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Brown lifts Mustangs over Dirtbags

Micah Brown has made it a habit to spark the Medford Mustangs’ offense when the postseason rolls around, and the veteran outfielder was back to his old tricks again Thursday at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.

Brown, who was named MVP of last year’s American Legion AAA state tournament and Northwest Regionals, supplied a three-run home run in the third inning to kickstart Medford’s offense as the Mustangs ran away from the Dallas DeMarini Dirtbags for a 14-5 victory.

Brown finished 3-for-5 with two runs and four RBIs for the Mustangs (36-11), who remained unbeaten through two days at this year’s state tournament. Medford will look to keep that streak alive at 4 p.m. today when it takes on the tourney’s only other unbeaten in the Portland Barbers, who topped the Eugene Challengers 21-11 on Thursday.

“Micah’s three-run home run really just picked up our confidence today,” said Mustangs manager Nate Mayben. “Not that we were lacking confidence, but you just get to breath a little bit when you go up 4-0.”

That effort, however, was just the tip of the iceberg for Medford, which ultimately separated from the Dirtbags with an eight-run fifth inning that featured seven hits.

“We definitely are feeding off each other and we have good energy now,” said Mayben, whose team has scored in bunches so far in Salem. “I feel like the guys have the desire we’ve been wanting for two weeks and we’re ready to go now. I can’t ask for much more from them.”

Cole Carder went 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs to help Medford’s cause against Dallas, while Austin Zavala was 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI and Eric Carlson 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.

In the fifth-inning outburst, Jared Evans reached on an error and, after a single by Brown, the Mustangs got consecutive RBI singles from Rogan and Zavala. Carlson added an RBI double and after an intentional walk to Colton Westfall, Carder came through with a two-run single. Tate Cowden and Brown followed with RBI doubles.

On the mound, Jordan Ragan improved to 7-1 after allowing two runs — one earned — in 5⅔ innings. Ragan gave up four hits with four walks, one hit batter and two strikeouts under sun-baked conditions.

“Luckily we went through some of this weather early, and it was probably hotter then down (in Medford),” said Mayben. “What our guys have done a really good job of the last two days is keeping their energy up with the heat way it is. That’s a testament to them and just how bad they want it.”



Ragan, Weaver (6), Brown (9) and Zavala; Halley, Johnson (5) and Desbins. W — Ragan (7-1). L — Halley. 2B — M: Carlson 2, Fredrickson, Brown, Cowden. HR — M: Brown (3); D: Armstrong.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry