With one winning streak over, Medford went about beginning another Monday afternoon in West Coast League baseball at Harry & David Field.
After Wenatchee snapped the Rogues' six-game winning streak on Sunday, Medford dusted itself off and put forth a complete effort less than 24 hours later with a runaway, 7-2 victory over the AppleSox to win its second straight WCL series.
RECAP: Tanner Lubach and Tucker Campbell each post two hits and two RBIs to lead Medford to its seventh win in the last eight games as the Rogues clinch a three-game series with Wenatchee.
UP NEXT: Top Speed Baseball at Medford Rogues, 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Harry & David Field.
Five Rogues players had two hits, starting pitcher Nathan Kuchta limited Wenatchee's chances through six innings and Medford turned a pair of double plays to highlight an error-free defensive effort and secure the collegiate summer team's seventh win in its last eight games.
"Both sides of the ball we're doing well," said Rogues catcher Tanner Lubach. "The defense is playing well, we're stringing some hits together and our starting pitching has been pretty lights out the past three days that I've been here, so it's been a lot of fun."
Lubach was joined by Tucker Campbell in each connecting for two hits with two RBIs to lead the charge for the WCL South Division-leading Rogues (7-3).
Victor Garcia Jr., Clayton Meyer and Blaine Tanner also had two hits apiece, with Meyer scoring twice thanks to Medford's 12-hit attack.
"Offensively we were great today," said Rogues manager Josh Hogan. "We had an awesome approach and didn't try to do too much with the baseball."
"Our bats were really working today and we had quality at-bats," he added. "I think we had 11 in a row in the first part of the game. We just kept putting pressure on them and ran the bases pretty well and did things right today by executing when we needed to."
The Rogues will take the day off today before returning to Harry & David Field during this extended homestand. Medford will play a pair of nonleague games against Top Speed Baseball of Northern California on Wednesday and Thursday, and return to WCL play on Friday for a three-game series against Cowlitz.
"We've just got to keep building and keep improving and not get complacent or worry about the other team that we're playing," said Hogan. "We've just got to play against the game of baseball and do the things that we know how to do and stick with our process."
Lubach, who started 43 of 45 games this past spring for Nebraska, said he's pleased with the initial signs of competitive balance and camaraderie in his first week in Medford. The junior catcher hit .282 with 14 runs and 27 RBIs for the Cornhuskers and is already batting .353 with three runs and five RBIs in five games with the Rogues.
"You never know what you're getting into," Lubach said of summer wood-bat baseball, "but this group of guys, we're here to win and we're showing up to things like the early work so we're committed. That's what good teams do, they put the work in and then they reap the benefits."
Wenatchee (5-4) used one-out walks in the first two innings to put runners aboard against Kuchta, but his defense came to the rescue. Yuto Kata snared a line drive and then doubled off the runner at first in the opening frame, and then third baseman Adonis Morrison made a slick pick of a grounder in the second and got the ball to Kata, who quickly turned from second base for another double play.
"That really helped the momentum," said Hogan. "We gave up a free base to let those guys on, but to get those double plays, that's what we're talking about when it comes to minimizing things."
Medford got on the scoreboard first when Kata, who's hitting .355, reached on an infield single and raced to third on a double down the left-field line by Garcia. Lubach followed with an RBI groundout.
After the AppleSox rallied to tie the game in the top of the third with a leadoff double by Cooper Elliott and a one-out RBI single by Mike Livingston, the floodgates opened for the Rogues in the bottom half of the inning.
Medford scored four runs on six hits and one walk in the bottom of the third to go up for good at 5-1. Oregon-bound Spencer Smith opened with a single and, after a sacrifice bunt by Kata, Garcia and Lubach belted consecutive RBI singles. The Rogues kept the pressure on with a walk drawn by Chris DeVito and double to the right-center gap by Meyer setting up RBI singles by Tanner and Campbell.
"They always say hitting's contagious and that's proof of it right there," said Lubach.
Medford tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth when Campbell plated Meyer on a squeeze bunt and Adonis Morrison's sacrifice fly scored Tanner.
Wenatchee's second run came in the seventh off Cooper Stiles, who was making his Rogues debut and got out of a bases-loaded jam with minimal damage. Sam Brown's fielder's choice groundout plated Cooper Elliott.
Kuchta earned his first win after allowing one earned run and four hits over six innings, striking out two against three walks. Incoming Oregon freshman David Peterson and New Mexico State's Matt Loeffler each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the outcome.
Wenatchee 001 000 100 — 2 7 0
Medford 104 020 00x — 7 12 0
Rasmussen, Canning (6), McKitrick (7) and Esposito; Kuchta, Stiles (7), Peterson (8), Loeffler (9) and Lubach. W — Kuchta (1-0). L — Rasmussen (0-1). 2B — W: Wood, Jackson; M: Garcia, Meyer.