Mustang bats awaken in rout
For a loaded Medford Mustang team that collectively has underachieved offensively so far this season, Friday night's results were more in line with preseason expectations.
The Mustangs (13-2) produced their best inning of the season by posting 10 runs in the second inning and moved to 2-0 in the Best of the West Challenge with a 14-0 victory in five innings against the Portland Baseball Club at Harry & David Field.
Medford, which averaged six runs and nine hits per game entering Friday's game, had 13 hits against Portland (9-5).
Five Medford batters recorded two hits and all but one player in the starting lineup had at least one hit.
"We definitely needed to pick our bats up," said Medford designated hitter/catcher Lewis Sebrell, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. "It's about time, and everyone realized that. We definitely know our potential. Having a game like this is relieving."
"We knew the Portland Baseball Club was a great team," Sebrell added. "To beat them like this is really great for us. This is definitely an amazing win for us."
Zack Earle, Chris Bradshaw, Griff Boyd and Hayden Wolfe also had two hits for the Mustangs.
Medford got on the board early against Portland starting pitcher Reid Nicholson with a two-run triple by Garrett Tygerson in the first inning.
The Mustangs shattered any thoughts of a comeback-minded Portland team in the second inning.
Portland erased a 7-0 lead against Corvallis Richey's Market on Thursday but faced a much larger deficit Friday when Medford took a 12-0 lead by sending 15 batters to the plate and amassing eight hits in the 10-run second inning.
The Mustangs received two-run singles from Ian Kendall and Boyd, an RBI double from Wolfe and RBI singles from Earle and Sebrell.
"We picked up the pitcher," said Boyd, who came in hitting .179 but was 2-for-2 with two RBIs. "He was trying to go middle and away. We took that approach and drove everything to right field. It was just a good team effort today."
Nicholson threw 65 pitches in the second inning — he reached 100 pitches by the third inning — and was victimized by two errors in the frame. Portland committed four total errors.
"That's a good ballclub," Medford manager Sandee Kensinger said. "Things kind of snowballed for them, but we swung the bat really well tonight. We know what we are capable of. We've had a couple guys struggling a little bit, and they are starting to come around."
Boyd doubled in the third and later scored on Sebrell's single. Boyd scored again in the fifth after drawing a one-out walk and reaching home on a wild pitch by Portland reliever Joel Smith.
Medford starting pitcher Matt Maurer allowed just one hit despite struggling with his control at times. He walked six and struck out one in four innings, but he made quality pitches to escape trouble.
"As poorly as he might have thought he threw, he still shut out a really potent ballclub," Kensinger said of Maurer, now 1-1 on the season. "He made the pitches that he had to."
Ian Kendall struck out the side, including the 2009 OSAA Class 6A player of the year Kevin Taylor, to end the game in the fifth.
Medford plays Corvallis Richey's Market, which is 1-1 in the Best of the West Challenge, tonight at 8 at Harry & David Field.
"We take this all personal," Boyd said. "We want to win every game. We don't want to just beat teams, we want to show them that we've got good talent around the Rogue Valley."
Medford 2(10)1 01 — 14 13 1
Portland 000 00 — 0 1 4
Maurer, Kendall (5) and Sowers, L. Sebrell (5); Nicholson, Smith (4) and Chamberlain. W — Maurer (1-1). L — Nicholson. 2B — M: Boyd, Wolfe. 3B — M: Tygerson.
In Friday's other tournament results:
SALEM 10, LONGVIEW 0 — Blake Miller hit his second home run in two days at the Best of the West Challenge for Salem, which also received a two-hitter from pitcher Dan Withnell at Harry & David Field.
Tyson Giza was 3-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored for Salem. Withnell struck out two and did not allow a walk.
- NORTHWEST STAR ACADEMY 5, LONGVIEW 4 — Northwest Star Academy's Jake Kopra hit the game-winning single in the seventh, driving in Ryan Matheny from third with two outs at Harry & David Field.
- LAS VEGAS 13, NORTHWEST STAR ACADEMY 4 — Las Vegas took command with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth at Harry & David Field. Blair Goldshock allowed just one hit in three innings of relief for Las Vegas. He also drove in three runs. Las Vegas' Brooks Klein was 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
- CORVALLIS RICHEY'S MARKET 10, RENO SIERRA 0 — At Ashland, Corvallis improved to 1-1 by shutting out the Reno Sierra Sun Devils at North Mountain Park.
Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org