Coming off a pair of disheartening losses in Southwest Conference baseball, South Medford had no intention of making it three straight losses and risk further damage to its playoff hopes on Tuesday at North Medford High.
The Panthers got off to a rocking start with a leadoff home run by Jacob Melton and refused to give in as they secured a three-game season sweep over North Medford for the first time since 2012 with a 17-7, five-inning victory.
“The kids came out ready to play from the time we showed up to the park to the time we left,” said South Medford head coach Ray Smith. “We still have to improve on some things — we weren’t as clean as we’d like to be — but it’s a good win. Anytime you can get that season sweep against North, that’s quite an accomplishment because that doesn’t happen all that often.”
The turning point in the game for South Medford (13-9, 9-7 SWC) came in the bottom of the second inning, when North Medford (11-12, 7-9) loaded the bases with no outs but was kept off the scoreboard by Panthers starter Jack Thompson. Tyler Seney hit a leadoff triple and walks to Jon-o Gassman and Zack Collins loaded the bases before Thompson got out of the jam with three straight strikeouts.
In the ensuing inning, South Medford sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on five hits and four errors to build a 10-0 cushion. Skyler Loogman had a two-run single and Jaron Emerson added a two-run double to highlight the outburst.
Clint Campbell and Emerson each had two hits with two runs and three RBIs for the Panthers, while Jaalen Owens was 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs, Jack Thompson 2-for-3 with one RBI and Loogman 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs.
Seney finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the Black Tornado.
Thompson, Carle (4) and Carle, Thompson (4); Sandoval, Drewien (3), Collins (4), Gassman (5) and Geyer. W — Thompson (5-3). L — Sandoval. 2B — SM: Emerson 2; NM: Gassman. 3B — SM: J. Owens; NM: Seney. HR — SM: Melton (7).
GRANTS PASS 3, SOUTH EUGENE 0: At Grants Pass, Cade King pitched a shutout in a complete-game effort and drove in a run to boost Grants Pass (13-11, 8-8 SWC) to the Southwest Conference win.
King was able to limit South Eugene (14-11, 12-6) to just two hits.
Miller and Marsh; King and Padgett. W — King. L — Miller.
CRATER 12, EAGLE POINT 2, 5 inn.: At Central Point, Nick Bastendorff got Crater rolling with a three-run homer in the first inning during the Midwestern League game at Anhorn Field.
The victory keeps the Comets (20-4, 16-3 MWL) tied for first in the MWL with Churchill, a 5-0 winner over Springfield.
Sean Bartlett went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to pace the Comets’ 15-hit attack. Trae Frodge had two hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth, and Jace Godley had two hits and two RBIs.
Other Crater players with two hits apiece were Sebasten Boivin, Jake Cartwright and Bastendorff.
Eagle Point slipped to 11-8 in the MWL and 13-10 on the season.
Shopp, Nielsen (2) and Little, Page (5); Kindreich, Frodge (5) and Bartlett. W — Kindreich (8-1). L — Shopp. 2B — C: Kindreich, Cartwright. 3B — C: Godley. HR — C: Frodge (1), Bastendorff (1).
THURSTON 8, ASHLAND 4, 10 inn.: At Ashland, Ashland led 4-2 after six innings in the Midwestern League home game but Thurston tied the game in the seventh and scored four runs in the 10th at North Mountain Park.
Nick Sanderson paced Ashland with two hits, including a solo home run in the third inning. The Grizzlies (13-10, 10-10 MWL) received two hits each from Kellar Edwards and Matt O’Donnell.
Thurston (17-8, 13-7) capitalized on three Ashland errors in its extra-inning winning rally.
Bates, Ward (8), Thoreson (9), Fisher (10) and Burke; Fuller, E. McLennan (8) and N. McLennan. W — Fisher. L — E. McLennan. 2B — T: Chapman; A: E. McLennan. HR — A: Sanderson.
PHOENIX 12, KLAMATH UNION 2, 6 inn.: At Klamath Falls, James Turnbull and Chase Courtney each went 2-for-3 with one RBI to power Phoenix in the Skyline Conference win.
Turnbull also added five stolen bases for the Pirates (12-10, 6-7 Skyline).
Mason Stella and his supporting defense only allowed four hits against Klamath Union (3-18, 3-10), which trailed 7-2 after five innings.
Stella and Courtney; Short, Erickson (5), Bowman (6) and Walle. W — Stella (1-2). L — Erickson. 3B — P: Skaff.
ST. MARY’S 17, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0, 5 inn.: Travis Danielson did the job on the mound and at the plate for third-ranked St. Mary’s in the SCL home contest.
Danielson pitched a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and went 3-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the Crusaders’ 16-hit attack.
Joe Johnson added two doubles and four RBIs for St. Mary’s (18-4, 10-0 SCL), which holds a one-game lead in the SCL over Cascade Christian entering Saturday’s home doubleheader.
Illinois Valley fell to 1-9 in the SCL and 7-12 overall.
Brummette, Moore (3), Lindell (4) and McLanahan; Danielson and Aldrich. W — Danielson (2-0). L — Brummette. 2B — SM: Danielson 2, Johnson 2, Letendre, Aldrich, Savage. 3B — SM: Bramscher.
LAKEVIEW 7, ROGUE RIVER 4: At Lakeview, Lakeview kept Rogue River winless in the Southern Cascade League.
The Honkers evened their record to 6-6 in the SCL and 10-13 overall while the Chieftains dropped to 0-10 and 2-15.