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Sheldon ousts South Medford with key hits

EUGENE — Sheldon used two big hits to score all its runs in a 5-2 victory over South Medford in the second round of the Class 6A baseball state playoffs Wednesday.

Sheldon, the Southwest Conference champion, defeated league mate South Medford for the third time in four games this season.

The loss ended the season for the Panthers (17-10), who were third in the SWC. Sheldon (20-7) hosts Grant on Friday.

South Medford was seeded 14th and Sheldon third.

The Irish scored twice in the first inning and three times in the third, then rode the pitching of Dillon Dudley.

“It was a good game,” said South Medford coach Ray Smith. “It was well played on both sides.”

The Panthers had nine hits to Sheldon’s eight but couldn’t turn the hits into runs, save for the sixth inning, when they scored twice.

Sheldon, meanwhile, scored all its runs with two outs.

“They got a couple of key hits, key big hits,” said Smith, “and we didn’t.”

Koby Long had a two-run flare to right field in the first inning for Sheldon, and Dylan Hansen belted a two-out, 2-2 pitch to the left-center field gap in the third inning.

South Medford put the ball in play often, striking out only once. But shortstop Matt Land “made three or four spectacular plays to save them runs,” said Smith, “and they made three or four diving catches in the outfield.”

In the sixth, Jaylin Parnell and Robby Carle each rapped RBI singles for the Panthers.

Parnell was 2-for-3 for South Medford and added a run. Clint Campbell was 2-for-4.

Jacob Melton legged out a triple and Ethan Whitney added a double for the Panthers.

South Medford;000;002;0;—;2;9;0

Sheldon;203;000;x;—;5;8;0

Thompson, Carle (4) and Carle, Thompson (4); Dudley and Olsson. W — Dudley. L — Thompson (5-4). 2B — SM: Whitney; S: Hansen. 3B — SM: Melton; S: Land.

SANTIAM CHRISTIAN 3, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 2, 9 inn.: At Adair Village, Santiam Christian’s Ryan Mendenhall singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Class 3A first-round state playoff game.

Fifth-seeded Santiam Christian (15-9) will next play at St. Mary’s on Friday. Cascade Christian, the 12th seed, finished 15-11.

The Challengers threatened in the top of the ninth after Declan Payne and Lance Shields hit singles. But pinch-runner Elijah Smith was thrown out attempting to score from third during a rundown play that started between first and second.

Gunnar Thompson, who was 2-for-4, drove in Cascade Christian’s runs in the fourth and fifth innings with a double and a single. Shields was also 2-for-4.

Challengers starter Jeff Letendre allowed five hits and struck out seven in seven innings.

Cascade Christian;000;110;000;—;2;7;3

Santiam Christian;002;000;001;—;3;8;0

Letendre, Reece (8) and Thompson; Carley, Bratton (7) and Atkins, Carley (7). W — Bratton. L — Reece. 2B — CC: Thompson; SC: Hall 2.

LA GRANDE 10, PHOENIX 3: At La Grande, La Grande rode a six-run second inning to eliminate Phoenix in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Tigers had five of their nine hits in the second. Although the Pirates (15-11) also had nine hits, La Grande starter G.T. Blackman prevented Phoenix from generating enough offense for ace James Turnbull, who finished the season with an 8-2 record.

Turnbull knocked a two-out, run-scoring single in the third inning and finished 2-for-3, as did Freedom Martinez, who scored in the fourth on Sam Datz’s base hit. Thomas Skaff scored a pair of runs for the Pirates.

Phoenix;001;100;1;—;3;9;2

La Grande;062;200;0;—;10;9;2

Turnbull, Stella (3), Knutson (4) and Courtney; Blackman and Paustian. W — Blackman. L — Turnbull (8-2). 2B — L: Peasley; P: Watts. 3B — L: Gonzalez, Chamberlain.