Ashland fourth-graders claim Manny League title
Ashland Family YMCA’s fourth-grade team YMCA Basketball Academy beat the MBA Lakers 33-30 to claim Manny League’s fourth-grade tournament Saturday at Central High School in Medford.
Ashland, coached by Tony Akpan and Beau Lehnerz, was one of 12 teams in the tournament, which took two days to complete.
This was the first year that YMCA Basketball Academy has competed in Manny League.
"The entire team came together for our victory," Akpan said. "The kids handled the ball well, all of them helped on defense and there were big rebounds and put-backs."
YMCA Basketball Academy beat JR Comets 25-23 in the semifinals.
Competing for the YMCA Basketball Academy were: Tobias Akpan, Crosby Lehnerz, Josh Moran, Keller Bloodworth, Caden Negra, Joseph Harrower, Gavin White, Jackson Rosenthal, Tristan Sease, Cash Cota and Talon Hernandez.
Kelsey Randall had five hits on the day and Southern Oregon rallied for an extra-inning win over 24th-ranked Indiana Wesleyan in the opener before the visitors won the second game to preserve a split in a high-scoring, nonleague doubleheader Monday at University Field.
Southern Oregon claimed the first game 8-7 in eight innings and Indiana Wesleyan rebounded for a 14-8 win in the nightcap.
In the first game, the Wildcats rallied from a 6-2 deficit to send the game into extra innings on Alex Springer’s solo home run in the seventh and went up 7-6 on a fielder’s choice in the top of the eighth. Southern Oregon (12-6) pulled off its own dramatic comeback in the bottom of the inning when Aaliyah Oliver singled home Taylor Martinez and scored on the same play when Indiana Wesleyan’s left fielder committed a three-base error.
Randall was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Alexa Gonzalez had an RBI double and Oliver had two RBIs. Victoria Mackey picked up the win in the circle after pitching the last 2 2/3 innings for the Raiders, allowing one earned run on two hits. She’s 7-0.
Springer was 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Wildcats (2-2).
In the second game, Springer was 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double and six RBIs to lead the Wildcats’ 11-hit attack.
Springer’s two-run shot in the fourth capped a six-run inning by the Wildcats that gave them a 9-1 lead, and SOU was playing catch-up the rest of the way.
Gonzalez’s two-run double in the sixth highlighted a four-run inning for the Raiders that cut the deficit to 12-8.
Springer added another two-run blast in the top of the seventh.
SOU’s Kayla Spini was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs, all earned, on four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
The Raiders, who are 3-1 against top-25 opponents, kick off their Cascade Conference schedule Friday against 17th-ranked Corban in Salem.