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MailTribune.com
  • BASEBALL

    Pippins stymie Rogues

    Medford shut out for the first time in WCL play by East Division leaders
  • Medford center fielder Spencer Smith started the game off with a single up the middle, but hits were few and far between after that for the Rogues, who suffered their first shutout loss in West Coast League play at the hands of the Yakima Valley Pippins on Monday night.
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    • GLANCE
      RECAP: Spencer Smith connects for two of Medford's four hits but the Rogues are shut out for the first time in West Coast League play by Yakima Valley pitchers Andrew Woods, Matt Trask and Kenny Ro...
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      GLANCE
      RECAP: Spencer Smith connects for two of Medford's four hits but the Rogues are shut out for the first time in West Coast League play by Yakima Valley pitchers Andrew Woods, Matt Trask and Kenny Rosenberg.

      UP NEXT: Tonight, 6:35, Yakima Valley at Medford, Harry & David Field.
  • Medford center fielder Spencer Smith started the game off with a single up the middle, but hits were few and far between after that for the Rogues, who suffered their first shutout loss in West Coast League play at the hands of the Yakima Valley Pippins on Monday night.
    Yakima Valley pitchers Andrew Woods, Matt Trask and Kenny Rosenberg combined to limit Medford to four hits and only three players in scoring position en route to a 3-0 victory in front of 1,374 at Harry & David Field.
    The loss marked the first time the Rogues (17-15) have been shut out since a pair of season-opening nonleague games against the Marysville Gold Sox on May 29 and 30.
    Yakima Valley, which leads the WCL East at 21-11, will go in search of a three-game series sweep at 6:35 tonight.
    "It's going to come down to how we can come out with some fire," Smith said of avoiding a potential third straight loss. "It gets into these dog days of the summer and you get kind of into a routine and can kind of fall into maybe just going through the motions a little bit. We're going to have to fight against that and come out and compete hard and play with some fire and some attitude and know that we're better than this."
    Smith finished 2-for-3 but was quickly erased each time he reached base, first on a fielder's choice, then by being caught stealing in the sixth inning.
    Medford's only other hits came on an eighth-inning single by Andre Vigil and a ninth-inning single by Chris DeVito, who each will be making their final appearances with the Rogues tonight before returning home for the summer.
    "It was a good opponent and they had a good guy come in (Woods) and he was around the zone," said Smith, "but we just didn't compete well enough to win."
    Woods allowed two hits with three strikeouts and one walk through seven innings, with Trask allowing one hit and one walk and Rosenberg allowing one hit.
    In contrast, Medford starter Christian Cox allowed two runs — one earned — in the third inning and six hits overall before giving way to a host of relievers, beginning with Dylan Ramage in the fourth. The combination of Ramage, Trent Shelton, Ivan Dilda, Matt Loeffler, Kyle Beam and Shane Quarterley allowed only two hits but had eight walks in the final six innings.
    The Rogues sent more than four batters to the plate only twice, in the fourth and eighth innings. Left fielder Jake Roberts spoiled the first scoring chance with two outs and runners on the corners by making a tumbling catch off a liner by Joe Chavez in the fourth inning. In the eighth, pinch-hitter Nathan Etheridge grounded into an unassisted inning-ender to third baseman Ryan Rosa.
    "That's just how the game goes sometimes and you've got to tip your hat because that was a good catch," Smith said of Roberts' diving grab in the fourth. "But there were plenty of other opportunities. That wasn't the only thing that got us."
    Smith said it was hard to pinpoint exactly what slowed the Rogues on this night, although it was evident Medford had little rhythm on offense.
    "I don't know what the deal was," said Smith, "it was just kind of a weird game with a weird feel to it. There's just really no excuse for it. We got a great performance from Cox — he gave us what he could get — and our relief came in and they were lights out. The offense wasn't there for us, which is rare. We can light up the scoreboard a little bit, but as a team we just weren't really there today. I can't really put a finger on what was exactly the issue. I think it came down to competing and we just didn't compete well today."
    Yakima Valley took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on four hits and one costly error. Roberts opened the frame with a double to the left-field fence, then scored on an RBI single by Shawn Wardian. Cox got a flyout and help from catcher Joey Morgan, who threw out Wardian trying to steal second base, but a single by J.C. Snyder kept the inning alive. An errant pickoff attempt by Cox allowed Snyder to move to second and, on the next pitch, Rosa singled to center field to plate the unearned run.
    The Pippins, in their first WCL season, tacked on an insurance run in the ninth. Beam got two quick outs in only the second pitching appearance of the summer for the catcher by trade, but he couldn't finish the deal, walking the bases loaded before giving way to Quarterley. A first-pitch RBI single by Rosa made it 3-0 before Quarterley got Tim Hergert swinging for the final out.
    DeVito's one-out single over the head of second baseman Taylor Snyder gave Medford some hope, but Rosenberg induced a pair of groundouts to Snyder to clinch the shutout.
    Yakima Valley 002 000 001 — 3 8 1
    Medford 000 000 000 — 0 4 2
    Woods, Trask (8), Rosenberg (9) and LaBrie; Cox, Ramage (4), Shelton (6), Dilda (7), Loeffler (8), Beam (9), Quarterley (9) and Morgan, Teel (6). W — Woods (3-2). L — Cox (0-2). 2B — YV: Roberts
    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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