SALEM — Medford built a 4-0 lead through two innings then had to hang on in a nail-biting finish Friday against the Vancouver Cardinals in Day 2 of the Willamette Classic.
The Mustangs (3-4) allowed one run in the bottom of the ninth inning and Vancouver had runners on the corners with no outs before ultimately falling short as Micah Brown preserved a lead staked to him by Colton Westfall and Austin Zavala.
Brown picked off the runner at third base for the first out of the ninth inning, then induced a flyball out to right fielder Isaiah Luzny before finally getting a game-ending flyout.
Westfall pitched six solid innings to open the game, striking out six with no walks against a solo home run by Vancouver's Michael McCann. Zavala allowed only one earned run in his two innings on the mound before giving way to Brown.
The Mustangs opened with a first-inning surge as Luzny and Taylor Raff were each hit by a pitch with one out and Bryce Rogan drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Nate Walker followed with a deep drive off the left-center field wall on a 1-1 pitch to plate all three runners.
Medford added an important insurance run in the second inning when Carter Glick slapped a one-out single, stole second and scored on a single by Luzny, who finished 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Brown also was 2-for-4 for the Mustangs.
Medford returns to tournament action at 1 p.m. today against Portland Mound Time at Willamette University.
Medford 310 000 000 — 4 6 1
Vancouver 000 001 011 — 3 10 0
Westfall, Zavala (7), Brown (9) and Glick; Goldberg and McCann. W — Westfall (1-0). L — Goldberg. 3B — M: N. Walker. HR — V: McCann.
GRANTS PASS DIGGERS 11-9, ASHLAND 4-6 — At Grants Pass, Ashland jumped out to an early lead in both games but couldn't hold on as the Grants Pass Diggers swept an American Legion A twin bill late Thursday at the All Sports Park.
In the first game, Ashland scored two runs in each of the first two innings for a 4-0 lead. Jack Carroll blasted an RBI double in the first inning and Vince Cammarota plated two with a double in the second.
The Diggers cut the lead in half in the third, then scored three runs in each of the next three innings to break the game open. Cody Ekwall was 2-for-3 and scored twice to lead GP in the opener.
Ashland's Tommy Hulick pitched 42/3 innings, striking out four while surrendering seven runs, six earned.
In Game 2, Ashland scored three times in the first two innings to take a 6-2 lead, but the Diggers exploded for four runs in the fifth to take the lead for good.
Jett Hamik was 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice to pace the Pilots (0-4), while Jose Perez scored three runs and Cammarota two. Carroll had a two-run double in the first inning.
Jarron Kroplin, the Diggers' No. 9 hitter, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Easton Bents went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.
Ashland 220 000 0 — 4 5 2
Grants Pass 002 333 x — 11 7 2
Hulick, Flynn (5) and Hamik; D'Amico, Chaldy (7) and Worthington. W — D'amico. L — Hulick (0-1). 2B — A: Ja. Carroll, Cammarota; GP: Ekwall. 3B — GP: Chandler, Matthews, Hain.
Ashland 330 000 0 — 6 6 2
Grants Pass 220 140 x — 9 8 1
Je. Carroll, Falkner (2), Perez (5) and Mullholland; Ekwall, Worthington (5) and Bjorn. W — Ekwall. L — Falkner (0-1). 2B — A: Ja. Carroll; GP: Bents.