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Ulrey's five hits fuel Mustang sweep

Medford Mustangs general manager Don Schneider says that Jimmy Ulrey is the best defensive right fielder in team history.

Equipped with good speed, good instincts, a laser-like throwing arm and an ability to overcome a blinding sun that often haunts other right fielders at Miles Field, Ulrey makes all the routine plays and a few spectacular ones as well.

Thus far this season, he's snagged 59 fly balls and made two assists without an error.

Ulrey's offensive skills pale in comparison to his expertise in the outfield, but the North Medford High graduate is narrowing the gap.

— Ulrey went 4-for-4 in the second game of an American Legion Area 4 doubleheader Saturday at Miles to help the Mustangs pin a 15-3 loss on the Bay Area Rams.

Ulrey also had a hit in the first game, a 6-4 Mustangs victory, and watched his season batting average jump from .367 to .388.

The two victories improved the Mustangs to 33-5 overall and 6-2 in Area 4, and moved them into a first-place tie with the Eugene Pepsi Challengers.

Medford also has an 11-game winning streak to its credit.

When I tried out for the team last year I had just got done hitting .250 for North Medford, Ulrey said. They (the Mustangs) obviously didn't keep me because of my offense.

But I've gradually gotten better at swinging the bat.

Assistant coach Brent Watts has worked with Ulrey on his stance and loading up his swing.

He knows a lot about hitting ' he's given me a lot of good pointers, Ulrey said.

Medford manager Sandee Kensinger said Ulrey became extra motivated after seeing a copy of the team's latest statistics that showed him with a team-high 30 strikeouts in 120 at-bats.

He doesn't like leading this team in strikeouts, Kensinger said. And he gained some ground in that department today.

Ulrey banged an RBI double in his first at-bat in Game 2 and was one of six Medford players who collected at least one hit in the first inning as the Mustangs erupted for eight runs.

Rob Folsom had a pair of singles in the frame.

Medford added two runs in the second inning and five more in the third in building a 15-3 lead.

The second game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Corey O'Neill augmented Ulrey with a 3-for-3 performance in the latter contest.

Brady Rhodes allowed only four hits and two earned runs in improving his record to 6-2.

In Game 1, Evan McArthur and Mike Allen whacked two hits each and Allen picked up the pitching victory, his fifth in six decisions.

The twin defeats dropped Bay Area to 10-10 overall and 2-5 in Area 4.

That's the best offensive club we've seen, Bay Area manager Brad Horning said of the Mustangs. They've got some tough outs.

You can count Ulrey among them.

FIRST GAME

Bay Area Rams........................000 201 — ' 4 7 2

Medford Mustangs..................130 020 x ' 6 9 1

Allen and Folsom; Smartt, Stupfel (6) and McClintock. W ' Allen (5-1). L ' Smartt. 2B ' BA: Palaik, Skinner; M: Heil, McArthur, Timmerman.

SECOND GAME

Bay Area Rams............................210 00 ' — 4 2

Medford Mustangs...................825 0x ' 15 16 1

Rhodes and Folsom; Holcomb, Richards (2) and McClintock. W ' Rhodes (6-1). L ' Holcomb. 2B ' BA: Kent; M: Ulrey. 3B ' BA: Christensen; M: Heil.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail