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...
ROSEBURG — Crater needed at least a doubleheader split against Roseburg Saturday to win the outright Southern Oregon Hybrid baseball championship.
And after committing five errors in a 5-4 loss in the opener, the top-ranked Comets had some work to do.
Crater responded in the nightcap behind a strong pitching performance from Ty Fox to gain the much-needed split with a 6-2 victory at Legion Field.
"In between games, I challenged them a little bit," said Crater coach Jay Campbell. "I wanted to see a better effort and we were able to get that out of them."
Fox, who was staked to a 2-0 first-inning lead, limited the Indians to six hits and struck out three. Both Roseburg runs were unearned.
"(Fox) was able to step up and gut out a win when we needed one," said Campbell. "He threw the ball well and was able to keep their hitters off balance."
Crater's Tyler Aplin opened the game with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Paul Turner. Joey Caballero's single scored Fox with the second run of the inning.
The Comets (21-5, 10-2 SOH) tacked on two more runs in the third on Taylor Tibbets' team-high seventh home run of the season that also scored Turner, who had walked.
Senior shortstop Zach Lathrop rapped three hits for the Comets, while Aplin, Tibbets, Fox and Ty Plankenhorn added two hits each.
The Indians (9-14, 5-7) won the opener on Brady Fuller's one-out walk-off double that scored Trenton Allen, who had doubled two batters earlier.
Crater's five errors in Game 1 led to four unearned runs.
The Comets received two hits each from Turner and Plankenhorn.
It was Crater's first highest classification baseball title since finishing in a three-way tie for first in the Southern Oregon Conference in 1997. The Comets won their 5A league in 2007.
Crater 010 111 0 — 4 7 5
Roseburg 100 300 1 — 5 6 3
Pearce, Bastendorff (4) and Aplin; Fuller, Haskett (6) and Irvine. W — Haskett. L — Bastendorff (7-3). 2B — R: Irvine, Allen, Fuller.
Crater 202 010 1 — 6 13 3
Roseburg 011 000 0 — 2 6 3
Fox and Aplin; Stone, Reddekopp (5) and Irvine. W — Fox (6-1). L — Stone. 2B — C: Aplin, Fox, Lathrop. 3B — R: Morris. HR — Tibbets (7).
ASHLAND 8-4, EAGLE POINT 1-2 — At Eagle Point, a pair of standout pitching performances by Tommy Hulick and Kyle Milgram helped Ashland complete a three-game sweep of its lone SOH 5A foe at The Yard.
Hulick held Eagle Point to one unearned run on three hits in the first six innings of the opener to wrap up a perfect 5-0 regular season. He struck out 12 with one walk. Aaron Scott and Milgram had two hits apiece to pace the Grizzlies' offense.
In Game 2, Milgram also wrapped up an undefeated (4-0) regular season by holding the Eagles (3-17) to one earned run on three hits in 51/3 innings. Jerry Carroll went 2-for-3 for the Grizzlies (19-7), who will host a first-round state playoff game May 28.
Eagle Point pitcher Thomas O'Brien-Abara limited the Grizzlies to four runs, two earned, on four hits in the second game.
Ashland 210 041 0 — 8 8 3
Eagle Point 000 010 0 — 1 3 3
Hulick, Sanderson (7) and Cammarota; Wilson, Jackson (6) and O'Brien-Abara. W — Hulick (5-0). L — Wilson. 2B — A: Rogan, Carlson.
Ashland 020 100 1 — 4 4 3
Eagle Point 001 010 0 — 2 4 6
Milgram, Glick (6) and Glick, Cammarota (6); O'Brien-Abara and Wilson. W — Milgram (4-0). L — O'Brien-Abara.
KLAMATH UNION 1-6, PHOENIX 9-0 — At Klamath Falls, Phoenix overcame seven errors in the nightcap to salvage a Skyline split with host Klamath Union.
Zach Kentner and Max Potter had RBI doubles during the Pirates' five-run sixth inning, when Phoenix strung together five consecutive hits.
Justin McCreadie went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Kentner was 2-for-3 for the Pirates (7-18, 4-11 Sky). Winning pitcher Aaron Hutchinson allowed two earned runs.
In Game 1, Israel Navarro pitched well for Phoenix but with the bases loaded and no outs, the Pelicans' Payton Poe knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth on a double play.
Navarro yielded four hits, three walks and struck out eight, and Kentner was 3-for-4.
Phoenix 000 000 0 — 0 6 1
Klamath Union 000 001 x — 1 4 2
Navarro and McCreadie; McGaham and Budden. W — McGaham. L — Navarro (2-3). 2B — P: McCreadie, McGaham.
Phoenix 022 005 0 — 9 9 7
Klamath Union 101 002 2 — 6 7 3
Hutchinson, Bottermans (7) and McCreadie; Hamblin, Balbin (4) and Budden. W — Hutchinson (4-5). L — Hamblin. 2B — P: Kentner, Potter. 3B — KU: Alvarez.
MAZAMA 5-5, NORTH VALLEY 1-4 — At Klamath Falls, Mazama rallied in Game 2 to wrap up Skyline Conference play with a sweep.
In Game 1, North Valley's Kevin Olmstead pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk and Gaige Perry pounded an RBI double in the third inning.
The Knights (9-16, 5-10 Sky) led 4-2 in the second game before the Vikings (9-16, 7-8) scored three in the bottom of the seventh. With the game tied at 4, Mazama's Cody McNerney hit a pop fly to center field that wasn't caught, allowing Mike Harris to come home from second base.
Kyle Streeter went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Elias Stegemiller and Perry were both 2-for-4 for North Valley.