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PREPS: Phoenix hangs on to deny Pelicans

TALENT — Things got pretty exciting in the waning moments of Wednesday’s Skyline Conference baseball clash between Phoenix and Klamath Union, but it was the kind of exciting that Pirates coach Bill Hutchinson enjoys.

Phoenix built a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the seventh at Hagler-James Field but wound up holding on for a 5-4 triumph on a game-ending out on a play at home plate.

“It was a fun game and a good way to end,” said Hutchinson, whose team improved to 13-11 overall and 7-6 in Skyline play.

Klamath Union (7-14, 3-10) staged a two-out rally in the seventh, scoring on an error and a blast over the head of right fielder Mason Stella. On the play, however, Stella stayed with it and relayed the ball in for second baseman Braeden Watts, who turned and fired a strike to catcher Colton Merriman for a tag on Austin Erickson to end the contest.

“That’s a huge play, absolutely,” said Hutchinson. “It shows their character.”

Stella had an RBI single in the first inning and Nik Goff’s sacrifice fly and an ensuing passed ball in the second allowed the Pirates to build a 3-0 cushion. Kade Beer, who finished 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI, tacked on an RBI triple with two outs in the third to make it 4-1.

Phoenix scored what would be its winning run in the sixth when, with two outs, Freedom Martinez walked and stole second. After an error and a walk to Brandon Zanni loaded the bases, Martinez came home on another passed ball.

Overall, the Pirates stranded nine baserunners to keep them from breaking the game open earlier.

“We hit balls right at guys the entire day,” said Hutchinson. “It was amazing, line drve after line drive.”

Klamath Union0010012—455

Phoenix121001x—554

D. Short, Bowman (4) and Burtenhouse; Humble, Beer (7) and Merriman. W — Humble (2-3). L — Bowman. 2B — KU: D. Short. 3B — P: Beer.

Softball

PHOENIX 21, KLAMATH UNION 0, 5 inn.: At Talent, Makenna Page went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and three runs as Phoenix (11-10, 6-7 Skyline) cruised to its third win in a row.

Taylor Wallack went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and also had one of the Pirates’ three doubles, and pitcher Raelyssa Goff blanked Klamath Union through the first three innings while striking out three.

Klamath Union (1-16, 0-13) suffered its 16th straight loss.

Klamath Union00000—044

Phoenix2(13)06x—21151

Allred, Boyette (2), Allred (3) and Martin; Goff, Mathewson (4), Hanson (5) and Bowman. W — Goff (5-5). L — Allred. 2B — P: Page, Bowman, Wallack.

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