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Herbold homer salvages split for Crater

CENTRAL POINT ' The way Crater's AJ Herbold had been hitting the ball in practice, Comet baseball coach Jim Powell knew it was only a matter of time before the senior's power stroke spilled over into game situations.

That moment couldn't have come at a better time for Crater as Herbold smacked a 2-1 offering over the left-field fence to give the Comets a 2-1, eight-inning victory over Klamath Union in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Mel Anhorn Field.

The win helped Crater salvage a Southern Oregon Conference split with the Pelicans, who won Saturday's opener 6-4.

It was just a surprise to see ... 'boom' the game's over, Powell said of the leadoff shot. Especially since we needed that win to stay in (the SOC playoff race).

The split left Crater and KU tied for fourth place in the SOC, along with Grants Pass at 7-8 in conference. The trio trails Ashland by one game in the SOC playoff race.

— It's not ideal, but we'll take it, Powell said of the split.

Evan Seegmiller went the distance in the nightcap to earn the victory, striking out 11 and allowing only two hits and no earned runs.

Crater (8-11 overall) tied Game 2 with a run in the seventh after loading the bases and finally pushing a run across on a single up the middle by Sean Teaters. The senior's grounder saw KU's shortstop and second baseman both go deep behind second to stop the ball and, in doing so, left second base unattended for a potential putout.

KU (10-10 overall) took advantage of two Crater errors in the fourth inning of Game — to score four runs and take a 5-0 lead. Bryan Rogers also supplied a two-run double in the outburst.

The Comets rallied with three runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Joe Kahut and an RBI single by Herbold, but the Pelicans thwarted any further threats.

Teaters, Kahut and Herbold each went 2-for-3 in the opener for Crater, while Gary Gomes was 3-for-3 in the nightcap.

KU's Sean Anderson was 2-for-3 in Game — and had one of the Pelicans' two hits in Game 2. Eric Vallier was also 2-for-3 in the opener.

FIRST GAME

Klamath Union.........................010 410 0 ' 6 7 0

Crater........................................000 103 0 ' 4 9 3

Bennett and Rogers; Knutson and Reina. W ' Bennett. L ' Knutson (3-4). 2B ' KU: S. Anderson; C: Kahut.

SECOND GAME

Klamath Union.......................100 000 00 ' — 2 1

Crater.....................................000 000 11 ' 2 7 2

Huntley and Rogers; Seegmiller and Reina. W ' Seegmiller (4-3). L ' Huntley. 2B ' C: Gomes. HR ' C: AJ Herbold (1).

ROSEBURG 3-6, GRANTS PASS 2-5 ' At Roseburg, Ryan Robinson's dominant pitching in the opener helped Roseburg (7-13, 5-10 SOC) end a nine-game SOC losing streak.

Grants Pass (9-10, 7-8 SOC) lost its fifth straight game and fourth in a row since junior ace Nolan Morgan sustained a broken right wrist.

Robinson struck out 14 and walked none. The senior pitcher took a three-hit shutout into the seventh before Grants Pass scored two runs.

The Cavemen strung together singles by Patrick Allen and Mike Mills and Adam Donnelly's RBI single to score twice.

Blake Keitzman led the Indians with two hits in the first game, while Allen and Donnelly each connected for a pair of hits.

Kerry Hall smashed two doubles and drove in three runs to pace Roseburg in the nightcap.

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass............................000 000 2 ' 2 6 4

Roseburg................................201 000 x ' — 6 1

Murray, Zamora (3) and Donnelly; Robinson and Benson. W ' Robinson. L ' Murray. 2B ' GP: Allen.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass............................121 010 0 ' 5 6 2

Roseburg................................303 000 x ' 6 10 4

Mills, Schaff (3) and Donnelly; Cook, Keitzman (6) and Benson. W ' Cook. L ' Mills. 2B ' GP: Cowell, Fode, Mills; R: Hall 2.