Honus Kindreich had big shoes to fill when he took the mound for North Medford against Central Point Friday in a matchup of unbeaten teams in the American Legion A state tournament at Harry & David Field.

Honus Kindreich had big shoes to fill when he took the mound for North Medford against Central Point Friday in a matchup of unbeaten teams in the American Legion A state tournament at Harry & David Field.

It turns out he fit into them just fine.

Kindreich continued a stellar series of pitching for the Mavericks, limiting Central Point to four hits — none from the third through sixth innings — in a 5-1 victory.

The win guarantees North Medford a spot in Sunday's championship game. The Mavericks, the lone remaining team without a loss, face La Grande, a 1-0 winner over Jake's Crawfish, at 7 tonight.

Central Point plays Roseburg Pepsi at 1 p.m. today in a loser-out contest. Roseburg stayed alive Friday with a 6-4 win over Salem.

North Medford (26-19) has allowed only two runs in three games, and the one against Kindreich came in the sixth inning when the Mavericks committed two of their three errors. The Comets scored without getting a hit.

In the tournament opener, Kindreich's brother, Larson, pitched a no-hitter. Berry Hunt followed Thursday with a five-hitter.

"I had a lot of adrenaline," said Honus Kindreich, who struck out five and walked four. "I was really excited at the start. Once I got that over with, I started to settle in and found a groove."

Two of the hits by the Comets (29-11) came in the first, but neither of the singles by Dylan Pearce or Cavin Gillespie were converted to runs.

North Medford, meanwhile, backed Kindreich with plenty of offense. The Mavericks rapped 13 hits, including at least one in every frame.

"The bottom line was, they hit the ball and we didn't," said coach Jay Campbell of the defending state champion Comets. "That was the difference."

North Medford struck early, producing three hits and two runs in the first inning.

With one out, Larson Kindreich and Kasey Buchanan rapped consecutive singles. Greyson Wolff followed with a hit to left-center field off Central Point starter Neil Bastendorff to score both.

"I've faced him before so I've got a pretty good idea of what he has," said Wolff. "I was just trying to hit the ball hard and thankfully it got through."

Wolff was 2-for-4, adding a hard double to left field in the seventh that led to the Mavericks' final run. Cory Reese, pinch running for Wolff, scored on wild pitch.

Striking early got North Medford in a good frame of mind, said Wolff.

"It just kind of sets the tone for us in the beginning to come out swinging the bats," he said.

Larson Kindreich was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run for the Mavericks, and Dakota Adams was 3-for-4. Buchanan was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

North Medford left nine runners on base.

"We had some timely hitting early," said Mavs coach Brett Wolfe, "then we'd get an out and get a couple hits and couldn't get that other one to push it across. This is a game of failure, so you've just got to keep battling and competing."

Marcus Brammel and Hunt scored for North Medford in the fourth, Brammel reaching on a single and Hunt by a walk.

Central Point made rumblings in the late innings, conjuring thoughts of a 6-5 win it had Thursday over La Grande, when it scored five runs in the final two innings.

In the sixth, after what seemed to be a sure-fire double-play grounder eluded North Medford shortstop Mason Barone, Honus Kindreich fell behind 3-0 in the count to the next hitter, Jake Cartwright. With two outs and runners at second and first, Kindreich came back with a strikeout to end the inning.

"I felt like, OK, it's time to battle here," said Kindreich. "It's all right. We have a lead, so that can work. I said, I've got to get this hitter, take it one pitch at a time, focus on that batter, and it worked for me."

In the seventh, Central Point's Dylan Morgan hit a two-out single and Pearce followed with a walk, but second baseman Tate Cowden made a lunging catch of line drive by Gunnar Asher to end the game.

"Even up to the last inning, our goal was to try to get the tying run to the plate," said Campbell. "We were one batter short. That's the way it goes. You just can't wait until the last few innings to get some momentum going. We've got to get going a lot earlier. We've got to start playing from the first inning."

With a win today, North Medford would force the Central Point-Roseburg winner to beat the Mavericks twice to win the state title. If the Mavericks lose today, they'd end up in a winner-take-all title game.

"I'm not quite sure how to do that," Wolfe said of setting up his lineup for a game today with less on the line. "This isn't my favorite type of bracket. You're always playing to win, but then you can put yourself at a disadvantage. I've got to kind of weigh that out, look at my pitching and see where some of my kids are and take a deep breath and try to put us in a good place where we can be successful."

North Medford 200 200 1 — 5 13 3

Central Point 000 001 0 — 1 4 0

H. Kindreich and Wolff; Bastendorff and Morgan. W — H. Kindreich. L — Bastendorff. 2B — NM: Wolff.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com