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Mustangs stage late rally, edge Highwaymen

The Medford Mustangs tallied 15 hits and orchestrated a seven-run rally to edge Salem Post 9, 12-11, in the American Legion AAA state tournament Saturday at Kiger Stadium Klamath Falls.

The Mustangs — now just one win away from their 12th state title and a return trip to the Northwest Regionals — will play Roseburg Dr. Stewart's at 10 a.m. today. The Docs defeated Salem Withnell on Saturday to set up the matchup.

Matt Maurer will start on the pitcher's mound for the Mustangs.

If Medford loses its first game, a second championship contest will be played at 1:30 p.m. The Mustangs, who are undefeated in the tourney, defeated Roseburg on Friday.

With his team trailing 11-10 in the top of the ninth inning, Garrett Tygerson belted a two-run home run to give the Mustangs their first lead of the game. Justin Bohn, who earned his fifth save of the year, relieved Nate Namanny in the final frame. Bohn used a strikeout, force out and popup to seal the victory.

"We were down pretty big early," Medford coach Sandee Kensinger said. "And our kids responded. That was one of the wildest games I've ever been involved in. Our kids really showed some character because things did not look good for us."

Namanny, who replaced Lucas Stone in the second inning, improved to 5-0 with the win.

The Mustangs trailed 11-5 entering the top of the seventh. Medford used RBI singles by Dan Katayama, Seth Brown, Cody James, Maurer and Kameron Kaufman to pull within a run.

Maurer finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and an RBI and Kaufman was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run for the Mustangs (38-8). Tygerson went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run and Katayama recorded two hits.

A.J. Bumpus was 3-for-4 for the Highwaymen (20-22), who finished with 14 hits.

During their tournament run, the Mustangs have averaged 15 runs and 17 hits a game.

"The kids love the ballpark, and they are just hitting well right now," Kensinger said.

The Northwest Regionals begin Aug. 5 in Spokane, Wash.

Medford 040 010 502 — 12 15 2

Salem Post 9 431 021 000 — 11 14 4

Stone, Namanny (2), Bohn (9) and Kaufman; Fleming, Pratt (8) and Wilde. W — Namanny (5-0). L — Pratt. 2B — M: Katayama, Maurer 2, Shipley, Hall; S: Bumpus 2, Pittman; 3B — S: Rodriguez; HR — S: Pittman; M: Tygerson (5).

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or e-mail djones@mailtribune.com