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Kendall fans 13 as Ashland tops Crater

ASHLAND — Ashland head coach Don Senestraro calls shortstop Nick Hall the "backbone" of the Grizzlies' defense.

The backbone was out Thursday with the flu, but no matter. The Grizzlies' needed only the right arm of pitcher Ian Kendall to notch an 8-1 win over Crater in their Southern Sky Conference baseball opener at North Mountain Park.

Kendall struck out 13 batters and did not allow a hit in 52/3 dominant innings.

Lucas Stone was originally scheduled to start for Ashland (6-4, 1-0 SSC), but when Hall was ruled out, Senestraro decided to go with Kendall, whose 92 mph fastball tends to make life easier on the infield.

The late switch had the desired effect: Only two Comets (5-7, 1-1) advanced beyond first base in the first six innings.

"I just started to locate more," said Kendall, who bounced back from his first loss of the season Saturday against North Medford to improve to 2-1. "I trusted my teammates that they were going to play defense, so I just tried to throw strikes. I got quite a few strikeouts today, but I'm going to try from now on to let them hit the ball, play defense and make our team better every day."

Crater coach Jay Campbell said Kendall is the best pitcher in the SSC.

"I don't think there's any question about it," Campbell said. "He was pretty dominant today, and I don't think anybody else is close with him right now. Any time you've got that velocity and you're able to mix in a hard slider or curve, that makes it pretty tough."

After walking Crater leadoff batter Bryce Crawford, Kendall K'd seven straight batters to set the tone. He did most of the damage with his overpowering fastball, but kept the Comets off-balance with a curveball that looked like an underhanded lob by comparison.

"Once (Kendall) finds his change-up, he's going to be really, really good," Senestraro said.

The Grizzlies scored all the runs they would need in the first inning, with Kendall and Luke Baldrica each driving in a run. Kendall slapped an RBI double to right and Baldrica stroked a single to bring Kendall home and give Ashland a 2-0 lead.

Kendall, the only player with multiple hits, went 2-for-4 and scored three runs.

Crater 000 000 1 — 1 2 4

Ashland 200 141 x — 8 7 0

Kendall, Thomas (6), Stone (7) and Scarminach. Zelecki, Cortez (6) and Ullom. 2B — A: Kendall, Schlecht.

SOUTH MEDFORD 6-11, HENLEY 5-8 — South Medford swept nonconference opponent Henley using a five-run fifth inning in the opener and a season-high 14 hits in the nightcap at Harry & David Field.

Dylan Albertson crushed a two-RBI double and his brother, winning pitcher Cody Albertson, added a run-scoring double in the decisive fifth inning of the first game.

Bryson Lake finished 3-for-3 with two stolen bases, and Josh Havird went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the opener.

Allen Fitzsimmons had two doubles and scored three runs, and Brandon Dollarhide turned in two hits and three RBIs in the nightcap. Kyle Seutter recorded two hits, including a triple, and two runs, and Ryan Wellock added two hits for the Panthers, who struck out just twice all day.

FIRST GAME

Henley 000 020 3 — 5 8 3

South Medford 000 051 x — 6 8 1

Davis, Peterson (5) and Cullen; Namanny, Cody Albertson (5) and Fitzsimmons. W — C. Albertson (2-0). L — Davis. 2B — H: Herr, Lupinski; SM: D. Albertson, C. Albertson.

SECOND GAME

Henley 130 002 2 — 8 8 4

South Medford 023 051 x — 11 14 1

Cullen, Peterson (5) and Swan; Seutter, Phillips (3), Dollarhide (6) and Fitzsimmons. W — Phillips (2-0). L — Cullen. 2B — H: Lupinski 2, McDaniel; SM: Dollarhide, D. Albertson, Fitzsimmons 2, Wellock. 3B — SM: Seutter.

NORTH VALLEY JV 11 , PROSPECT 0, 6 inn. — At Prospect, North Valley capitalized on 10 walks and six Prospect errors.

Riley Linson's two-out, fourth-inning single was the only hit for Prospect (2-7).

North Valley JV 332 003 — 11 5 0

Prospect 000 000 — 0 1 6

Lewis and Calzada; Linson, Roe (2), Bernhardt (3), Kennedy (5) and Kennedy, Gallagher (5). W — Lewis. L — Linson (0-2). 2B — NV: Lewis, Farmer.

Softball

NORTH MEDFORD 13 , HENLEY 1, 5 inn. — At Klamath Falls, North Medford junior pitcher Lucy Baldovino relieved with no outs in the first after starter Kelsie Bartley was called for five illegal pitches.

Baldovino (6-0) finished the game allowing four hits, no walks and striking out two.

Kelsey Lemming went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the 17-hit Black Tornado attack.

Shortstop Jenna Stevens added three hits and two RBIs for North (10-1), while McKenna Storey, Amanda Wolfe, Hannah Lemming, Sierra Berryessa and Baldovino contributed two hits each.

North Medford 504 40 — 13 17 2

Henley 100 00 — 1 4 2

Bartley, Baldovino (1) and Wolfe; Pace, Goodell (4) and Prock. W — Baldovino (6-0). L — Pace. 2B — NM: H. Lemming, Wolfe, Stevens.

EAGLE POINT 6, SOUTH MEDFORD 5 — At Eagle Point, Christine McCready's squeeze bunt in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 5-5 tie and lifted Eagle Point (5-5).

Mackenzie Re and Karlie Stephens both hit solo home runs in the victory.

Shauntel Rodgers, who scored the winning run, was walked. Chloe Hanson followed with a single, Re flew out and then Stephens was walked, bringing up McCready.

Ashleigh Hawkins and Ricki Tacdol doubled for the Panthers.

South Medford 010 013 0 — 5 5 2

Eagle Point 010 130 1 — 6 6 2

Beamish-White and Equitz; Hanson, Stephens (6) and McCready, Hanson (6). 2B — SM: Hawkins, Tacdol. HR — EP: Re, Stephens.

CRATER 4, ROSEBURG 3 — At Central Point, Mallorie Mitchell scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh for Crater (6-5).

Mitchell opened the seventh with a single, then scored on Dennae Grant's bases-loaded squeeze bunt with no outs.

Crater's Kayla Hopkinson, who blasted a solo home run in the fifth, had two hits, as did Mitchell.

Sophomore Kelsey Bacon (2-1) pitched one scoreless inning for the win.

Roseburg 100 101 0 — 3 4 1

Crater 101 010 1 — 4 9 2

Akers and Jarrett; Murphy, Bacon (7) and Haga. W — Bacon (2-1). L — Akers. 2B — R: Conn; C: Haga, Murphy, Mitchell, Lines. HR — C: Hopkinson

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 8, HIDDEN VALLEY 3 — Cascade Christian bunched five of its 10 hits in a five-run fourth inning in the nonconference game at U.S. Cellular.

Brandi Johnson's two-run single highlighted the inning.

Winning pitcher Jasmine Gomez (7-3) went the distance. She struck out five and walked one.

Hayley Casebier went 3-for-3 with an RBI to pace Cascade Christian (7-4, 2-0 Sunset), and Bree Lunzy added two hits.

Hidden Valley 100 002 0 — 3 5 4

Cascade Christian 020 510 x — 8 10 3

Allen and Elmore; Gomez and J. Martinez. W — Jasmine Gomez (7-3). L — Allen. 2B — HV: Krout, Giurlani; CC: Casebier.

NORTH VALLEY 15, RIDDLE 5, 5 inn. — At Merlin, Chelsey Million had three hits, Kenzie Schmoll turned in four RBIs and Hidden Valley (1-7) earned its first win of the year.

Jasmine Aaron finished with two hits and Katie Dellsite tripled for the Knights.

Riddle 104 00 — 5 5 7

North Valley 122 82 — 15 10 2

Hunt and Yackamouih; Pavlich, Aaron (4) and Schmoll, Peckham (4). W — Aaron (1-3). L — Hunt. 2B — R: Riekeman, Hunt; NV: Stevens, Sears. 3B — NV: Dellsite.

Crater's Dustin Lathrop, right, tags out Ashland's Luke Baldrica at third base on Thursday. - Jamie Lusch