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Mustangs use late surge to earn victory

SALEM — The Medford Mustangs shrugged off a slow start to finish strong Saturday in an American Legion AAA baseball game at the 16-team Willamette Classic.

Medford (6-5) was hitless through the first six innings but found a way in the seventh and eighth innings to rally past Northwest Star Academy for a 3-2 victory at Willamette University.

Billy Hansen finally broke through for the Mustangs with a single through the hole in the seventh inning. After a walk to Taren Bradd and infield single by Cody Hoff loaded the bases, Eric Wallan came through on an 0-2 count with a hard two-run single to right-center that tied the game up at 2-all.

Medford took the advantage in the eighth when Charlie Walker smacked a leadoff single, was sacrificed to second by Evan Westhelle-Grant and moved to third on Hansen's second single to the shortstop in the hole. Jessie Hornbrook then grounded to the shortstop but denied a double-play effort with a hustling slide into first base, allowing Walker to score what proved to be the winning run.

Colton Westfall pitched well for Medford through six innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Northwest Star Academy scored a run in the second without the benefit of a hit on a walk, stolen base, groundout and sacrifice fly, then used a double to center field by Dakota Farmer to set the stage for a 2-0 lead in the fifth.

A.J. Doolittle earned the victory in relief, allowing two hits and no runs over the final three innings. He had four strikeouts and no walks.

The Mustangs will wrap up the tournament at 9 a.m. today against Boise.

Northwest Star Academy 010 010 000 — 2 5 0

Medford Mustangs 000 000 21x — 3 5 1

Doyle, Oien (8) and Farmer; Westfall, Doolittle (7) and Westhelle-Grant. W — Doolittle (1-0). L — Doyle. 2B — NW: Portash, Farmer.

NORTH MEDFORD 7-6, CENTRAL POINT 4-4 — David Crofton pitched a complete game in the opener and had two hits in each game as the North Medford Mavericks came from behind in both contests of the Area 4 doubleheader at North Medford High.

In the American Legion A opener, Crofton fell behind 4-0 after three innings, then blanked Central Point the rest of the way. All four Comet runs were unearned. Crofton scored twice and had one RBI.

Crofton doubled to drive in the tying run in a four-run fifth inning. Jared Evans' two-run double proved to be the winning hit.

Taylor Raff, Austin Zavala and Evans had two hits each for North.

Evan Erskine collected a pair of hits for Central Point.

In Game 2, Greyson Wolff pitched 21/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up his first victory of the season.

In addition to Crofton's two hits, Micah Brown added two hits and scored two runs for the Mavericks (11-2, 11-1 Area 4).

For the Comets, Anthony Martin had two hits and scored once.

FIRST GAME

Central Point 211 000 0 — 4 8 2

North Medford 000 340 x — 7 9 3

Pardee and Aplin; Crofton and Zavala. W — Crofton (2-0). L — Pardee. 2B — NM: Crofton, Evans.

SECOND GAME

Central Point 102 010 0 — 4 6 1

North Medford 004 002 x — 6 6 5

Bastendorff and Aplin; Berman, Miller (4), Wolff (5) and Zavala. W — Wolff (1-0). L — Bastendorff. 3B — CP: Martin; NM: Raff.

S.O. RIVERDAWGS 11, S.O. SLAYERS 2 — Nathan Etheridge supplied a two-run single in the third inning and Brent Gillespie added a two-run single in the fifth to help propel the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs to a nonleague amateur baseball victory against the Southern Oregon Slayers.

Zach Morgan went eight innings for the RiverDawgs (8-3), who won their sixth straight game, and allowed six hits and two runs (one earned). Morgan struck out four and walked none at Harry & David Field.

The RiverDawgs managed 10 stolen bases and capitalized on 12 walks against the Slayers, a wood bat team comprised of mostly of players from the Rogue Valley and Klamath Basin.

Former Phoenix standout and RiverDawg Jordan Lewis got the start for the Slayers and allowed four hits in six innings. Only two of the seven runs against him were earned and Lewis walked six but struck out 14.

The teams play again at 1 p.m. today.

S. Oregon Slayers 000 200 000 — 2 6 5

S. Oregon RiverDawgs 102 130 13x — 11 5 1

Lewis, Walker (7) and George; Morgan, Dilts (9), McCreesh (9) and Volk. W — Morgan (2-1). L — Lewis.