Mustangs complete pool play 3-0
LEWISTON, Idaho ' Outshined by his Medford Mustangs teammates in recent games, Dustin Butler stepped to the forefront and delivered with both his arm and bat at the American Legion Baseball AAA Region 7 Tournament on Saturday night.
Butler worked five effective innings to notch the win on the mound and delivered a home run in the eighth inning to fuel the Mustangs to a 12-5 victory over the Lewiston Twins.
Both teams had already clinched berths in today's semifinals, but the victory left the Mustangs unbeaten in pool play and gave them an extra shot of confidence.
Medford (46-11) meets Woodland, Calif., at — p.m. today in one semifinal matchup while Lewiston ' the host team ' plays Bellevue, Wash., in the other. Today's winners then square off at 7 p.m. Monday for the tournament championship and a berth in next week's American Legion World Series.
Butler had pitched just 18 innings in Medford's 56 games heading into Saturday's contest, but was beckoned in the third inning with the Mustangs facing a 4-1 deficit. He gave up just one run over five innings before ace reliever Brett Goble held the Twins scoreless over the final two frames.
The only thing I really needed to do was to keep the ball low, throw some strikes and let our defense do the rest, said Butler, who ran his record to 3-0. I was a little shaky at first, but then I settled in and got the job done.
Medford committed two errors Saturday ' its first miscues in eight games ' but also turned a big double play and made several outstanding plays in the field as it ran its season record to 46-11.
Lewiston fell to 48-15.
Along with Butler, Medford's other big gun Saturday was shortstop Evan McArthur, who went 5-for-6 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs.
McArthur, who will start today's game on the mound, is now 10-for-16 for the tournament.
Medford appeared headed for defeat in the early going after Lewiston nicked starting pitcher Brett Timmerman for four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-1 lead.
But the Mustangs came back with three runs in the third to tie game at 4 as McArthur and Matt Smith produced RBI singles.
Lewiston reclaimed the lead with a run in the bottom of the third, but Medford re-tied the game in the fifth on Smith's sacrifice fly and then grabbed the lead for good in the sixth on a double by Rob Folsom and another RBI single from McArthur.
The Mustangs broke the game open with six runs over the final two innings, including Butler's two-run blast in the eighth.
I've been seeing the ball good this whole tournament and I hammered that one out of the park, Butler said.
Folsom and Matt Skundrick added three hits apiece for the Mustangs, who have collected 43 hits in their three tournament games.
Medford 12, Lewiston 5
Folsom c6230Martin cf5010
Heil 2B4210Hlgswrth lf5010
McArthr ss6253Rogers 2b5120
Skundrk 3b5131Balmer ss4110
Timrmn p/1b6000Burton p/1b3100
Ulrey rf5320Schmidt 3b3112
Goble p1000Craig c3000
Butler 1b/p3113Maurer rf2111
Engle cf/rf4120Marsh 1b2010
E'Folsom, Heil, Balmer 3, Burton 2, Schmidt. DP'Medford 1, Lewiston 2. LOB'Medford 12, Lewiston 10. 2B'Folsom, Heil, McArthur, Ulrey, Rogers, Schmidt. HR'Butler. SH'Heil. SF'Smith, Schmidt. SB'Rogers, Burton.
Butler W, 3-0541142
Umpires'Home, Terry Fisher; First, Randy Sutton; Third, Ron Porter. T'2:51. A'425.