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Shipley excels for Tornado in sweep over Panthers

North Medford's Brady Shipley proved to be Mr. Clutch against rival South Medford in a battle for first place in the Southwest Conference baseball standings.

Shipley tossed a one-hit shutout in the nightcap as the Black Tornado completed a sweep over the Panthers, 12-2 and 10-0, at North Medford High Saturday.

Additionally, Shipley, who also plays shortstop, had five hits and six RBIs to pace the North offense in the doubleheader. The junior delivered four two-out RBIs on the day.

The top-ranked Tornado (19-2, 8-1 SWC) entered the twin bill with a one-game lead over second-place South Medford (12-9, 5-4).

"South has been playing some good baseball," said North coach Brett Wolfe. "They're scrappy. We played with a lot of energy. And Brady was superb."

Shipley (7-1) struck out 10 and didn't walk a batter in the six-inning second game. The Panthers' lone hit came on a two-out single by Casey Kline in the third inning. Shipley was efficient, needing just 77 pitches.

"(Shipley) had great poise on the mound," said Wolfe. "His rhythm and tempo were awesome. He got ahead of the hitters and made them put the ball in play."

It turned out Shipley drove in the only run he would need with a two-out RBI single in the first. His line drive over second base scored Cody James, who reached on an infield single and moved to second on a single by Colin Sowers.

"When you score first, it takes a lot of pressure off," said Wolfe. "Their kid (Sean Pearson) was throwing pretty well. When we pushed across the run in the first, you could see the air go out."

Shipley went 3-for-3 with three RBIs in the nightcap, while Hayden Wolfe, James, Sowers and Matt Maurer provided two hits each.

In Game 1, Tornado ace Maurer (7-1) struggled on the hill but still allowed only two hits in the five-inning contest. Maurer gave up one earned run, striking out five and walking six.

"(Maurer) has been working on some mechanical things," said Brett Wolfe. "He had the ball up and wasn't finishing his pitches. Today he was a little bit off but pitched good enough to win."

Maurer received ample offensive support from his teammates. The Tornado jumped out to a 7-2 lead after three innings.

North tallied three runs in the fifth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule. The Tornado capitalized on five walks in the frame. Shipley's sacrifice fly scored the game-ending run.

Shipley provided two hits and three RBIs in the opener and Chris Bradshaw and Cory Haggans collected two hits apiece.

"When we step on the field against North, our kids just don't play their game," South Medford coach Tom Britton said. "'The spark wasn't there nor was the urgency to compete. It's very frustrating for me as a coach. Our kids are so much better than what they have shown against North."

FIRST GAME

South Medford 011 00 — 2 2 4

North Medford 232 23 — 12 8 1

Rolie, Lundgren (4), Havird (5), Dollarhide (5) and Reordan; Maurer and Sowers. W — Maurer (7-1). L — Rolie. 2B — NM: Wolfe. 3B — NM: Ellis.

SECOND GAME

South Medford 000 000 — 0 1 1

North Medford 102 421 — 10 13 0

Pearson, Lundgren (4), Britton (4) and Reordan; Shipley and Sowers. W — Shipley (7-1). L — Pearson. 2B — NM: Shipley. 3B — NM: James, Wolfe.