Ashland, Central Pt. split
Ashland erupted for eight runs in the sixth inning of Game 1 but Central Point ace Larson Kindreich tossed a gem in the second game as the Area 4 South rivals settled for a split in American Legion A baseball action Monday at North Mountain Park.
Ashland won the first game 10-3 and Central Point took the nightcap 11-0 in six innings.
In the opener the two teams were tied 2-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth, when the Pilots blew the game open by plating eight on four hits, including a two-run single by Jesse Carroll and an RBI single by Nate McLennan.
Ashland’s Peyton Fuller didn’t get the decision despite a solid outing on the hill, holding the Comets’ potent lineup to two runs on four hits before being replaced by Shae Scott in the sixth.
The Pilots took a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Carroll doubled in Caleb Bell and scored on a single by Fuller.
Crater’s Jake Cartwright scored on a wild pitch in the fourth and the Comets tied the game when Brendan Kerrigan delivered a one-out double and later scored on an error in the top of the sixth.
Ashland’s sixth began with a single by Carroll, followed by an error and a sacrifice bunt by Adam Jones.
Carroll was 3-for-3 with a double in the opener.
In Game 2, Kindreich tossed a mercy-rule shortened six-inning shutout while holding Ashland to two hits and striking out 10.
The Comets gave Kindreich all the run support he would need by scoring twice in the first, including one on Sean Bartlett’s double to left.
The Comets blew the game open by adding four in the third on four hits and three errors.
Sebasten Boivin was 2-for-3 to pace Crater in the nightcap.
Ashland hosts the Grants Pass Diggers in another Area 4 South doubleheader on Wednesday. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 4 p.m.
Crater 000 110 1 — 3 5 2
Ashland 200 008 x — 10 8 0
Boivin, Ireland (6) and Kerrigan; Fuller, Scott (6) and N. McLennan. W — Scott. L — Ireland. 2B — C: Grant, Kerrigan; A: Carroll.
Crater 204 113 — 11 9 1
Ashland 000 000 — 0 2 3
Kindreich and Bartlett; Scott, Jones, Irwanian. W — Kindreich. L — Scott. 2B — C: Bartlett.
Little League Softball
At Redmond, Gabby Heiken struck out 10 in a five-hit shutout and Kassandra Skaff and Kirsten Morgan came through with back-to-back RBI singles to break a scoreless tie in the fourth as Ashland/Phoenix-Talent beat Beaumont-Parkside of Portland 3-0 Monday to advance to the semifinals in the 11-12 Little League softball state tournament at Bowlby Park.
APT’s third win in a row at state earned it a date with Southeast Portland today at 3:30 p.m. in the loser’s bracket final. The winner of that game will advance to the championship round, where it will have to win twice to claim the Oregon state championship.
“The girls are feeling it,” APT manager Bobby Heiken said. “They’ve got a chance and that’s all you can ask for.”
With the game knotted up at zeroes in the top of the fourth, APT’s Jessica Traynor delivered a leadoff single and stole second before Harper Wells followed with a single of her own. Skaff then hit the team’s third straight single to bring home Traynor, and Morgan hammered a shot to short to bring in an insurance run.
“Once we scored you could just tell, the whole team — their faces light up,” Bobby Heiken said. “They had a pretty good feeling that this was our game.”
APT added another insurance run in the sixth when Taylor Heie singled to center to score Morgan, who started a two-out rally with a hit to left.
Gabby Heiken closed the door in the sixth, striking out the first batter, inducing a fly to center and, following a hit, inducing a pop out to the catcher to end the game.
Heiken dominated Beaumont-Parkside from the circle to continue what has been a stellar performance at state. She struck out 11 and did not allow a hit in APT’s 14-8 win over Redmond on Sunday afternoon, and combined with Rae Goff to hold Keizer to three runs in Ashland’s 15-3 win that morning.
“Gabby was not happy with how last year ended at the (9-10) state tournament, and she shouldered a lot of that,” Bobby Heiken said. “She’s poised to not let that happen again. … From the very beginning Gabby was in complete control.”
Gabby Heiken will be available to pitch again today, and Wednesday, too, so long as APT wins and she pitches six innings or less against Southeast Portland.
Ashland/Phoenix-Talent has now won three straight elimination games since falling to Southeast Portland 4-1 in the first round Saturday.
“When we lost that game, I went, ‘You know what, we’re OK,’” Bobby Heiken said.