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MailTribune.com
  • AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL

    Mustangs keep rolling

    Medford wins fifth straight, avenges only season losses with strong debut by Coggins
  • After losing twice last week to the Salem Withnell Dodgers, the Medford Mustangs entered Friday's nonleague baseball game motivated to turn things around.
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    • MUSTANGS 6, DODGERS 3
      RECAP: Cody Coggins strikes out eight and allows three hits in his pitching debut for Medford, and Bryce Rogan goes 2-for-3 with one run and on RBI to pace the offensive attack in the nonleague win...
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      MUSTANGS 6, DODGERS 3
      RECAP: Cody Coggins strikes out eight and allows three hits in his pitching debut for Medford, and Bryce Rogan goes 2-for-3 with one run and on RBI to pace the offensive attack in the nonleague win.

      UP NEXT: Sunday, 6 p.m., Medford Mustangs at Roseburg Dr. Stewart's (dh).
  • After losing twice last week to the Salem Withnell Dodgers, the Medford Mustangs entered Friday's nonleague baseball game motivated to turn things around.
    With Cody Coggins making a strong pitching debut and the Mustangs scoring in four of their six at-bats, Medford made that happen to score its fifth straight victory on a beautiful day at Harry & David Field.
    Coggins struck out eight and allowed three hits with four walks in five innings to help lead his team to a 6-3, seven-inning victory.
    All three hits and half the walks given up by the Cascade Christian High senior-to-be came in a three-run third inning by Salem Withnell. Otherwise, the right-hander was in fine form in his first turn on the mound this summer.
    "It was a little bit nerve-racking, definitely the first couple innings," said Coggins. "But I've got some good defense behind me and I've got a good guy behind the plate with Carter (Glick), so I think it was a good start."
    It was especially good given the support from his teammates, who managed eight hits and did well to put pressure on the Dodgers (9-6).
    "It's great to have the kind of hitting team that we do," said Coggins, "where if you do make those mistakes and don't locate your pitches they can still get you out of the jam and get you the win."
    Bryce Rogan paced the Mustangs (7-2) by going 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI, smoking an RBI double in the second inning to open the scoring. The Ashland High product later singled in the fourth and was robbed of another double with a deep flyout to right-center field in the sixth.
    "Bryce did really well, he stung every baseball," said Mustangs manager Nate Mayben. "The one he got out on was probably the hardest hit ball that he had."
    Making things that much more difficult was that the Dodgers used the matchup to get several of their pitchers some work. Salem Withnell starter Alec DeHart pitched the first two innings, Dexter Alik the next two and then Shane Olsen and Conner Kahle tossed an inning apiece.
    "What I was really happy with was at the plate for us," said Mayben. "When you see that many guys on the mound, sometimes you have a hard time getting into a rhythm and we did a good job of putting the ball in play hard."
    Mayben said he hopes all that bodes well for a busy next week, highlighted by Area 4 doubleheaders against Roseburg Dr. Stewart's and the Eugene Challengers and capped by a tournament in Roseburg.
    "It was good for us to have a few days of practice to get things together and now we've got a good stretch coming up with 12 games in eight days," said Mayben. "To get a little bit of revenge with Withnell and get things rolling, I'm happy with it. But we've got a long stretch ahead of us so hopefully we can keep the intensity up and keep things going."
    Salem Withnell built a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning on three hits, two walks and one error when third baseman Eric Carlson attempted to get the lead runner at home on a fielder's choice but threw low and away to Glick. Kahle and Dan Zavala had RBI singles for the Dodgers.
    Other than that inning, Coggins kept Salem Withnell off balance with a variety of pitches.
    "I tried to mix my pitches a little bit better than I've done in the past and not just stick with the fastball," said Coggins. "I threw a few sliders and changeups in here and there and kept them off balance with the curveball."
    The Mustangs countered in the bottom of the third, with Colton Westfall starting things off with a one-hop double over the left-field fence for his first hit this summer.
    Westfall moved to third after Jimmy Sporer beat out an infield single to the shortstop and then scored when there was confusion on Sporer's stolen base try at second base and catcher Jackson Smith's throw went into center field. Sporer later came around to tie it at 3-all on a wild pitch.
    Medford went up for good in the fourth after Rogan singled through the right side and scored moments later on a hot shot down the left-field line by Glick.
    The Mustangs padded their lead with a pair of runs in the fifth against Olsen. Christian Gillis set the table with a bunt single and was followed by a single by Carlson and a booming RBI double over the left fielder's head by Micah Brown.
    "It's hard to get the ball over the left fielder's head here so that's impressive," said Mayben.
    David Crofton's sacrifice fly scored Carlson to make it 6-3 in Medford's favor.
    Cody Hoff came on in relief of Coggins in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings.
    Salem Withnell 003 000 0 — 3 3 2
    Medford Mustangs 012 120 x — 6 8 3
    DeHart, Alik (3), Olsen (5), Kahle (6) and Smith; Coggins, Hoff (6) and Glick. W — Coggins (1-0). L — DeHart. 2B — M: Rogan, Westfall, 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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