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Roseburg hits back, tops Mavs

The hits kept coming, but the runs didn't follow. At least, not for the North Medford Mavericks.

Roseburg Pepsi scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and defeated the Mavericks 13-3 in five innings Saturday at the American Legion A State Tournament at North Medford High.

Early that morning, tournament host North Medford completed a game suspended the night before because of darkness with a 22-16 victory over Salem.

That contest resumed in the top of the sixth with North Medford batting, and the Mavericks went three up, three down. Salem scored four in its half to pull within 18-16, but the Mavericks answered with four in the seventh to set the final score.

Several hours later, when designated home team Roseburg scored nine runs in the bottom of the first for a 9-1 advantage, Pepsi coach Richie Charles didn't read too much into it.

"When we got nine runs, we knew it wasn't safe," he said. "We just watched them play an 18-hour game and score 22 runs. I told the guys, as easy as we did it to them, they could do it to us in a heartbeat. They've got great sticks."

However, it turned out not to be so easy for the Mavericks (26-11), who face North Eugene at 1 p.m. today in an elimination game.

North Medford came out hitting but had little to show for it. Three hits in the first inning produced only one run. The Mavericks went 1-2-3 in the second but a couple of the outs were balls bashed to the outfield. Then they collected three hits in the third and scored twice.

"We get one run on three hits (in the first), and we were just booming the ball in that situation," said North Medford coach Brett Wolfe.

But it didn't last, and it didn't resemble what Roseburg (21-9) was doing.

"They stayed back and got good pitches to hit," said Wolfe. "They happened to drive the ball using the whole field. They went from foul line to foul line, and when you do that, your batting average goes up. That's what we preach and that's what our approach is, they just had more than we did today."

Roseburg, which plays La Grande at 4 p.m. today in a matchup of unbeatens, did all its damage in the first and fifth innings.

North Medford went on top to start the game, getting a lead-off double by Michael Paxton, a single by Hayden Evans and a sacrifice fly by Cody James that scored Paxton.

The quick-strike Mavericks appeared ready to put on another offensive display.

But Roseburg wanted its turn in the first, then made the most of it off North Medford starter Chris Anderson.

Nine of the first 10 batters reached base, the lone exception being a sacrifice bunt, and all of them scored.

Roseburg amassed six hits in the frame, including a bases-loaded triple by Micah Audiss off reliever Evans.

Anderson lasted one-third of an inning and seven batters. Evans then came on and hit a batter, walked a batter and gave up Audiss' blast to center field before getting the final two outs.

"He just had the ball up and wasn't able to establish his fastball or his breaking pitch," Wolfe said of Anderson. "We had a plan to use Hayden in relief and go from there, but they just jumped out so fast, it was hard for us to get somebody loose quickly enough to get him in there."

Evans, who will be a freshman next year, settled down and worked three hitless, scoreless innings before Roseburg again erupted.

In the fifth, Joe Emery's two-run single brought in the game-ending runs. That was preceded by two Pepsi hits, two walks (one intentional), an error and a wild pitch.

"It's disheartening to get your butt kicked," said Wolfe, "but they pounded the ball and happened to find the gaps."

North Medford appeared to have the measure of Roseburg starter Tyler Bullock in the early going, but he responded with two scoreless innings to finish up.

"He did a good job of relocating his pitches," said Charles, "because the first two times through, they hit him well."

Paxton was 3-for-3 with two runs for the Mavericks, and Jesse Hornbrook was 2-for-2.

For Roseburg, Audiss was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs, and Emery had two hits and three RBIs.

North Medford will use No. 2 starter Shaun Whitehead today against North Eugene. He pitched the two innings against Salem Saturday morning.

North Medford 102 00 — 3 6 4

Roseburg 900 04 — 13 9 0

Anderson, Evans (1) and Pine; Bullock and Graham. W — Bullock. L — Anderson. 2B — NM: Paxton, R: Audiss, Tovey. 3B — R: Audiss.


Completion of Friday's suspended game

North Medford 448 200 4 — 22 20 1

Salem 030 634 0 — 16 20 3

Albright, Whitehead (6) and Pine; Cox, Crossley (3), Hoffman (6) and Marlatt. W — Albright. L — Cox. 2B — NM: Evans, Anderson, Pine; S: Marlatt, Hamilton, Black 2. 3B — NM: Haggans; S: Cox.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail ttrower@mailtribune.com

North Medford's Hayden Evans slides in safely to third under the tag of Roseburg's Joe Emery during Saturday's American Legion A game. - Larry Stauth Jr.