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LOCAL ROUNDUP: Grizzlies slip past South Medford

MEDFORD — South Medford opened the door with some miscues Thursday and Ashland was more than happy to capitalize in securing a 6-5 nonconference baseball win at Harry & David Field.

The Grizzlies (8-7) were the beneficiaries of five walks, two hit batters and three errors inside the first four innings to build a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Evan McLennan had an RBI single in the first inning, Eli Westrick added an RBI double in the second and Nick Buccino added an RBI single in the frame to help Ashland go up 3-0.

South Medford (6-9) answered with a two-run double by Trevor Marthoski in the second and an RBI single by Steven Ledendecker after a Bennett Thompson double in the third to pull even.

The Grizzlies, however, capitalized on South miscues to score three runs in the fourth to regain the lead without posting a single hit in the inning.

Blake Shields’ RBI double in the sixth with one out pulled the Panthers within one run, but Ashland was able to strand him as the tying run at second base and then Eli Westrick came on in the seventh to post three strikeouts for a save.

Westrick finished 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI for Ashland, while Thompson and Ledendecker each went 2-for-3 for South Medford.

Ashland1203000—683

South Medford0211010—573

Amann, Buccino (3), Anway (5), Westrick (7) and Dreiling; Bottero, Lauchstedt (2), Boortz (4), Ledendecker (6) and Thompson. W — Buccino. L — Lauchstedt. S — Westrick. 2B — A: Westrick 2; SM: Marthoski, Shields, Thompson.

College Track & Field

SPRAUER 2ND AFTER DAY 1 OF CCC MULTIS: At La Grande, Southern Oregon junior Loghan Sprauer put herself on track for her best-ever heptathlon score with 2,919 points and a second-place standing through four events on Day 1 of the Cascade Conference Multi-Events Championships at Community Stadium.

Eastern Oregon’s Paige Dodd, the CCC’s 2017 heptathlon champion, holds a 75-point lead over Sprauer with 2,994 points and the long jump, javelin and 800-meter race still to come today. Corban’s Valerie Schmidt is lurking in third place with 2,819 points, while Julia Delucchi is also in position to score for the Raiders with 2,359 points in seventh place.

Dodd did not compete at least year’s championships, when Sprauer accumulated 2,715 points on the first day and finished with a personal-best 4,391 to capture SOU’s first heptathlon title since 2001. Dodd entered the meet at No. 2 on the NAIA performance list.

A prolific runner, Sprauer kept pace by recording personal bests in the 100-meter hurdles (14.86 seconds) and the shot put (9.31 meters) and a season-best in the high jump (1.61 meters). She also had the field’s top time in the 200, which she ran in 25.65 seconds.

Delucchi, a sophomore competing in the heptathlon for the second time in her career, earned 781 of her points with a time of 26.19 seconds in the 200, which was third in the field.

The top-eight finishers will earn points toward their teams’ scores in the CCC Championships.

The meet will resume at 10 a.m. this morning.

NAIA FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK GOES TO BELTZ AGAIN: For the second time in a month, Zach Beltz has captured the NAIA Field Athlete of the Week honor, the national office announced Wednesday.

As of Saturday, Southern Oregon’s senior star is the NAIA’s leading long-jumper with a best of 25 feet inches and ranks No. 2 on the national triple jump list at 49-7 . Beltz established both marks at SOU’s Raider Invitational, breaking his own school record in the latter discipline, before also recording the Cascade Conference’s fourth-fastest 100-meter time at 10.95 seconds.

On May 10-11 in Ashland, Beltz will attempt to win his fourth consecutive Cascade Conference long jump championship and his third straight triple jump title — both feats no one in the history of the CCC has ever accomplished.

He has reserved spots in both fields at the NAIA Outdoor Championships on May 23-25 in Gulf Shores, Ala., too. He’s previously captured fourth- and sixth-place finishes in the long jump at the outdoor national meet but has never done better than 23rd place in the triple jump.

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