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FRESNO, Calif. — Crater put up quite a fight this week in the 32-team Easter Baseball Classic but the fifth-ranked Comets simply didn't have enough in the tank to finish things off Wednesday night.
Facing tournament favorite Clovis High of California, ranked 11th in the nation by MaxPreps, Crater scored a pair of first-inning runs but couldn't keep up the momentum in falling 8-2 in the championship game.
"Anytime you get to line up against a team like that, it's a positive experience," said Crater head coach Jay Campbell. "Obviously the outcome wasn't what we wanted but it was definitely a game that showed us some things that we still have to get fixed. The kids are going to remember the experience of playing such a high-caliber team and really we had a great week coming away 4-1. We came up short in the end but for the most part I was pleased with the way we played."
Crater (11-3) used a 3-2 win over Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove, Calif., to reach the championship game, with sophomore Neil Bastendorff making a successful varsity debut on the mound and the Comets sealing the win on a game-ending play at the plate in the seventh.
Against Clovis, the Comets bursted out of the gates with two runs off pitcher McCarthy Tatum in the top of the first inning. Tyler Aplin walked and then Paul Turner pulled off a perfect hit-and-run with a single to right field that put runners on the corners. Taylor Tibbets, who was named to the all-tournament team, followed with an RBI single and Blake Fahndrich added an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Those three hits, however, were half of Crater's overall production against Tatum.
"We hit a lot of balls in the air," said Campbell. "We hit the ball hard but the park was big and they really covered some ground in the outfield."
Ty Fox got the start against Clovis and struck out five with three walks, two hit batters and eight hits allowed. Of the eight runs allowed, only three were earned after the Comets committed three errors.
Tatum was 2-for-2 with two runs and one RBI, and highly-touted draft prospect Jacob Gatewood drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and then a two-run double in the sixth.
In the morning game against Cosumnes, Bastendorff scattered four singles to go with three strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters. He gave way to Fox in the seventh with runners on first and second and no outs, and Fox earned two strikeouts before Cosumnes Oaks managed to hit a double over right fielder Tanner Ryerson. One run scored on the play to make it 3-2 and a second runner was trying to score from first but was cut down on a relay from Ryerson to first baseman Tibbets to Aplin at the plate.
Turner was 2-for-3 with one RBI, Tibbets 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI and Ryerson 3-for-3 with two runs for Crater. Fahndrich plated the eventual game-winner with an RBI single in the fifth.
Cosumnes Oaks 000 001 1 — 2 5 0
Crater 001 020 x — 3 9 1
Caldwell, Espinoza (6) and Ubois; Ne. Bastendorff, Fox (7) and Aplin. W — Ne. Bastendorff (1-0). L — Caldwell. 2B — CO: Savage; C: Lathrop, Ryerson.
Crater 200 000 0 — 2 6 3
Clovis 120 212 x — 8 8 0
Fox and Aplin; Tatum and Crowley. W — Tatum. L — Fox (2-1). 2B — CL: Gatewood.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 7-11, ST. MARY'S 1-1 — Cascade Christian's Cody Coggins struck out 14 and allowed four hits in the opener and Kyle Ferguson pitched all five innings of the nightcap with eight strikeouts and three hits allowed in the Southern Cascade Hybrid sweep at St. Mary's High.
Ferguson also went a combined 5-for-8 with four RBIs for the Challengers (7-4, 2-0 SCH), while James Carpenter was 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
In the opener, Will Weaver finished 2-for-4 for Cascade Christian and, in Game 2, Cooper Clark was 3-for-4 with four runs and one RBI, Coggins 2-for-4 with three runs and Eric Higday drove in two runs.
St. Mary's (7-8, 0-2) used a triple by Brady Robison and RBI groundout by Joe Hammonds to score its lone run in Game 1. Robison also reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw in Game 2, then scored on an RBI double by Joe Johnson.
Cascade Christian 010 402 0 — 7 9 0
St. Mary's 000 100 0 — 1 4 0
Coggins and Jones; Hammonds, Smith (7) and Mulholland. W — Coggins (3-1). L — Hammonds. 2B — CC: Ferguson; SM: Davidson, J. Johnson. 3B — SM: Robison.
Cascade Christian 203 51 — 11 12 1
St. Mary's 100 00 — 1 3 2
Ferguson and Jones; C. Aviles, N. Aviles (4) and Mulholland. W — Ferguson (2-2). L — C. Aviles. 2B — CC: Ferguson, Clark; SM: C. Aviles, J. Johnson.
PHOENIX INVITE — St. Mary's Josh Wu took home medalist honors with a 71 and the Crusaders captured the title at the 12-school Phoenix Invitational at Centennial Golf Club.
St. Mary's finished with 303 strokes, six better than runner-up Grants Pass. Cascade Christian (310) was third.
Ashland's Matt Hedges (72) was second individually, Sutherlin's Tyler Franke (73) third and St. Mary's Jeremy Wu and Grants Pass' Robert Galli (74s) fourth and fifth, respectively.
ST. MARY'S (303) — Josh Wu 36-35—71; Jeremy Wu 37-37—74; Brandon Chun 38-41—79; Tom Thorndike 40-39—79.
GRANTS PASS (309) — Robert Galli 38-36—74; Jackson Bartow 39-39—78; Brian Luther 40-38—78; Tannon Rounsaville 40-39—79.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN (310) — Max Davis 38-37—75; Jake Quast 39-37—76; Ben Quast 38-38—76; Michael Clark 42-41—83.
EAGLE POINT (334) — Ethan Devore 43-38—81; Zach Henley 40-41—81; Michael Macedo 44-41—85; Troy Jordan 48-39—87.
ROSEBURG (341) — Jarred Misfeldt 39-40—79; Cole Dittemore 41-41—82; Nic Feldkamp 46-44—90; Hayden Luttrell 45-45—90.
HIDDEN VALLEY (341) — Austin Johnson 39-37—76; Derik Boice 43-43—86; Joseph Baker 45-43—88; Jacob Fields 48-43—91.
SOUTH MEDFORD (350) — Logan Artner 40-39—79; Blake Bartlett 40-42—82; Alex Brown 44-41—85; Isaiah Peters 55-49—104.
NORTH VALLEY (355) — Kade Toledo 41-41—82; Cole Decourcey 41-42—83; Max Valle 45-47—92; Brian Nelson 50-48—98.
HENLEY (368) — Robert Ferguson 42-41—83; Dayton Skinner 44-44—88; Gunnard Lindsey 48-48—96; Isaac Gonzales 50-51—101.
SUTHERLIN (371) — Tyler Franke 38-35—73; Ian Downs 49-49—98; Matt Tew 49-50—99; Scout Meyer 50-51—101.
PHOENIX (397) — Austin Jeandin 47-42—89; Ethan Gedde 53-42—95; Travis Treadway 51-53—104; Brandon Calhoun 54-55—109.
ILLINOIS VALLEY (415) — Tyus Tree 44-49—93; Bryce Gardenhire 50-53—103; Michael Weaver 50-53—103; Robert Spliethof 58-58—116.
Other local competitors
ASHLAND — Matt Hedges 35-37—72; Kyle Breeding 42-37—79; TJ Ferreira 52-52—104.
SOUTH MEDFORD 4, ASHLAND 4 — South Medford won all but one singles match and Ashland secured all but one doubles match in nonleague action at South Medford High.
South Medford's top single Kyler Tosh beat Grant Kahn after Kahn retired in the second set with an injury. In the No. 1 doubles match, Ashland's Cannon Dukes and Nate Baize topped Kai Elam and Johnny Phelps, 6-2, 7-6 (4).
SINGLES — Kyler Tosh, SM, d. Grant Kahn, 6-3, 5-3 (ret. inj.); Mitch Steadman, SM, d. Mischa Kirby, 6-2, 6-1; Ben Vaughn, SM, d. Nick Benson, 6-1, 6-2; Kai Weston, A, d. John Killam, 6-3, 7-5.
DOUBLES — Cannon Dukes-Nate Baize, A, d. Kai Elam-Johnny Phelps, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4); Tanner Johnson-Adam Day, SM, d. Gabe Lamont-J.P. Medina, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; David Lee-Will Duncan, A, d. Noah Terando-Nate Whitley, 6-0, 7-5; Owen DiRenzo-Cormac Devine, A, d. Alex Vent-Cody Schultz, 6-0, 6-2.
ASHLAND 7, SOUTH MEDFORD 1 — At Ashland, Ashland swept the singles matches and won three of four doubles matches to claim the nonleague dual at Hunter Park.
Ashland No. 1 singles player River Davis downed her South Medford counterpart Rylee Houck, 6-1, 6-1.
SINGLES — River Davis, A, d. Rylee Houck, 6-1, 6-1; Ashley Knecht, A, d. Ann Johnson, 6-0, 6-0; Emily Haptonstall, A, d. Alex Moore, 6-4, 6-3; Celine Bonjean, A, d. Catherine Gustafson, 7-5, 6-2.
DOUBLES — Hanna Greenberg-Vika O'Brien, A, d. Kelsy Bartlett-Abi Borg, 6-2, 6-2; Katy Barnard-Cass Christopher, A, d. Kali Curtis-Hannah Case, 6-2, 6-2; Hanna Barchet-Lilli Patton, A, d. Andie DeVries-Erin Viera, 6-2, 7-5; Kayla Fain-Kenadi Schultz, SM, d. Soleil Heller-Sarah Kaufman, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.