PORTLAND — The Medford Rogues dropped their second straight game Thursday night, opening a three-game road series with Portland to wrap up the Great West League regular season with a 7-2 setback at Walker Stadium.
The Rogues (39-19) had a chance at a potential comeback snuffed out in the top of the eighth inning after singles by Caleb Smith, Clay Valenzuela-Reece and Alex Isola loaded the bases. Portland (30-28) came up with a strikeout and a pop-up to third base to stave off the rally.
Medford took the lead with a run in the top of the fourth inning after Jayden Hanna walked and was moved to third base on a double by Isola, who finished 2-for-4. Dante Gutierrez followed with an RBI groundout.
After the Pickles tied the game at 1-all in the bottom half of the fourth, Medford regained the edge with a leadoff home run by Braden Stutzman in the fifth inning. It was his first of the season.
The teams resume the series at 7:05 p.m. tonight and Saturday night, then will square off again to open the GWL playoffs at 5:05 p.m. Sunday in Portland. The best-of-three playoff series will return to Medford on Tuesday.
Percival, Westfall (5), Evans (6), Floyd (8) and Isola; Webster, Lester (7), Torres (8) and Stofiel. W — Webster. L — Percival. 2B — M: Isola; P: Clarke, Hardy, Lopez. HR — M: Stutzman (1); P: Clarke (14).
CLEARWATER 4, BLACK TORNADO 2: At Salem, the Black Tornado 18U outhit the Clearwater Bombers of Florida, 10-6, but couldn’t get the ones that mattered most as the local girls stranded 11 baserunners and lost in their first game of bracket play at the 18A USA Fastpitch National Championships at Wallace Marine Park.
Lauren Barry walked and later scored on a double by Danyelle Milam in the top of the first inning but the Black Tornado couldn’t reach the scoreboard again until the seventh, when Rylan Austin singled and later scored after a fielder’s choice and singles by Brooklyn Hurd and Chelby Smalley.
Taelor Mayben, Milam, Hurd and Smalley each had two hits to pace the Black Tornado, which was slated to play an elimination game late Thursday night against Showtime from Washington.
Austin and Smalley; Lewis and Perez. W — Lewis. L — Austin. 2B — BT: Milam. HR — C: Zavala.