Mustangs sweep away Roseburg
One half down, one to go.
The Medford Mustangs completed the first half of the American Legion AAA Area 4 baseball season on top of the standings with a 7-1 record, courtesy of a sweep of winless Roseburg Doc Stewart's Tuesday at Harry & David Field.
Medford won 5-0 behind a five-hitter by Neil Emerson, then triumphed 8-4 as Garrett Tygerson continued his torrid pace at the plate.
The Mustangs now get a break from league action and will concentrate on a high-powered Fourth of July tournament in the Portland-Vancouver area, beginning Thursday.
The Curt Daniels Invitational, named for a longtime coach in the area, features 18 teams — most of them select all-star clubs — and three pools. Medford will be one of only three American Legion teams in the field, said Mustangs manager Sandee Kensinger.
"I was talking to a scout, a guy from the Pirates, who said we'll see a kid there who he thinks is the best hitter in the country," said Kensinger. "Vancouver's in the tournament, and we saw what they had. They have a kid who throws 90 mph. I specifically wanted to find a tournament that would give us our best competition, give us a good look to get this club ready for the stretch run."
Jordan Lewis and Bradey Shipley will be the starting pitchers in the first two tournament games Thursday.
Medford has won five straight, raising its overall record to 23-4. Roseburg dropped to 8-10 and 0-6.
Neil Emerson got the Mustangs off to a solid start Tuesday with the opening shutout. He struck out six and walked one.
Both he and second-game starter Matt Maurer worked on only three days rest.
"Normally, we like to have the kids get a little more rest," said Kensinger.
But doubleheaders Sunday and Tuesday pressed them into a quick turnaround.
If there's one thing the Mustangs have, it's deep pitching.
"We don't have to save anybody for anybody," said Kensinger.
Tygerson ripped an RBI single in the first inning of the opener. It scored Chris Bradshaw and fueled a four-run frame. Two other runs scored on walks and the fourth was the result of an error.
In Game 2, Tygerson was 3-for-3 with two runs and four RBIs. He belted two-run doubles in the first and fourth innings.
"He's really delivering at the plate," said Kensinger.
Isaac Rolie was 2-for-3 in support of Maurer, who pitched the first six innings, then was relieved by Dylan Bedortha for the final frame. Maurer allowed one run and two hits while fanning six, but he walked five.
"Matt's coming around and pitching with a lot of confidence," said Kensinger. "We need that from Matt. He can go out and dominate. It's fun to watch."
Roseburg Doc Stewart's 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Medford Mustangs 401 000 0 — 5 8 1
Cavens, Ampi (3) and Guthrie; Emerson and Sebrell. W — Emerson (4-0). L — Cavens. 2B — R: Younker; M: Earle, Boyd. 3B — M: L. Sebrell.
Roseburg Doc Stewart's 010 000 3 — 4 4 1
Medford 202 400 x — 8 9 1
Case, Woods (3), Norton (4), Younker (4) and Ampi; Maurer, Bedortha (7) and Sowers. W — Maurer (3-1). L — Case. 2B — R: Newell; M: Tygerson 2.