Alex Isola clubbed a three-run home run to put the cherry on top of an 11-2 win over the Chico Heat on Tuesday that clinched a second straight Great West League regular season title for the Medford Rogues at Harry & David Field.
The Rogues (39-17), who clinched home field advantage throughout the upcoming GWL playoffs, moved five games ahead of second-place Lincoln and Chico — both 34-22 — with four regular season games remaining.
Medford will wrap up a three-game series with Chico at 6:35 tonight before heading to Portland (28-28) for a final three-game set beginning Thursday.
The Rogues used a four-run first inning to pull away from the Heat on Tuesday, with Johnny DeLaCruz starting it off with an RBI double and Jake Hellweg adding a two-run single before Josh Berman wrapped up the surge with his own RBI single.
Isola’s three-run home run came in the eighth inning and he finished 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs. Berman was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and DeLaCruz 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI.
Rogues starter Jaiden France improved to 5-0 after scattering three hits with three strikeouts, four walks and one earned run over five innings. Aaron Hutchinson, D.J. Wilson and Taylor Frost each pitched a scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts apiece.
Ralston, Leff (5), Clark (7) and Bath; France, Floyd (6), Hutchinson (7), Wilson (8), Frost (9) and Isola. W — France. L — Ralston. 2B — C: Robles; M: Hanna, DeLaCruz, Gutierrez. HR — M: Isola (7).
BLACK TORNADO 22, BLAZE UNITED 10: At Salem, Sydney Beck’s three-run home run was one of many big hits by the Black Tornado 18U squad as they compiled 22 hits overall and had four players drive in at least three runs against the Portland-area Blaze United to wrap up pool play at Wallace Marine Softball Complex.
The Black Tornado finished 1-1 in pool play and will open the double-elimination bracket portion of the 18A USA Fastpitch National Championships at 8 p.m. today against a team to be determined.
Beck finished 3-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs, while Taelor Mayben was 4-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs, Danyelle Milam 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs and Brooklyn Hurd 4-fo4-4 with two runs and three RBIs in the five-inning rout.
Lauren Barry was 4-for-5 with four runs and two RBIs and Rylan Austin 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs to help pace the Black Tornado.
Kruse, Austin (4) and Smalley; N/A. W — Kruse. L — N/A. 2B — BT: Hurd, Milam. 3B — BT: Austin. HR — BT: Beck.