Smith helps Colts avoid elimination
PORTLAND ' Allen Smith came up with the clutch hits as the South Medford Colts avoided elimination in the American Legion A State Tournament Saturday at Sckavone Field.
The Colts avenged a 13-1 loss to Roseburg Pepsi in the Area 4 playoffs at Miles Field a week earlier by knocking their league rival out of the tournament with a 8-5 victory.
We were pretty excited when we heard we were going to play Roseburg, South Medford coach Steve Antich said. We wanted to get another chance at them. We felt we were better than we played the first time.
South Medford (27-9) plays Dallas, an 11-5 loser to North Salem, in an elimination game at — p.m. today.
— The Colts got off to a fast start against Roseburg by scoring a pair of runs in each of the first two innings.
Allen Smith's two-out, two run triple in the opening frame staked the Colts to an initial lead. Then Logan Boyd delivered a two-out, two-run double in the second to increase the margin to 4-0.
But Roseburg battled back and tied the game at 5-all on Aaron Buxton's two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth.
Fortunately for the Colts, they answered with three runs on their next at bat.
That was the big point there, said Antich. We were able to respond to them tying the game.
South Medford took advantage of control problems by Roseburg starter Kevin Stewart and reliever Ryan McLaughlin.
Stewart walked Dan Chancler and Andy Narus to open the frame. Then McLaughlin issued a walk to Boyd and hit Tim Holtz to force in what proved to be the winning run.
Smith followed with a line-drive smash that second baseman Buxton knocked down and got the out at first. But two more runs scored on the play.
South Medford pitcher Tyler Heil (8-1) went the distance and struck out nine.
He (Heil) threw his breaking ball anywhere in the count, said Antich. When his stuff is working like that, it is pretty darn good.
Smith led the offense with two hits and four RBIs, while Boyd had two hits and a pair of RBIs and Chancler added two hits.
The Colts are one of six teams remaining in the tournament going into today's games.
South Medford Colts.............220 103 0 ' 8 8 0
Roseburg Pepsi......................010 220 0 ' 5 6 2
Heil and Meyer; Stewart, McLaughlin (6), Graf (6) and Benson. W ' Heil (8-1). L ' Stewart. 2B ' SM: Boyd, Smith, Norris; R: Britton, Walker. 3B ' SM: Smith. HR ' R: Buxton.
S.O. RIVERDOGS 11-12, EUGENE BANDITS 1-2 ' At Bend, John Jefferson pitched a one-hitter in the opener and homered in the second game as the Southern Oregon RiverDogs (24-11) completed the amateur baseball season with a nine-game winning streak.
Jefferson struck out a season-high 14 and didn't walk a batter.
Jeremy Lahmann's one-out double in the seventh spoiled Jefferson's bid for a no-hitter.
Steve DeClerck went 3-for-5 to pace the RiverDogs 17-hit attack. DeClerck drove in three runs and scored once.
Southern Oregon got two hits each from Bill Rowe, Brent Foster, Ryan Garrett and Derrick Draper.
In the nightcap, Phil Ouellette went 3-for-3 and scored three runs.
Jefferson homered during the RiverDogs four-run fifth inning. Abe Lupkin provided a two-run single to fuel the outburst.
Southern Oregon pitchers Jesse Stevenson and Brandon Willer combined for a five-hitter.
S.O. RiverDogs.....................022 220 — ' 11 17 0
Eugene Bandits...................000 100 0 ' — 1 3
Jefferson and Garrett; Arnold and Riley. W ' John Jefferson. L ' Arnold. 2B ' SO: Garrett; E: Lahmann.
S.O. RiverDogs......................212 043 0 ' 12 9 0
Eugene Bandits....................100 010 0 ' 2 5 3
Stevenson, Willer (6) and Lupkin, Garrett (6); Rascon and Lahmann. W ' Stevenson. L ' Rascon. 2B ' SO: Rowe, Foster, Ouellette; E: Hills. HR ' SO: Jefferson.
16-UNDER ASA A NATIONAL '
At Midland, Texas, the North Medford Black Tornado won three consecutive games Friday before being eliminated in its final game of the day by the Beverly, Ill., Bandits at the Freddie Ezell softball complex.
The Black Tornado finished 17th in the 117-team tournament with a 7-2 record.
Earlier Friday, the Black Tornado beat Sparks, Ill., 3-0 behind the three-hit shutout pitching by Kendra Strahm.
Next, North Medford slipped by the Florida Stars of Jacksonville, 1-0, by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
In what coach Brent Barry characterized, our best game of the tournament, North defeated the Breeze of Sacramento, Calif., 6-4, in a see-saw affair.
Then at 2 a.m. Central Time Saturday, the Beverly Bandits defeated North, 4-0, in eight innings using the international tiebreaker.
We made a couple of errors and fell apart in the eighth, said Barry. We ran out of gas a little bit.
The Black Tornado lost its second game in the double-elimination tournament, then won four in a row before getting knocked out.
All up and down our lineup, everyone came up big somewhere, said Barry.
Barry particularly singled out the performances of catcher Stephanie Haskett, pitchers Strahm and Nicole Cade of Beaverton and shortstop Darcy Cordell.
The Black Tornado thanks the community for making this possible, said Barry. A lot of people donated for this trip. The girls had a great opportunity. The girls faced adversity and showed a lot of mental toughness during the seven days of the tournament.