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MailTribune.com
  • BASEBALL

    Rogues split with Studs

    Hardy shuts down Seattle Tacoma Cheney in opener to highlight twin bill
  • As beautiful and informative as it may be to look at over the left field fence at Harry & David Field, Medford Rogues manager Josh Hogan has no time these days for scoreboard watching.
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    • ROGUES 5-1, STUDS 0-9
      RECAP: Medford pitcher Jeff Hardy allows four hits in six shutout innings to secure the Rogues' first victory of the preseason but Seattle Tacoma responds with 11 hits to gradually pull away in the...
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      ROGUES 5-1, STUDS 0-9
      RECAP: Medford pitcher Jeff Hardy allows four hits in six shutout innings to secure the Rogues' first victory of the preseason but Seattle Tacoma responds with 11 hits to gradually pull away in the nightcap for a nonleague split.

      UP NEXT: Seattle Tacoma Cheney Studs at Medford Rogues, 1:05 p.m. today at Harry & David Field.
  • As beautiful and informative as it may be to look at over the left field fence at Harry & David Field, Medford Rogues manager Josh Hogan has no time these days for scoreboard watching.
    With a week to go until the regular season begins for West Coast League play, Hogan has bigger things in mind, which is why he was neither high nor low regarding Saturday's preseason home-opening doubleheader.
    Buoyed by a stellar debut from right-handed pitcher Jeff Hardy, the Rogues gained their first victory in three tries this summer with a 5-0 triumph over the Seattle Tacoma Cheney Studs to highlight the twin bill. The Studs answered back, however, in Game 2 for a 9-1 victory.
    "We're really all about the process right now," Hogan said amid a post-game fireworks display at H&D Field. "We're not worried about the lighted monster up there, the scoreboard. It's always nice to win and we did put a complete game together in that first game. We put quality at-bats together and limited the free bases, but in that last game we gave up 12 free bases and it's really hard to win a game like that."
    "Right now we're just seeing the tools that we have and what kind of things we can put together for when we do get into league play," added the second-year Rogues manager. "This is really all about the process right now and seeing what pieces of the puzzle we have and how we're going to fit them in for league."
    Hardy, who is one of five returning Rogues players, most definitely showed he'll provide a key piece of that puzzle after being on top of his game throughout the opener. Hardy kept the Studs off balance in allowing only four hits with four strikeouts and three walks through six steady innings. He needed only 78 pitches in his first outing of the preseason after a solid sophomore season at Lane Community College.
    "It's just been really, really fun to see him progress from last summer to this point," said Hogan. "For him it's really about mentality and he's got the mentality right now. When he gets up there you can just see it in his presence that he knows what he's going to do and he's gonna do it well. He looked the best I think I've seen him for a complete game. I think he'll be big for us this year definitely."
    Hardy said he felt extremely comfortable back on the mound at Harry & David Field and enjoyed being among some familiar faces as well as the 2,073 paid attendees.
    "It was kinda cool to come back and see a familiar face behind the dish in Ryan Teel, that made it pretty easy to feel comfortable," said Hardy, who will pitch next season at West Virginia. "I actually threw to him my freshman year at the University of Nevada so it was pretty easy out there. Ryan and I were on the page and I didn't have to shake much."
    Shane Quarterley came on to close out the opener with a scoreless seventh inning that included a crisp double play from second baseman Yuto Kata to shortstop Sam Fox and first baseman Jake Herklotz.
    After being shut out in two straight games at Maryville, Calif., Medford (1-3) opened the scoring for the summer in a big way during the second inning of Game 1 behind leadoff singles by E.J. Lopez and Zac Smit. Herklotz, a former North Valley High standout, then slipped a ball beyond the diving reach of first baseman Bobby LeCount that wound up in the right field corner for a two-run triple.
    The Rogues doubled their advantage to 4-0 in the third when Sam Fox scored on a grounder by Lopez that ricocheted off second baseman Tyler Baker and also allowed Levi Pereira, who had doubled, to score.
    The final touches on the scoreboard in the opener came in the fifth inning, when Donald Glover was hit by a pitch and eventually scored after consecutive singles by Lopez and Smit.
    The nightcap, however, belonged entirely to the Studs, an amateur baseball organization that was founded in 1954 by Ben Cheney of the Cheney Lumber Company. The Cheney family helped contribute to renovations one year ago at Harry & David Field.
    Seattle Tacoma scored a pair of runs in the first and third innings against starter Tyler Bennett of Grants Pass, then kept the pressure on with two runs in the fourth and seventh innings. The biggest hit of the night was served up on a solo home run over the left field fence in the sixth inning by LeCount, who finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs.
    Seven walks, one hit batter and five wild pitches allowed the Studs to routinely keep the bags occupied in their season-opening doubleheader.
    Medford scratched out its lone run in the bottom of the fifth inning after Clayton Meyer reached on an error and scored moments later when Kata sent a towering shot over the center fielder's head for an RBI double.
    Kata finished 3-for-4 in Game 2 for the Rogues, who return to the field at 1:05 p.m. today for the deciding game in the three-game series.
    "It's a completely new group of guys but I think we'll mesh well with the coaches and it should be just as fun as last year," said Hardy, who was a key reliever in helping the Rogues become the first WCL expansion franchise to reach the playoffs last year. "They're doing a good job of getting fans out here and we'll feed off the crowd so I think it's going to be a good summer."
    FIRST GAME
    Seattle Tacoma 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
    Medford Rogues 022 010 x — 5 9 0
    Benson, Thompson (6) and Sutherland; Hardy, Quarterley (7) and Teel. W — Hardy (1-0). L — Benson (0-1). 2B — S: Peterson; M: Pereira. 3B — M: Herklotz.
    SECOND GAME
    Seattle Tacoma 202 201 2 — 9 11 3
    Medford Rogues 000 010 x — 1 6 1
    Humes, Tamm (6) and Sutherland; Bennett, Cole (3), Woods (4), Quarterley (6) and Teel. W — Humes (1-0). L — Bennett (0-1). 2B — S: LeCount, K. Boe; M: Teel, Kata. HR — S: LeCount (1).
    Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry
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