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...
The South Medford baseball team got a nice mix of good hitting and pitching in a nonleague sweep of Red Bluff, Calif., at Harry & David Field on Tuesday.
The Panthers — who have won four straight — took the opener, 10-3, and secured an 8-3 victory in the second contest.
South Medford tallied 17 hits on the day. Jimmy Sporer led the way with a 4-for-7 effort.
Caleb Newman earned the win in Game 1 and Brandon Lupton recorded a complete-game effort in Game 2.
"We had a pretty good effort across the board today," South head coach Ray Smith said. "Defensively we had a few breakdowns, but overall we had a good effort and swung the bat well in situations when we needed to and got a few breaks when we needed to."
Up 4-3, the Panthers pulled away with a five-run fifth inning in the first game.
Sporer went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, Ryan Carle 2-for-2 with three runs, Nate Walker 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run and Brady Breeze 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run.
South's five-run fifth was highlighted by Breeze's two-run double that gave his squad a 9-3 advantage.
Newman allowed three runs (one earned), two hits and five walks and had three strikeouts before being replaced by Justin James in the fifth inning.
James gave up no runs, no hits and one walk and fanned two to close things out.
"Caleb threw well," Smith said. "We've leaned on him early in the year and he's come through for us."
The Panthers had 11 hits in the first game against Red Bluff (9-4).
In Game 2, South used three-run bursts in the second and fifth to seal the sweep.
Sporer was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run.
With the score tied at 1 in the bottom of the second, Cole Carder came home on a bases-loaded walk. Sporer then pounded an RBI single before Carle hit into a 6-4-3 double play to plate the third run of the inning.
The Panthers' three-run fifth was highlighted by Nate Brammer's two-run double.
Lupton went the distance, allowing four hits, three runs (one earned) and no walks and striking out three.
"You've got to tip your hat to that kid," Smith said of Lupton. "He's only been playing the last couple weeks (because of basketball). I'm really proud of him. He always competes and gives his best effort.
"He ran into a little trouble in the sixth, but he gathered himself and finished strong."
South Medford (6-3) will next travel to play Redmond at 2:30 p.m. and then Summit at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Red Bluff 002 010 0 — 3 2 3
South Medford 210 151 x — 10 11 2
Ellis, Schluep (4), Poore (6) and Root; Newman, James (6) and White. W — Newman (2-1). L — Ellis. 2B — RB: Pritchard; SM: Breeze.
Red Bluff 100 011 0 — 3 4 0
South Medford 130 130 x — 8 6 4
Pritchard, Gamboa (4), Martin (5), Dodero (6) and Gamboa, Root (4); Lupton and White. W — Lupton (3-0). L — Pritchard. 2B — SM: Brammer. 3B — RB: Hendricks.
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him online at twitter.com/danjonesmt