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Mustangs open season by splitting with Chico Nuts

CHICO, Calif. -- The Medford Mustangs American Legion baseball team opened its 55-game regular season with mixed results Saturday.

The Mustangs banged out 11 hits in both ends of a doubleheader against the Chico Nuts, winning the opener 13-2 in five innings before dropping the nightcap 9-3 at Hooker Oaks Park.

The Nuts had posted a 12-2 record going into the twin bill with the Mustangs. Medford was at less than full strength, only having 14 players available because of conflicts with graduations and SAT testing.

Nate Mayben and Casey Campbell sparked the Mustangs' offensive attack. Mayben was 5-for-6 on the day, while Campbell went 4-for-6.

In Game 1, Mustangs' pitcher Jarred Pagnini was in control throughout. Pagnini finished on a strong note by striking out the side to end the game.

Chico's only damage against the Mustangs right-handed hurler came on Brent Haapanen's two-run homer in the third inning.

Medford got off to a quick start with four runs in the first inning. With two out and Mayben on second, Jason Brownell walked and Colby Gonzales delivered an RBI single. Tony Conklin drove in another run with a base hit, then Campbell provided a two-run double.

Campbell added a two-run homer in the third.

Mayben, Campbell and Phil Oulette each had two hits in the opener.

In the second game, two-run homers by Tyson Cross and Luke Carriere helped carry the Nuts to the victory.

Medford trailed 2-0 in the second when Gonzales doubled and Conklin provided an RBI single.

The Mustangs scored only one run on four hits in the fourth and cut the Nuts' margin to 4-3 in the fifth on a leadoff double by Mayben and Brent Foster's RBI single.

The Nuts answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by Carriere's blast.

Medford continues its early-season California swing with a noon doubleheader today against the Redding Tigers. The Mustangs then play the Siskiyou Spirits in a twin bill at 5 p.m. Monday in Weed.

FIRST GAME

Medford Medford Mustangs ..423 13 -- 13 11 — Chico Nuts ...............................002 00 -- 2 8 4

Pagnini and Brownell; A. Holt, Barker (3) and J. Holt. W -- Pagnini (1-0). L -- A. Holt. 2B -- M: Campbell; C: Burnham. HR -- M: Campbell (1); C: Haapanen.

SECOND GAME

Medford Mustangs .........010 110 0 -- — 11 — Chico Nuts .....................202 041 x -- 9 10 1

G. Foster, Beers (5) and Shine; Wood, Drobny (6) DiPieto (7) and Carriere. W -- Wood. L -- G. Foster (0-1). 2B -- M: Mayben, Gonzales; C: Cross, Haapanen, Carriere, Carpenter, Demetras. HR -- C: Cross, Carriere.