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Tornado edges North Eugene in opener, 3-1

Strong pitching by a couple of veterans and clutch hitting by a rookie varsity player lifted North Medford High to a 3-1 victory over North Eugene in the season-opening baseball game for both teams Wednesday at North Medford.

Senior left-handers Cole Rohrbough and Josh Suarez handcuffed the Highlanders on three hits and sophomore catcher Darren Bruhns belted a pair of triples and scored two runs to lead the Black Tornado.

Those two pitchers (Rohrbough and Suarez) have been in the gym throwing since November, North Medford coach Brett Wolfe said. They've been working real hard to get ready for the season and it showed today.

Rohrbough allowed one run on three hits in five-plus innings. Suarez came on in the top of the sixth inning with one run in and a runner on first base. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out four.

Bruhns, meanwhile, led off the third inning with a triple and scored on Kyle Williamson's RBI single for a 1-0 North Medford lead.

— The Tornado made it 2-0 in the fourth when Suarez reached base by getting hit by a pitch, advancing to third on a single by Zack James and scoring on Logan Odom's RBI groundout.

Bruhns cracked another triple in the fifth and scored on Williamson's suicide squeeze bunt.

Darren's a good athlete and a real heady kid, Wolfe said. He has tremendous foot speed and a real good sense of what he's doing when he's out there on the base paths.

Bruhn's intuitiveness came in handy on Williamson's bunt that moved slowly toward the pitcher.

He read the hop and broke for home plate knowing that the catcher had to come out for the ball, Wolfe said. That's something you can't teach. Darren just has those good instincts.

Bruhns has replaced all-state catcher Rob Folsom behind the plate and wears Folsom's old uniform No. 7.

Darren has his own style but he made a statement his first time out and we're glad to have him, Wolfe said.

Bruhns and Williamson each had two hits to pace North Medford's seven-hit attack.

The Tornado returns to action Saturday with a home doubleheader against Mountain View beginning at noon.

North Eugene...........................000 001 0 ' — 3 1

North Medford.........................001 110 x ' — 7 3

Peterson, Keller (4) and Greer. Rohrbough, Suarez (6) and Bruhns. W ' Rohrbough (1-0). L ' Peterson. 3B ' NE: Greer; NM: Bruhns.

HENLEY 7, CRATER — ' At Central Point, defending Class 3A state champion Henley used a four-run first inning to pull ahead during the nonconference opener for both teams.

Crater scored its first run in the fourth inning when catcher Daniel Lovemark plated Jeff Weiss with a one-out single.

The Comets added two more runs in the seventh and loaded the bases with two outs but couldn't continue the rally.

Henley.......................................400 010 2 ' 7 6 2

Crater........................................000 100 2 ' — 6 3

Card and Mastrionni; Weiss, Davidson (5) and Lovemark, Reina (5). W ' Card (1-0). L ' Weiss (0-1). 3B ' C: Thomas. HR ' H: Kelly, Picaro.

Track & Field

MARIST INVITATIONAL ' At Eugene, St. Mary's sophomore Mike Seus raced to two first-place finishes at the event.

Seus, the lone Crusader in the four-team meet, notched a meet-best time of 4:25.9 in the 1,500-meter run and turned in a winning time of 9:53.6 in his first varsity outing in the 3,000.