Mustangs advance to semifinals at Regionals
LEWISTON, Idaho ' The red-hot Medford Mustangs have punched their ticket to the semifinal round of the American Legion Baseball AAA Region 7 Tournament.
Brady Rhodes fired a three-hitter through six innings and Evan McArthur, Brett Timmerman and Jimmy Ulrey each collected three hits as the Mustangs romped past Cheyenne, Wyo., 14-3, Friday for their second victory in as many days at the tournament.
The game was shortened to seven innings by virtue of the 10-run rule.
Medford meets host Lewiston at 8 p.m. today in its final game of pool play but both teams have already clinched berths in Sunday's semifinal round. The Mustangs will meet a yet-to-be determined opponent at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Rhodes, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound left-hander who will be a senior at Phoenix High this fall, held Cheyenne scoreless through five innings in one of his best performances of the season.
He finally gave up a run in the sixth when Julian Tafoya doubled home Ty Rhoads, but by then Medford had built a 12-0 lead and was well on its way to its 45th victory against 11 losses this season.
Rhodes finished with six strikeouts and three walks as he ran his record to 10-1.
Brady did an excellent job, Mustangs manager Brent Watts said. He got ahead of the hitters with his fastball and used his slider effectively when he got ahead in the count.
Rhodes also benefited from two double plays turned by the Mustangs, who played errorless defense for the seventh time in as many postseason games.
We've got a lot of confident kids out there who want the ball hit to them, Watts said. It makes it so much easier for the pitchers when you're as solid on defense as we are.
The Mustangs were just as impressive with their bats Friday.
Dustin Butler broke the scoring ice in the top of the second inning when he doubled home Timmerman, and Eric Kessler followed with an RBI single.
Medford then exploded for five runs in the third to make it 7-0. McArthur belted an RBI double to jump-start the big inning, and Timmerman, Ulrey and Butler followed with RBI singles. The Mustangs notched the fifth run of the inning on an error.
Timmerman's two-run single in the fourth padded the Mustangs' lead to 9-0 and they added three more in the sixth before Cheyenne could get on the board.
We've got a lot of confident hitters on this team right now, Watts said. Someone gets a key hit and other kids follow. It's contagious.
McArthur went 3-for-5 at the plate Friday and is now 5-for-10 in the tournament.
Watts expects a stern test from Lewiston tonight. The Idaho state champions finished runner-up at the American Legion World Series last year and they have the added advantage of playing on their home field.
Truthfully, the game (tonight) doesn't mean much other than for seeding purposes, but our guys are anxious to play them, Watts said. We like to play new teams.
Folsom c5021Nimmo cf3011
Heil 2b3310Tafoya ss3022
McArthr ss5331Courtney c4000
Skndrck 3b4001Stoklosa lf2000
Timrmn cf3330Harley rf3010
Emersnr ph3000Titchnr dh3000
Ulrey rf4331Redmnd 3b1100
Butler 1b5222Colbert 1b1000
Engle dh/cf1000Rhoads 2b1211
Smith lf.......4 0 — 0 — — — — Totals38141711Totals23353
DP'Medford 2. LOB ' Medford 8, Cheyenne 6. 2B ' McArthur, Butler, Tafoya. SF ' Skundrick. SB ' Heil, Nimmo, Rhoads.
Tinajero, L32/3 109820
Umpires - HP: Barry Carr 1B: Randy Sutton 3B: Larry Dillman
T ' 2:22 A ' 225.