Win over Honkers helps Pirates close in on playoff berth
TALENT -- With the season winding down and many of the Skyline Conference teams scurrying to nab one of the three playoff births availiable, the Phoenix High baseball team took a giant step toward securing a spot for themselves.
The defending Class 3A state champion Pirates used timely hitting and an outstanding pitching performance from Drew Pierson to defeat Lakeview 5-2 Wednesday at Hagler-James Park.
I thought we put together our best overall performance today, said Phoenix coach Joe Hagler. Defensively we came up with some huge plays and Drew threw great for us.
Pierson went the distance, scattering five hits while striking out seven.
At the start of the game, the two teams were even in the standings and had split a doubleheader earlier in the season.
This win was huge because it gives us the tiebreaker over them if we finish the season tied, said Hagler. Now we have to win two of our remaining three games to secure a playoff birth.
Phoenix held a slim 3-2 lead in the bottom half of the fifth when Andy Bartels started the Pirates' rally with a two-out single. Pierson followed with a shot to the outfield that skipped by a Lakeview defender, allowing Bartels to score all the way from first.
Phoenix would add one more run in the inning to secure the win.
Pierson led the attack going 3-for-3 at the plate while teammates Bartels and Dave Westfall each had two hits apiece.
The Pirates (17-5, 13-5) took sole possession of third place, just one game behind first place Mazama and Henley. Phoenix travels to Klamath Falls on Saturday for a crucial doubleheader with Henley.
Lakeview ....................000 020 0 -- 2 5 — Phoenix ....................000 320 x -- 5 11 1
Sedlacek, Benson (6) and Havely; Pierson and Hull. W -- Pierson (4-3). L -- Sedlacek. 2B -- P: Pierson, Westfall. 3B -- L: Longacre. HR -- L: J. Johnson.
NORTH MEDFORD 11, SOUTH MEDFORD 4 -- South Medford had plenty of opportunities against Mike Beers in a non-conference game at Miles Field, but a season-high 15 strikeouts by the senior pitcher prevented the Panthers from capitalizing.
South stranded 13 runners, including leaving the bases loaded three times and twice ending an inning with two on base. Only one of South's runs were earned.
The Black Tornado scored three runs in the first inning without a hit.
Charlie Jensen sparked North's attack with a 3-for-3, three-run performance. Jensen connected for an opposite field solo home run to right field in the seventh.
Steve DeClerck and Nate Mayben added two hits apiece for North. Jason Brownell contributed a bases-loaded double that scored two runs in the third.
North Medford ends the regular Southern Oregon Conference season with an important doubleheader at — p.m. Saturday at Anhorn Field against Crater. The outcome could determine the conference championship.
Likewise, South Medford's state playoff hopes ride on the outcome of a Saturday noon doubleheader against Eagle Point at Miles Field.
North Medford .........302 140 — -- 11 11 2 South Medford ............020 200 0 -- 4 7 3
Beers and Brownell; Lawe, Conklin (4) and Shine. W -- Beers (7-0). L -- Lawe. 2B -- NM: Brownell; SM: Conklin. 3B -- NM: Pagnini, DeLaCruz, Jensen. HR -- NM: Jensen (4).
CRATER 12, SOUTH UMPQUA 0 -- At Myrtle Creek, Steve Rice smacked two home runs and drove in five as Crater dominated the five-inning non-conference game against the Class 3A Far West League opponent.
Rice sparked a Comets' seven-run first inning with a three-run homer. The senior outfielder added a two-run blast in the fourth.
K.J. Chubb added two hits and three RBIs for the Comets and P.J. Pardee collected two hits.
Crater ...........................702 30 -- 12 11 0 South Umpqua .................000 00 -- 0 — 1
Foster, Chubb (4) and Hinjosa; Britt, Steen (1), Hartness and J. Peterman. W -- Foster. L -- Britt. 2B -- C: Strate. 3B -- C: Knight. HR -- C: Chubb, Rice 2.
GRANTS PASS 6, EAGLE POINT 2 -- At Grants Pass, Eagle Point capitalized on a two-run error to tie the non-conference game in the fourth inning, but committed two errors in the bottom half of the inning that led to a four-run winning rally.
Tyler York had two hits for the Cavemen.
Eagle Point ....................000 200 0 -- 2 — 4 Grants Pass ....................002 400 x -- 6 5 1
Stevenson, N. Newmann (4), M. Newmann (6) and Garrett; Anderson, Graham (5), Sammis (7) and Gregory. W -- Anderson. L -- N. Newmann. 2B -- EP: Stevenson.
NORTH MEDFORD 9-10, ROSEBURG 1-8 -- At Roseburg, top-ranked North Medford improved to 22-1 with the twin non-conference victory.
Stephanie Coe pitched a complete-game, five-hitter in the opener. Coe struck out four and walked one.
Coe (11-1) also registered the victory in the nightcap with a four-inning relief effort and hit a game-winning two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning.
On the day, Megumi Hackett went 7-for-9 with five runs to spark North's 30-hit attack. Kylie Allen added five hits and five runs for the Black Tornado.
North Medford ................103 000 5 -- 9 14 2 Roseburg .........................100 000 0 -- — 5 2
Coe and Glantz; Liston and Fullerton. W -- Coe. L -- Liston. 2B -- NM: Adams, Close. HR -- R: Guthrie.
North Medford ............400 000 42 -- 10 16 6 Roseburg .....................200 320 10 -- 8 11 3
Walker, Coe (5) and Glantz; Nelson and Goodell. W -- Coe (11-1). L -- Nelson. 3B -- NM: Allen 2; R: Nelson. HR -- NM: Coe; R: Liston
CRATER 8-11, GRANTS PASS 0-6 -- At Central Point, Emily Wiley had a big day at the plate and junior pitcher Andrea Perdue registered wins in both games of a non-conference doubleheader.
Wiley went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs in the first game, then added two hits and two RBIs to help Crater (17-6) rally for the victory in the nightcap.
In game 2, Grants Pass scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-5 lead. Crater answered back with six runs in the bottom of the inning with Wiley and Val Lammon each providing two-run singles.
Perdue threw five shutout innings with eight strikeouts in the opener. Perdue was called upon for a relief stint in the sixth inning of the nightcap and picked up the win to improve to 11-5 on the season.
Grants Pass .................000 000 0 -- 0 2 5 Crater ..........................200 330 x -- 8 7 2
Heater and Rathburn; Perdue, Perry (6) and Lammon. W -- Perdue. L -- Heater. 2B -- C: Wiley.
Grants Pass ................000 204 0 -- 6 6 5 Crater ......................011 306 x -- 11 10 0
Maras, Heater (6) and Rathburn; Foster, Perry (5), Perdue (6) and Hillyer. W -- Perdue (11-5). L -- Heater. 2B -- C: Arreola, Foster. 3B -- GP: Teetham.