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MailTribune.com
  • Mavs capture Legion A state title

  • Backed by a young arm, timely hitting and a disciplined defense, the North Medford Mavericks capped their season with an American Legion A state title on Sunday at Harry & David Field.
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  • Backed by a young arm, timely hitting and a disciplined defense, the North Medford Mavericks capped their season with an American Legion A state title on Sunday at Harry & David Field.
    Incoming North Medford freshman Larson Kindreich was stellar from the mound and Preston Johnson made a game-ending diving catch in the top of the seventh to preserve a 5-4 victory over La Grande.
    "Coming in (to the tournament), we liked our opportunity because we were playing pretty good baseball," said coach Brett Wolfe, whose North Medford Black Tornado also claimed the state championship. "We played really good baseball in a setting where we were coming off a state title in June and none of those kids had really played together before. To put that together is really an accomplishment and something I'm really proud of for them."
    Kindreich commanded the mound for all seven innings, where he allowed four runs — only one earned — on six hits and no walks, accompanied by four strikeouts.
    With the Mavericks clinging to a 5-4 lead and the tying run represented at first base with two outs in the top of the seventh, Wolfe couldn't risk giving La Grande's runner a chance to score from first, so he dropped his defense back to play a no-doubles defense, which meant Johnson, a center fielder, was placed in position near the warning track.
    La Grande nearly thwarted Wolfe's plan when its batter hit a last-gasp flare to the shallow outfield near the shortstop side. Johnson, however, came charging in from deep centerfield to make the diving grab and end the game.
    "He completely laid out and made a great catch," Wolfe said.
    The Mavericks (27-20) led for the game's entirety, but were met with adversity after committing two errors in the top of the sixth, which resulted in three La Grande runs, trimming North's lead to 5-4.
    North scored three two-out runs in the top of the first after Mason Barone singled home Larson Kindreich and later, Larson's older brother Honus came up with a two-run single that plated both Barone and Kasey Buchanan.
    In the top of the fifth, the Mavericks added a pair of runs when Tate Cowden scored Johnson with a shot down the right-field line followed by Buchanan's hard-struck single, which glanced off the La Grande third baseman's arm, allowing Tate to score from second base. The Mavericks lead stretched to 5-1.
    Barone went 2-for-3 with a double for the Mavericks, who advance to regionals Aug. 8-12 in Anchorage, Alaska.
    La Grande 000 103 0 — 4 6 6
    North Medford 300 020 x — 5 4 3
    Wicklander and Rogers; L. Kindreich and Wolff. W — L. Kindreich. L — Wicklander. 2B — LG: Rogers; NM: Barone. 3B — LG: Cederholm.
    WCL
    BEND 8, MEDFORD 2 — At Bend, Donald Glover Jr. and Christian Cox had the Rogues' only hits in West Coast League action.
    After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Medford (23-25) allowed four runs in the third.
    Bend (28-20), which had 11 hits, tacked on three more runs in the fifth.
    The Rogues are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
    Medford will host the Klamath Falls Gems at 6:35 this evening.
    Medford 100 010 000 — 2 2 0
    Bend 004 030 10x — 8 11 0
    Kuchta, Snider (5), Beam (5), Woods (8) and Morgan; Thompson, Bennett (7), Gomez (9) and Blackwell. W — Thompson. L — Kuchta. 2B — M: Glover Jr.; B: Close, Gill 2, Carpenter 2. HR — B: King.
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