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Grizzlies rally past Colorado school for Greenway Festival victory

Steen Fredrickson played like the senior leader that he is and the Ashland High baseball team rallied for a come-from-behind victory on the second day of the Greenway Festival in Phoenix, Ariz.

Fredrickson drove in the go-ahead run with single in the top of the seventh and escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom of the inning to secure the Grizzlies’ 9-7 win over Brighton (Colo.) on Wednesday.

Ashland trailed 7-6 heading into the final inning, but clawed back in a wild seventh that included an error, a failed attempt to nail the lead runner following a sacrifice bunt, a sacrifice fly, Fredrickson’s clutch hit and a pop fly that was lost in the sun. Caleb Bell’s sac fly tied the game at 7-7, Fredrickson’s single put Ashland ahead to stay and an insurance run came home when Nick Sanderson’s fly ball wasn’t caught.

“I think we showed a lot of resolve after blowing an early lead and we never gave up, which is proven by the fact that we scored three runs in the top of the seventh off their no. 1 pitcher,” said Ashland coach Mike Kenask, whose team improved to 4-1.

Brighton tried to string together a rally of its own in the bottom of the inning and was in position to tie the game with runners at second and third and power hitter Conner Reynolds at the plate, but Fredrickson froze Reynolds with a 3-2 curve to end the game.

Fredrickson had three strikeouts in his one inning of relief and the clincher was the most impressive. Reynolds belted a three-run homer in the fourth to erase Ashland’s 6-4 lead.

“Steen came in to nail it down,” Kenask said. “He allowed two baserunners but struck out their best player to clinch the game. He showed a lot of senior leadership in that moment.”

Ashland starter Kyle Milgram had three strikeouts and three walks in three innings of work before giving way to Jesse Carroll, who struck out two in two innings and was credited with the win.

Sanderson was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk, and Grizzly catcher Jett Hamik was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, including a run-scoring single.

Ashland plays one more game at the Greenway Festival today against Evergreen, another Colorado school.

Youth Baseball

Guanajuato, Mexico, Ashland's collection of 11-12-year-olds suffered another heartbreaker at the inaugural Sister City Classic on Tuesday, falling 7-6 to the host Tigres "B" at Torres Landa Parque.

Ashland slugger Eli Wimmer blasted another home run - his fourth in three games - to tie the game 2-2 and is 5-for-7 with six RBIs in Mexico.

Michael Nixon hit a bases-clearing double to give Ashland a 6-5 lead in the fourth and also pitched a scoreless sixth.

Ashland played the Tigres "A" team Wednesday in the first-ever youth baseball night game at Torres Landa Parque. The result was not available at press time.

Ashland's final game of the week is Friday against Celeya, Mexico.

College Softball

At Klamath Falls, Ashley Sfetku hit a three-run home run in the first game and Sadie Birch belted two in the second game as Oregon Tech rode its power strokes to a sweep of Southern Oregon on Wednesday.

Sfetku’s blast in the fourth inning of Game 1 helped the Owls erase a 1-0 deficit in their eventual 3-2 win, and Birch went 3-for-4 to lead the Owls to a convincing 9-3 win in the nightcap of the Cascade Conference twin bill.

In the opener, the Raiders (21-15, 2-6 CCC) had two runners on and one out in the seventh but couldn’t tie the game against Oregon Tech relief pitcher Rylee Carlton, who struck out Krystina Pardoski on three pitches then induced a fly out by Kelsey Randall to end the game.

Kristin Ahern homered and Ally Painter was 1-for-2 with a run scored and a walk to pace SOU at the plate in the opener.

In Game 2, Birch drove in six runs and scored twice for the Owls (23-8, 7-2), who scored four runs in the first inning, three on Birch’s three-run shot.

Birch added an RBI single in the third and a two-run bomb in the sixth.

For the Raiders, Alexa Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. SOU starter Sydney White was roughed up, surrendering six runs, all earned, on six hits in two innings.

Southern Oregon next hosts a pair of doubleheaders against College of Idaho (Friday) and Eastern Oregon (Saturday).

Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-821-0829 or jzavala@dailytidings.com.