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Rogues close out another wild win

Roller-coaster wins have been a staple of this summer season for the Medford Rogues, and Tuesday night’s clash with Northwest Star Academy proved no different at Harry & David Field.

Despite falling behind 11-6 in the top of the fourth inning, the Rogues kept plugging away until a tiebreaking eighth inning and an escape from a ninth inning jam led them to a 14-12 triumph over the Nighthawks.

Medford improved to 17-3, closing in on equaling the best start in program history after the 2019 squad opened 20-3.

The Rogues used a six-run first inning to build a 6-1 lead, highlighted by a two-run triple from Mike LaVigne.

Northwest Star Academy ultimately erased that deficit with a two-run home run by Jack Thomson in the third inning and an eight-run fourth inning that included a two-run single by Luke Staton and two-run double by Mason Masterson.

After pulling within one run at 11-10, Medford regained the lead with two runs in the sixth inning on RBI efforts by LaVigne and Ruben Cedillo only to see the Nighthawks pull even at 12-all in the seventh.

In the eighth inning, Daniel Pruitt drew a leadoff walk and Cedillo managed a two-out walk to keep Medford’s hopes alive. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Omar Ortiz came through with a two-run single to provide the winning runs.

The Nighthawks were able to put the tying runs on in the ninth inning but Jack Erickson got out of the jam with the help of Pruitt, who threw out an attempted base-stealer, and a game-ending over-the-shoulder catch by shortstop Jason Dumont.

LaVigne finished 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs and Pruitt was 2-for-3 with three runs and one RBI to pace the Rogues, while Cedillo and Grant Sherrod each went 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI and Austin Smith was 2-for-5 with one RBI.

Outfielder Josh Williams had a double in his Rogues debut.

Masterson went 3-for-4 with one run and two RBIs for the Portland-area Nighthawks.

Northwest Star Academy102800100—12123

Medford Rogues60013202x—14144

Oien, Takalo (3), Kiffer (5), Myers (6), Mein (8) and Joner, Cobb (5); Sandoval, Gaudern (4), Lydon (5), R. Brown (7), Erickson (9) and Pruitt. W — R. Brown (2-0). L — Mein. S — Erickson (2). 2B — M: Cedillo, WIlliams. 3B — M: Sherrod, LaVigne. HR — NW: Thomson.

Second baseman Ruben Cedillo, left, catches runner Michael LaVigne for an out. Photo by Denise Baratta