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MailTribune.com
  • BASEBALL

    Mustangs sweep in home debut

    Westfall, Ragan keep Willamette Valley at bay for Area 4 sweep
  • Medford is still trying to get into rhythm this summer but the Mustangs took a big step Tuesday by opening Area 4 American Legion AAA play with a doubleheader sweep of Willamette Valley at Harry & David Field.
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    • MUSTANGS 8-9, TITANS 1-4
      RECAP: Medford's Micah Brown combines to go 3-for-6 with two runs and three RBIs and Eric Carlson 2-for-5 with four runs and three RBIs to lead a Mustangs lineup that belts out 19 hits in the Area ...
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      MUSTANGS 8-9, TITANS 1-4
      RECAP: Medford's Micah Brown combines to go 3-for-6 with two runs and three RBIs and Eric Carlson 2-for-5 with four runs and three RBIs to lead a Mustangs lineup that belts out 19 hits in the Area 4 doubleheader.

      UP NEXT: Salem Withnell Dodgers at Medford Mustangs, 3 p.m. Friday at Harry & David Field.
  • Medford is still trying to get into rhythm this summer but the Mustangs took a big step Tuesday by opening Area 4 American Legion AAA play with a doubleheader sweep of Willamette Valley at Harry & David Field.
    Colton Westfall shook off some rust to go the distance in leading the Mustangs to an 8-1 win in their home opener, and then North Medford High teammate Jordan Ragan kept the visiting Titans at bay for six innings en route to a 9-4 win in the nightcap.
    For Westfall, it was his first extended time on the mound since helping lead the Black Tornado to the Class 6A state championship. The right-hander said he didn't feel on top of his game but still scattered nine singles with four strikeouts and no walks on 109 pitches for the Mustangs (6-2, 2-0 Area 4).
    "It was more of a week and a half off just resting than anything," said Westfall. "You have these days but it was good to get the win."
    Mustangs manager Nate Mayben said he was pleased with Westfall's ability to limit the damage against him on a day when he didn't have his best stuff on the mound against Willamette Valley (5-5, 0-2).
    "He was at a full count quite a bit but eliminated ball four so that was good and that helped him out," said Mayben. "He did give up nine hits so they had a lot of baserunners on base, but when you eliminate ball four you save 90 feet and that saved him some runs."
    The biggest run-saving moment, however, was put in by right fielder Jimmy Sporer, who dashed Willamette Valley's hopes with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning. Titans right fielder Devin Curtis sent a deep drive into the gap in right-center field that Sporer was able to run down and preserve a 3-1 advantage.
    "Jimmy can cover some ground," said Mayben. "That was a heckuva catch, and he made it look easy, too. The ball usually gets up and goes to right-center field here and Jimmy just did a good job getting a read on it."
    Medford got two hits and two RBIs apiece from Austin Zavala and Micah Brown, and Eric Carlson was 1-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs to help support Westfall in the opener. Cody Coggins was 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI, while Sporer scored twice.
    "It was good to see all those guys contributing," said Mayben. "The good thing is we didn't take a lot of standing strikeouts. We put the ball in play and kept the ball out of the air, which is good at this field. We put the ball hard on the ground and got a few to squeak through (the infield)."
    The Mustangs broke open the first game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring all of their runs with two outs.
    Sporer's infield single loaded the bases following walks to Coggins and Christian Gillis, then Medford put together a succession of RBI efforts after Zavala was hit by a pitch, Carlson walked, Brown singled, Josh Berman walked and Coggins singled to complete the scoring.
    "We had some help by their relief pitching there," said Mayben. "They hit a couple guys and walked a few guys and we sprayed in a few hits here and there, and all that equals runs."
    Runs were not a problem in the nightcap, with Medford taking a comfortable 4-1 lead behind two runs apiece in the second and third innings to allow Ragan to pitch from ahead.
    Berman supplied an RBI single and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the second inning to put the Mustangs up 2-1, then RBI singles by Bryce Rogan and Gillis made it 4-1.
    Carlson and Taylor Raff chipped in with run-scoring efforts in the fourth and fifth innings to build a 6-1 cushion before Willamette Valley finally cut into that deficit with three runs on two hits and two errors in the top of the sixth.
    Undaunted, the Mustangs answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth against relief pitcher Austin White. Brown supplied the big hit of the inning with an RBI double — the only extra-base hit for Medford among its 19 hits Tuesday — and later came around to score on a passed ball after an RBI groundout by Coggins.
    Rogan led the charge in Game 2 by going 3-for-4 with one RBI, while Berman was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Carlson, Brown and Coggins each scored twice.
    Ragan improved to 2-0 this summer by striking out seven and allowing five hits with three walks and one hit batter in six innings. Steen Fredrickson came on to get two quick outs in the seventh before ultimately getting a strikeout to escape a bases-loaded jam to end the contest.
    For Willamette Valley, Aaron Patterson and Nick Guy each went 2-for-3 in the opener, while Jimmy Grossman was 3-for-4 in Game 2. The Titans are coached John Jackson, who spent his first spring at the helm of South Eugene's baseball program and was a former general manager for the now defunct Southern Oregon RiverDawgs.
    FIRST GAME
    Willamette Valley 001 000 0 — 1 9 1
    Medford Mustangs 001 025 x — 8 10 2
    Ferrari, Patterson (6), Curtis (6) and Guy; Westfall and Zavala. W — Westfall (1-0). L — Ferrari.
    SECOND GAME
    Willamette Valley 100 003 0 — 4 6 2
    Medford Mustangs 022 113 x — 9 9 3
    Queirolo and Guy; Ragan, Fredrickson (7) and Zavala. W — Ragan (2-0). L — Queirolo. 2B — WV: Guy; M: Brown.
    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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