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Crater's hit parade dooms Grizz

CENTRAL POINT ' For more than an hour each day at practice, the Crater High baseball players climb into hitting cages at Anhorn Field and flail away.

Each player takes 100 to 150 cuts.

First-year head coach Jay Campbell, mindful that his Comets have no overpowering pitchers, is attempting to trump that minor deficiency with his version of Murderer's Row.

It's an approach that has the Comets in the upper echelon of the Southern Oregon Conference and catapulting toward a state playoff berth.

Daniel Lovemark belted a three-run homer, Zach Boskovich went 4-for-4 and Crater bashed a season-high 19 hits as it romped to a 10-0 victory over Ashland on a sunny Tuesday at Anhorn.

— The game ended after six innings by virtue of the 10-run mercy rule.

The Comets (11-6, 9-4 SOC), now firmly ensconced in third place in conference play, meet second-place and ninth-ranked South Medford for a noon twin bill Saturday at Harry and David Field.

There isn't an easy out on this team, said Lovemark, the Comets' No. 8 hitter, who pounded a pair of singles in addition to his home run. We take a lot of pride in our hitting. We're in those cages for hours.

We swing the bat hard, but we're also disciplined.

Chuckie Grabowski, Tyler Schmidt and Tyler Davis all had three hits for Crater.

Almost lost in the Comets' hit parade was the effective pitching of senior Tony Davidson, who threw a four-hit shutout in just his second start of the season.

Davidson, a 6-foot-4, 155-pound right-hander, was penciled in as the Comets' ace but he broke his right foot playing basketball in PE class on March 23 and missed the first 3&

189; weeks of the season.

He didn't have his best stuff today, to be honest, said Campbell of Davidson. He doesn't have the velocity he had last summer, but he's a smart pitcher who hits his spots when he has to.

Davidson, who lost a 2-1 decision to top-ranked Roseburg one week earlier, said he was about 90 percent.

I'm getting there, he added. I'll be back to my old self in another week or so.

Although Davidson didn't throw particularly hard, he kept the Grizzlies off balance by mixing in fastballs, curveballs and change-ups, along with an occasional knuckleball.

The thing is, he can throw them all for strikes, Campbell noted. Tony keeps the batters guessing.

The Comets, conversely, weren't often fooled. They scored a run in the first inning on Schmidt's RBI single, then pushed across four more runs in the third on an RBI single by Boskovich and Lovemark's three-run clout that cleared the left-field fence.

Back-to-back doubles by Grabowski and Schmidt ' the Comets' 6-6, 230-pound first baseman ' made it 6-0 in the fourth.

Crater put the Grizzlies (9-9, 6-7 SOC) out of their misery in the sixth by rapping seven straight singles that brought across four more runs.

Campbell is anxious to see how his team fares against South Medford Saturday. The Panthers beat Crater 8-4 on April 11, but the Comets were missing both Davidson and starting shortstop Craig Staniforth.

We've actually had five or six kids get hurt, but we're healthy now, said Campbell, whose team has won five of six games since the loss to South. When you can put the same kids in your lineup game after game and not have to shuffle people around, it helps.

Ashland.......................................000 000 ' 0 — 1

Crater.......................................104 104 ' 10 19 1

G. Gaviglio, Kileen (4), C. Sebrell (6) and Bruce. Davidson and Reina. W ' Davidson (1-1). L ' G. Gaviglio. 2B ' A: San Nicholas. C: Grabowski, Schmidt. 3B ' C: Murphy. HR ' C: Lovemark.

Crater's hit parade dooms Grizz"dhunt@mailtribune.com.