Mustangs surge past Roseburg to guarantee spot in championship
The Medford Mustangs are armed for the stretch run in the Boise Cascade American Legion AAA baseball state tournament.
For that, they can thank Brett Timmerman's arm.
And his guts.
Timmerman started as if he were about done Friday against Roseburg Dr. Stewart's, spotting them three and runs in the first inning and looking anything but sharp.
It didn't last, however, as Timmerman, backed by another night of impeccable defense, rebounded to hurl the Mustangs to an 11-4 triumph at Miles Field.
Medford, which broke the game open with a seven-run seventh inning, defeated Roseburg for the fifth time in as many matchups this summer.
The Mustangs (42-10) go into a 7:30 contest tonight opposite Lakeridge (37-11) as the double-elimination tournament's only undefeated team and are guaranteed of playing in the championship game on Sunday.
They began the tournament against Lakeridge, winning 11-1. The Lake Oswego-based team bounced back with victories of 16-5 over David Douglas Thursday and 19-8 over Klamath Falls Friday.
When the two meet, one thing is certain: Medford, which will turn to Brent Kircher (7-0), will have fresh pitching.
Timmerman really stepped up, said Mustangs shortstop Evan McArthur, who did so himself at the plate and in the field. After the first inning, it looked like he might not be feeling it. Then he nutted up and almost pitched the whole game. That saves us at least one arm.
Playing before another crowd estimated at 1,400, Timmerman battled jitters as well as breaking pitches that didn't find their target and fastballs that popped off Roseburg's bats rather than his catcher's mitt.
My pitches weren't working, he admitted. It took me a while to settle down.
He walked Dave Powell to start the game, then gave up a single to Kellen Walker. Both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch.
Second baseman Ryan Heil's diving catch of a soft liner to the first base side produced oohs and aahs from the crowd but only a brief reprieve from Dr. Stewart's offense.
A sacrifice fly scored one run, and Mike Myhre's two-run triple two-thirds of the way up the wall in dead center, 384 feet from home plate, scored another. Myhre came in on Nick Waechter's ensuing double.
Timmerman induced a ground out to McArthur, then headed straight for the dugout pitching coach Dan Keck.
He came in a said he found it, said Medford manager Brent Watts. He talked with coach Keck about getting ahead of the hitters, and that was the key from there through the rest of the game.
Timmerman, a left-hander who relies heavily on off-speed pitches, allowed only three hits and one run the rest of the way in winning for the fifth time against one loss. He walked four and struck out one.
Brett Goble got the final two outs.
I started hitting my spots, said Timmerman, and there was a lot of good defense behind me.
McArthur provided plenty at shortstop, including a backhanded snag of a grounder making a break for the outfield to prevent a run.
Left fielder Matt Smith also halted a run from scoring when he dove backwards and backhanded a well-hit ball by Powell when it was still a one-run game.
Those two plays are momentum changers, said Watts.
Medford got back into the hunt with three runs in the third. It got an RBI single from Rob Folsom and a sacrifice fly from McArthur. Heil and Matt Skundrick added hits in the frame.
In the fifth, Folsom, who was 4-for-5 and scored three runs, ripped a one-out single and came around to score the go-ahead run on a McArthur single to right.
Timmerman made the narrow lead stand up until the floodgates opened in the seventh ' even though the first two batters went out.
Eight hits, including a two-run triple by Timmerman and doubles by McArthur and Jimmy Ulrey, all but ushered Medford through to the next round.
McArthur was 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and Skundrick added two hits.
We still have our bullpen ready to go, said Watts, and it's the third day and we haven't used a ton of kids.
It's nice to be in this situation.
Powell lf4100Folsom c5341
Walker 2b4120Heil 2b3210
Cooper cf4000McArthur ss4143
Svage dh/c3011Skndrick 3b5120
Myhre 1b4111Tmmrmn p5112
Wchtr ss/p3111Goble p0000
Falk 3b/ss3000Ulrey rf5011
Burge ph0000Butler 1b3110
Skinner rf2000Smith lf4200
Parnell rf2011Engle cf3000
E'Stevenson, Powell, Cooper, Walker, Falk, Waechter. LOB'Roseburg 6, Medford 7. DP'Roseburg 1, Medford 1. 2B'Savage, Waechter, McArthur, Ulrey. 3B'Myhre, Timmerman. S'Heil. SF'Savage, McArthur.
Timmerman, W81/3 64441
Stevenson pitched to 4 batters in the seventh.
WP'Timmerman 4. Umpires'Snyder, Rice, Wonsley, Eklund. T'2:24. A ' 1,400 est.