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Colts' slumbering bats help Roseburg claim Area 4 title

A nice and tidy pitching duel was taking shape between two teams usually known for lighting up a scoreboard Saturday at Miles Field.

In just one inning, however, one side returned to its hard-hitting form, while the other was left to wonder who forgot to pack the lumber.

Roseburg Pepsi scored 11 runs in the top of the seventh inning to turn a tightly-contested game into a 13-1 rout over the South Medford Colts in an American Legion A Area 4 baseball playoff game.

With the win, Roseburg secures the No. — seed heading into the state playoffs on Thursday in Portland.

— The Colts, which fell to 25-8 overall and finished Area 4 Southern Division play at 16-4, now must win on Monday against North Jackson for the right to the No. 2 seed at state out of Area 4. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Miles Field.

Pepsi's Kevin Graf held the South Medford offense in check, giving up six hits and the one run to help Roseburg take the title that was owned by Ashland last season.

He (Graf) changed speeds real well the whole game, said first-year Roseburg coach Scott Shaver. The key was he was getting strike one a lot to start off the hitter.

Kevin doesn't throw real hard so getting that first pitch in there was really important.

Graf ran into trouble only a handful of times and each instance found a way to wiggle off the hook.

I was just trying to keep the ball down, said Graf. We didn't hit the ball much at the beginning, but I knew our offense would come around.

Pepsi put a two-spot on the board in the second inning on RBI doubles from Derrick Britton and Brian Benson.

The lead held until the sixth, when South put together two run-scoring doubles.

Andy Narus legged out a two-bagger to start the frame then came around one out later on Tim Holtz's double.

Kevin Salisbury followed with a line shot to third that was snagged by Matt Shaver, but his throw to double off Holtz sailed into rightfield, moving the runner to third. The chance to even the game was turned away when Tyler Heil's liner was also picked off by Shaver to end the inning.

Roseburg quickly went to work in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs that led to 11-unanswered runs on eight hits, three hit batters and two walks.

Ya know, if we keep it at 2-1 then I like our chances heading into the bottom half (of the seventh), said South Medford coach Steve Antich. Things just got away from us.

The Colts had chances against the not overpowering, but crafty Graf ' mainly in the third and fifth innings ' but couldn't find the key hit.

Besides the sixth, South put the leadoff runner on only once (fifth inning) and retired the side in order only one time (sixth inning).

Holtz took the loss after exiting in the seventh ' he was one of three Colts' pitchers that tried to stem the tide in the final frame ' but was effective after a rough start.

I was getting the ball up a little at the start, said Holtz. I started bringing my pitches down and calmed down (after the second inning).

I was pretty tired in the seventh after running around the bases in the sixth then going back out there right away.

Shaver and Derrick Britton each went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs for Roseburg, while Benson also added two hits and drove in three runs.

Narus had a pair of hits to lead South.

Roseburg Pepsi...............020 000 (11) ' 13 12 2

South Medford Colts...........000 001 0 ' — 6 2

Graf and Benson; Holtz, James (7), George (7) and Meyer. W ' Graf. L ' Holtz. 2B ' R: Britton, Benson, Buxton; SM: Narus, Holtz.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4480 or e-mail .