Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
Coming off a winless four-game road trip to California, Phoenix's baseball team needed a little shot in the arm as it navigates its nonconference schedule.
Eagle Point definitely didn't provide any hint that might happen on Tuesday, scoring three first-inning runs to jump ahead in action at Eagle Point High.
Instead of giving in, the Pirates fought right back and ultimately took control thanks to a seven-run sixth inning that carried Phoenix to a hard-fought 14-6 triumph at the Yard.
"We've been trying to get these guys to get some confidence and I think that will help big-time," said Phoenix head coach Bill Hutchinson, whose team improved to 3-4 overall.
The key to the victory came in the sixth inning, when the Pirates seemingly put everything together.
Triston Hay opened the pivotal frame with a double and scored on a single by Calvin Decker. After Justin McCreadie and Max Potter singled to load the bases, Zach Kentner followed with a sacrifice fly and then the inning really took off with a two-run double by Ben Hague and two-run home run by Aaron Hutchinson.
"After that California trip we practiced really hard on situational hitting and it came through," said coach Hutchinson. "We were going the opposite way, hitting the ball in the air when we needed to, behind runners when we needed to and battled with two strikes ... it was fun to see that all come together."
Potter finished 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs and Justin McCreadie was 3-for-4 with two runs to pace Phoenix.
Aaron Hutchinson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Pirates, while Hague went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Hay was 2-for-4 with two runs and Carlos Navarro 2-for-3 with two runs and three stolen bases.
Also for the Pirates, Kentner and Decker each scored twice.
Eagle Point's Ryan Johnson reached base all four times after going 3-for-4 and advancing on an error. Johnson scored three times.
The Eagles (0-3) staked themselves to a 3-0 lead through one inning behind a two-run single by Justin Hughes and an RBI groundout by Jon Wilson against Kentner.
After the initial outburst, the Pirates' pitcher settled down to allow seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts over four innings of work. He stranded six runners to keep Eagle Point at bay.
"He huddled down and after the first inning he was pretty tough," said coach Hutchinson.
Aaron Hutchinson closed out the contest with one unearned run in his three innings, finishing with two hits and one walk allowed against three strikeouts.
Phoenix 013 127 0 — 14 16 3
Eagle Point 300 201 0 — 6 9 1
Kentner, Hutchinson (5) and McCreadie; O'Brien, Lucas (3), Jackson (6) and Wilson. W — Kentner (1-1). L — O'Brien. 2B — P: Hay, McCreadie, Potter, Hague; EP: Wilson. HR — P: Hutchinson (1).
HIDDEN VALLEY 6, KLAMATH UNION 0 — At Murphy, Roman Fretz went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI and Tyler Campbell was 2-for-4 with a run and stolen base for Hidden Valley in the Skyline Conference opener.
The Mustangs (6-0, 1-0 Sky) finished with 10 hits against Klamath Union (0-2, 0-1).
Klamath Union 000 000 0 — 0 4 4
Hidden Valley 003 030 x — 6 10 0
McGahan, Balbin (5) and Budden; Chastain, Norberg (7) and Hults. W — Chastain (4-0). L — McGahan. 2B — KU: Watzel; HV: Campbell, Hults, Davis, Morris.
ROGUE RIVER 8, PROSPECT-BUTTE FALLS 3 — At Prospect, Kollen Roohr went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Brandon Fode, Jared Ritchie and Tyler Sakraida combined on a one-hitter for Rogue River (2-3) in nonleague action.
Winning pitcher Fode had seven strikeouts to go along with the one hit, two runs and two walks in four innings.
Ritchie and Pratt hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the Chieftains' five-run fifth inning.
Prospect-Butte Falls dropped to 0-3.
Rogue River 110 150 0 — 8 5 4
Prospect-Butte Falls 100 100 1 — 3 1 5
Fode, Ritchie (5), Sakraida (6) and Pratt; Driskell, Givens (3), May (5), and Castro. W — Fode (1-0). L — Driskell. 2B — RR: Ritchie, Pratt. 3B — RR: Roohr.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 17, GLENDALE 4, 5 inn. — At Cave Junction, Illinois Valley pitcher Lander Nordal picked up the pitching win and had three hits to lead the Cougars in a game shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.
Nordal struck out five, walked one and surrendered two earned runs in the five-inning effort and also was 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Also for Illinois Valley (3-1), Jason Bardeimeier was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs and William Housel 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.
Glendale 020 20 — 4 5 6
Illinois Valley 108 8x — 17 14 4
Stewart, Moody (3), Charlton (4) and Rodriguez; Nordal and Housel. W — Nordal (1-0). L — Stewart. 2B — IV: Nordal 2.
NORTH VALLEY 2, ASHLAND 1 — At Merlin, North Valley used back-to-back doubles from Emily Allen and Jen Staten in the bottom of the seventh inning to gain the nonconference victory.
Staten finished 2-for-4 with one RBi and Kady Kantola 2-for-3 with one run for the Knights (3-5).
Grace Lenthe had an RBI double in the fifth for Ashland (1-6) that tied the game at 1-all.
Ashland 000 010 0 — 1 5 1
North Valley 000 100 1 — 2 6 1
Williams and H. Teixeira; Allen and Kite. W — Allen (3-3). L — Williams. 2B — A: Lenthe; NV: Allen, Staten.
PROSPECT-BUTTE FALLS 14, ROGUE RIVER 4, 5 inn. — At Prospect, Alee Pinkerton finished 3-for-3 with five RBIs and two runs scored and earned the win in the circle for Prospect-Butte Falls in nonleague action.
Pinkerton allowed four hits and no walks and struck out seven.
Taylor Burnhardt was 3-for-3 and Shawna Creech 2-for-3 for Prospect-Butte Falls (4-0), which finished with 14 hits.
Laura Potter went 2-for-3 for Rogue River (0-3).
Rogue River 010 21 — 4 4 3
Prospect-Butte Falls 510 8x — 14 14 2
Fredenburg and Hardy; Pinkerton and Thomason. W — Pinkerton (4-0). L — Fredenburg (0-2). 2B — P: Pinkerton, Burnhardt.
CHILOQUIN 20-13, ILLINOIS VALLEY 10-24 — At Chiloquin, Chiloquin took the opener, 20-10 in five innings, before Illinois Valley charged back to win the second game, 24-13 in five.
Both games were shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.
Mahkayla Sommers, Allison Primeau and Keyanna Augustadt all had two hits for the Cougars (1-4) in Game 2.
Illinois Valley 030 70 — 10 3 4
Chiloquin 23(10) 5x — 20 11 3
Stewart and Augustadt; Parrish and Montoya. W — Parrish. L — Stewart. 2B — IV: Anderson.
Illinois Valley 638 61 — 24 12 7
Chiloquin 108 04 — 13 7 8
Stewart and Augustadt; Parrish and Maldonado. W — Stewart. L — Parrish.