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Expos snap Mustangs' winning streak

The Medford Mustangs have shown a knack for competing to the final out thus far this season but they didn’t get a chance to do so Thursday due to steady rain at Harry & David Field.

With the game shortened to six innings, the Mustangs lost potential time to rally and wound up settling for a 6-5 loss to the visiting Fairfield Expos, putting an end to Medford’s six-game winning streak.

“It would’ve been nice to finish things out,” said Mustangs manager Nate Mayben, “but our real focus is on being ready for Monday (and an Area 4-opening doubleheader against Willamette Valley).”

Fairfield built a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning but the Mustangs (6-4) rallied with three runs in the bottom half of the frame to take a 4-3 advantage. The Expos, however, used a two-run single by Petey Torres to highlight a three-run fifth inning that proved to be the difference. Medford tacked on a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to draw within one run before the game was called prior to the top of the seventh inning.

“I thought that our guys played pretty well tonight,” said Mayben. “I liked the answer we had in the third inning when we put up a three-spot after they put up a two-spot to take the lead. Our guys are doing a good job of continuing to battle.”

One night after Kasey Buchanan belted the team’s first home run of the summer, the Mustangs tacked on two more fence-clearing efforts. Nick Sanderson hit a two-run home run with two outs in the third inning and Cole Carder added a solo homer with one out in the sixth.

“I’ll take more of them, that’s for sure,” Mayben said of the sudden power surge. “Sanderson put the barrel on a nice pitch there and drove the ball to right field and Cole Carder hit a ball out of the park in left-center which you rarely see balls go out there. It’s nice to see to some power there, that’s for sure.”

Carder finished 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs to pace the Mustangs, while Fairfield’s Colton Peterson, Jake Gamba and Justin Banks each had two hits and one run scored. Banks also had two RBIs for the California ballclub.

Fairfield;102;030;—;6;9;1

Medford;103;001;—;5;6;0

Ramos, Nehring (6) and Bins; Whitney, Wolff (4) and Mahoney. W — Ramos. L — Wolff (1-1). 2B — M: Cowden, Carder, Buchanan. HR — M: Sanderson (1), Carder (1).

GRANTS PASS 16-0, NORTH MEDFORD 8-6: Kyle Reece pitched a rain-shortened three-hit shutout in the nightcap as the North Medford Mavericks gained an American Legion A nonleague split in the nightcap at North Medford High.

Reece (1-0) struck out five and walked none in a game that was called in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Zack Collins rapped a two-out, two-run single in the second inning for the Mavericks’ big hit.

Nate Morgan went 4-for-5 with four runs scored and three RBIs to pace the Grants Pass Diggers’ 16-hit attack in the opener.

The Mavericks (6-2) were led by Josh Robbins with four hits, two RBIs and one run.

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass;220;261;3;—;16;17;2

North Medford;201;140;0;—;8;11;2

Shelley, Calabro (5) and Padget; Carpenter, Gassman (5) and Robbins. W — Shelley. L — Carpenter (0-1). 2B — GP: Morgan, King; NM: Collins, Robbins. 3B — GP: Padget; NM: Robbins.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass;000;00;—;0;3;2

North Medford;230;10;—;6;4;1

Morgan, Smith (2) and Padget; Reece and Geyer. W — Reece 1-0. L — Morgan.