Runs at premium as Rogues, Marshalls split twin bill
With the final three weeks of the 2022 summer season approaching, Medford Rogues head coach Bill Rowe has been looking for his team to continue to show its intangibles even if the wins haven’t been as plentiful this summer.
How the Rogues won the first game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader provided just that.
Grant Henry’s walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth broke what had previously been a scoreless deadlock and gave the Rogues a 1-0 win over the Utah Marshalls at Harry & David Field. Medford, however, couldn’t complete the sweep of Utah in the nightcap, falling 3-1, but it’s a doubleheader in which Rowe saw some positive signs.
“The win for us was nice just because it was the good reward we wanted,” said Rowe.
“In terms of energy, they’ve been such competitive games against really high-quality opponents that really don’t need any extra motivation when you get a team that comes in and they’re extra confident, they’re a little cocky and start to chirp a little bit from the other side, it just adds to the fire that’s burning inside.
“You get the really high level of baseball plus the anger and aggression mixed in, so hopefully it’s exciting for the fans.”
The Rogues (12-10-1) and Marshalls — who played a doubleheader Wednesday due to Tuesday’s rain forcing another postponement — combined for just 10 hits in Game 1 and nine more in Game 2, with offense at a premium the entire night.
Medford essentially had one bad inning in the field the entire doubleheader, allowing Utah to score three runs in the top of the fourth of Game 2 to take a 3-1 lead.
But it was in Game 1 in which that never-quit attitude that the Rogues displayed during some of their earlier wins this season came back and showed itself again.
Medford opened the ninth with a CJ Colyer walk and Reece MacRae’s single, giving the Rogues runners on first and second with nobody out. After Colyer stole third and the Marshalls walked Trey Nelson intentionally to load the bases, Utah was able to turn a 5-2-3 double play to quickly turn the tide of the inning.
There was still work to be done for the Marshalls, though. And up stepped Henry, who had one of the Rogues’ five hits up to that point.
With a 3-1 count working in his favor, Henry lined a single to left to score MacRae, who moved up to third on the double play.
“My mindset was to just get a pitch that I can hit,” said Henry. “They were filling up the zone all day, so with a 3-1 count I was just trying to get something good to hit — and fortunately I did. It feels good to finally get a little something. I’ve been lining out and getting barrels and getting outs all season, so something to finally go my way feels good.”
Henry finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, his 12th of the summer. MacRae also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 and scored the lone run of Game 1.
“It was great, and Grant has been taking some really good swings,” said Rowe. “It’s just somehow one of those things where there’s a way it goes right at somebody. His average should be 50 points higher easily based on the quality of at-bats that he’s been taking. It’s nice to see him finally get rewarded for hitting the ball hard.”
Four Rogues pitchers combined to throw a four-hit shutout in the opener, with Sebasten Boivin throwing the final two innings out of the bullpen to pick up the win.
Rogues starting pitcher David Grewe struck out five and allowed just two hits over his four innings of work. Alden Norquist, Jacob Liberta and Boivin combined to allow two hits over five innings in relief, recording four strikeouts over that span.
Utah starting pitcher Trevor Moore allowed just three hits and struck out four in seven shutout innings but didn’t factor in the decision.
“It was great, it was awesome,” said Rowe of the pitching performance in Game 1. “David Grewe threw super well. These games have obviously been super close and to allow zero runs for eight or nine innings is definitely a challenge. We give our pitchers a full round of BP if they throw a shutout, so they can look forward to that after the job they did.”
The Rogues outhit the Marshalls 5-4 in Game 2 and took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Grayson Grinsell — who singled to open the inning — scored on a passed ball.
Utah, however, responded immediately with three runs a half-inning later against Medford relief pitcher Kadyn Shelton. Kaden Carpenter doubled to left to score Drew Berkland to tie the game at 1-all. On the play, Jack Vanoncini scored thanks to a Rogues error in the outfield.
Another error, this time by Rogues third baseman Cole Arnold, allowed the third run of the inning to score, giving the Marshalls a 3-1 lead.
The Rogues had runners on base in each of the final three innings, but couldn’t capitalize on any of their opportunities to cut into the Marshalls’ lead.
Grinsell went 2-for-4 with a run out of the leadoff spot, while Baron Zamora finished 2-for-3. MacRae had Medford’s only other hit, finishing 1-for-2.
Rogues starting pitcher Victor Quinn threw three no-hit innings in Game 2. He struck out five and issued three walks.
“One bad inning defensively and we weren’t able to capitalize on a couple of different situations,” said Rowe when summing up Game 2. “Just a couple of situations where we’re not executing as well as we should and when you’re playing against a high-quality opponent, they’re going to make that hurt.
“I think it’s just our record in terms of wins and losses is really indicative of how much of a high quality our schedule is this year. Credit to (general manager) Dave May for doing that. It’s great for our hitters because it’s really tough when we get a hitter who doesn’t have a great year in college and then comes here and hits .400. All of the sudden it shows their coaches they might not be facing the highest level of competition.”
Moore, Green (8) and Neels; Grewe, Norquist (5), Liberta (6), Boivin (8) and Young, Blatnick (8). W — Boivin. L — Green. 2B — U: Carpenter.
West, Cushing (4) and Berkland; Quinn, Shelton (4), Drummond (5) and Blatnick. W — Cushing. L — Shelton. 2B — U: White, Carpenter; M: Zamora.
Reach reporter Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.