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Johnson propels St. Mary’s to victory

St. Mary’s junior left-hander Joe Johnson helped set the tone from the mound early, then helped his own cause with a booming home run to help the Crusaders baseball team remain unbeaten with an 11-1, five-inning victory over Illinois Valley on Friday.

The second game of the planned Southern Cascade League doubleheader at St. Mary’s High was rescheduled to 10 a.m. today due to rain.

Johnson allowed three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings, improving to 5-0 for the Crusaders (17-0, 4-0 SCL). He finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs, two of which came on his third-inning home run over the team’s batting cages in right field.

“It was a bomb,” said St. Mary’s head coach Sean Gallagher of Johnson’s third homer. “It was probably the hardest hit I’ve ever seen out of a high school kid.”

Complementing Johnson was a defense that committed only one error and a steady offense that scored three runs in the second inning and six more in the third to pull away.

“That’s kind of been the bug our last few games,” Gallagher said of prior errors, “and we kind of nailed down that down today and hopefully we can continue the because our pitching has been stellar.”

Tanner Smith’s two-run single got things going against Illinois Valley (2-14, 0-3), and Travis Danielson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs for St. Mary’s.

Illinois Valley;001;00;—;1;3;2

St. Mary’s;036;2x;—;11;7;1

Davis and McLanahan; Johnson and Mulholland. W — Johnson (5-0). L — Davis. 2B — SM: Smith. HR — SM: Johnson (3).

YREKA 12, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 9: Gunnar Thompson went 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs but Cascade Christian was outscored 4-0 over the final three innings to decide the nonleague contest at U.S. Cellular.

Trenton Palmer was 2-for-4 with one run and Luke Smith 2-for-3 with one run and two stolen bases for the Challengers (4-10).

Brandon Swenson had two of Yreka’s five triples and finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs for the Miners (8-12-1).

Yreka;341;013;0;—;12;15;6

Cascade Christian;034;200;0;—;9;12;5

Swenson, Sanders (3), Fraley (3) and Plucker; West, McLemore (5) and Palmer. W — Fraley. L — McLemore. 2B — Y: B. Swenson, CC: Ca. Wager. 3B — Y: B. Swenson 2, Plucker, Quigley 2; CC: Ch. Wager.

GRANTS PASS 13-9, SOUTH EUGENE 2-10: At Eugene, Grants Pass used a three-run home run by Jake Stoffel and a solo homer by Anthony Del Toro to cruise past South Eugene in the opener but the Axemen rallied from a 7-4 deficit in Game 2 to split the Southwest Conference doubleheader.

Brennan Lauffenburger struck out seven, walked one and allowed eight hits in Game 1 for Grants Pass (7-9, 3-9 SWC)), while Cody Ekwall was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Del Toro 3-for-3 with three runs and Easton Bents and Logan Zozaya each went 2-for-4 with two runs.

Vince Zavolta’s grand slam gave GP a 7-4 edge in the fourth inning of Game 2 but a five-run fifth inning fueled the comeback for South Eugene (8-8, 6-6). Drew Bjorn was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Bents 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass;015;041;2;—;13;17;1

South Eugene;000;101;0;—;2;8;4

Lauffenburger, Kroplin (7) and Bjorn; Sherman, Bronaugh (5) and Marsh. W — Lauffenburger. L — Sherman. 2B — GP: Bents, Zozaya, Del Toro. 3B — SE: Moore. HR — GP: Del Toro, Stoffel.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass;003;400;2;—;9;6;4

South Eugene;202;051;x;—;10;11;5

Ekwall, D’Amico (6), Kroplin (6) and Bjorn; Moore, Molaski (4) and Marsh. W — Molaski. L — Ekwall. 2B — GP: Bents; SE: Wonham. HR — GP: Zavolta, Bjorn.

Softball

THURSTON 4-12, GRANTS PASS 3-3: At Springfield, Grants Pass got two hits apiece from Brooklyn Hurd and Halleigh Noga in the opener but Thurston broke a 3-all tie in the bottom of the fourth and held on from there in SWC play.

Thurston (10-7, 8-4 SWC) got a two-run home run by Allie Dolbin and a solo shot from Makalyn Mason to win Game 2 and secure a sweep of the Cavers (10-7, 6-6).

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass;200;100;0;—;3;8;3

Thurston;021;100;x;—;4;6;1

Etheridge and Doman; Muggy and Mason. W — Muggy. L — Etheridge. 2B — T: Muggy.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass;010;003;0;—;4;6;3

Thurston;320;304;x;—;12;13;2

Etheridge and Doman; Keefauver and Mason. W — Keefauver. L — Etheridge. 2B — GP: Noga; T: Martin 2, Mason, Holland. HR — T: Dolbin, Mason.