: Reynoso.