BASEBALL/SOFTBALL: South stumbles but still second in SWC
GRANTS PASS — In contention for a Southwest Conference baseball title less than a week ago, the South Medford Panthers were swept by Grants Pass on Saturday and had to settle for a second-place finish in the final league standings.
Jett Hood’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth gave the Cavemen the lead for good en route to their 6-3 win in Saturday’s opening game of the doubleheader, and pitchers Matt Knight and Braeden Bellum combined to stymie South Medford in Grants Pass’ 2-1 victory in Game 2 at Grants Pass High School.
The setbacks, South Medford’s second and third in a row to wrap up SWC play, dropped the Panthers (12-13, 8-7 SWC) into a second-place tie with South Eugene in the final league standings. Now, South Medford and Grants Pass (14-12, 6-9) will have to wait until after the Class 6A rankings freeze Thursday to find out who they’ll play in the first round of the 32-team playoff bracket.
South Medford scored three runs in the first to grab the early momentum in Game 1, but the Cavemen roared back with two in the second and four in the fifth, going ahead on Hood’s homer to center.
Hood went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Cade King held South to four hits in a complete-game effort.
South Medford starter Blake Shields surrendered six runs, five earned, in 42/3 innings to take the loss. Trevor Marthoski and Steven Ledendecker both went 1-for-2 with a run scored for South, while Bennett Thompson hit a double.
In the nightcap, Grants Pass scored two runs on an error with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and then held on to complete the sweep.
The Panthers cut the lead in half on Thompson’s sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh but, with the tying run at third, Bellum induced a grounder to third to clinch the game.
Panthers’ starter Rickey Boortz gave up no earned runs on four hits in six innings with four strikeouts and no walks. South’s offense was led by Giovanni Bottero, who went 2-for-4, and Zac Ankeny, who went 2-for-3. Chase Costanti was 1-for-1 with two walks.
Knight limited South to eight hits in 61/3 innings before Bellum took over for a seven-pitch save.
Shields, Lauchstedt (5) and Thompson; King and Hood. W — King. L — Shields. 2B — SM: Thompson; GP: Medley 2. 3B — GP: Tobin. HR — GP: Hood.
Boortz and Thompson; Knight, Bellum (7) and Henricks. W — Knight. L — Boortz. 2B — SM: Bottero, Ledendecker. 3B — GP: Henricks.
NORTH MEDFORD 4-4, SOUTH EUGENE 0-2: North Medford pitchers Ryan Sandoval and Cody Borraggine did not allow an earned run in a combined 14 innings pitched and Sandoval also came up big at the plate as the Black Tornado capped its SWC campaign with a much-needed sweep at North Medford High.
In the opener, Sandoval held visiting South Eugene (15-7, 8-7 SWC) scoreless on three hits for his first shutout of the season. He struck out four without a walk, and also helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with a two-run single in North’s decisive three-run fifth. Also for the Tornado, Josh Baptiste went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI and Taven Passey 2-for-2 with a run.
In Game 2, Borraggine limited the Axe to two unearned runs on three hits while striking out three for the Tornado (12-12, 7-8). Brady Buchanan went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Sandoval had an RBI single in North’s three-run third.
Miller and Brown; Sandoval and Passey. W — Sandoval (5-4). L — Miller. 2B — SE: Boettcher; NM: Baptiste.
Touchette, Vidal (5) and Brown; Borraggine and Passey. W — Borraggine (3-4). L — Touchette. 2B — SE: Bray; NM: Buchanan.
ASHLAND 4-5, WILLAMETTE 1-4: At Ashland, Traber Burns’ single up the middle with two outs in the 10th scored Evan McLennan from second and secured a Midwestern League sweep for Ashland, which clinched no worse than a third-place finish in the final league standings.
McLennan led off the final frame of Game 2 with a single and advanced to second on Rowan Amann’s sacrifice bunt. McLennan picked up the pitching victory after tossing eight innings of shutout ball in relief for the Grizzlies (15-8, 9-5 MWL).
In Game 1, Eli Westrick earned a complete-game victory for Ashland after holding Willamette (8-15, 6-8) to one run on nine hits while striking out six. Amann was 3-for-3.
Bracy and Bushnell; Westrick and Burns. W — Westrick. L — Bracy. 2B — W: Bushnell; A: McLennan.
Pierson, Allen (6) and x; Amann, McLennan (3) and x. W — McLennan. L — Allen. 2B — W: Sandow; A: Reynolds, Carter.
PHOENIX 5-15, KLAMATH UNION 1-3: At Klamath Falls, Phoenix starters Liam Serean and Freedom Martinez stifled Klamath Union, allowing a combined seven hits in the twin bill, as the Pirates finished tied for third in league with the Skyline Conference sweep.
Serean allowed four hits with 12 strikeouts and four walks in the opener for Phoenix (15-11, 9-6 Skyline), while Martinez struck out eight and allowed two walks and three hits in the five-inning nightcap.
AJ Stanfield was 2-for-3 with one run in each game, while Mason Stella was 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs and Martinez 2-for-3 with one RBI in Game 1 against the Pelicans (7-16, 3-12).
In Game 2, Kade Beer went 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs, Serean 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs, Braeden Watts 2-for-3 with two runs and Ian Wood 2-for-2 with one run and one RBI.
Serean, Stella (7) and Zanni; D. Short, Taylor (5) and Coulter. W — Serean (7-2). L — D. Short. 2B — P: Stanfield, Humble; KU: Erickson.
Martinez and Merriman; Cook, Peterson (3), Pena (4), D. Short (5) and Coulter. W — Martinez (4-4). L — Cook. 2B — P: Serean, Beer 2, Zanni, Wood.
NORTH MEDFORD 11-8, SOUTH EUGENE 0-1: At Eugene, North Medford starters Ella Ivens and Makenna Austin combined to allow only four hits with 20 strikeouts in the Southwest Conference sweep.
Ivens gave up three hits with two walks and had 11 strikeouts in the opener for the Black Tornado (13-12, 6-9 SWC), who finished fourth in the league. Austin allowed only one hit with nine strikeouts and one hit batter in Game 2.
North Medford senior Kyleigh Lopez had two hits in each game, while Lauren Barry was 3-for-4 with two runs and an inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning of Game 2.
Chelby Smalley, Kylie Baker and Ivens added two hits in the opener, and Grace Johnson and Shahar Miles each had two hits in the nightcap against winless South Eugene (0-20, 0-15).
Ivens and Smalley; Clark and Kochevar. W — Ivens (10-10). L — Clark.
Austin and Smalley; Clark and Kochevar. W — Austin (3-2). L — Clark. 2B — NM: Lopez. HR — NM: Barry (1).
GRANTS PASS 16-8, SOUTH MEDFORD 5-1: South Medford sophomore Matyln Leetch combined to go 5-for-6 with three RBIs in the Southwest Conference sweep by visiting Grants Pass, which sewed up a tie for the SWC title with Sheldon.
Leetch drove in a run in the fourth and fifth innings of the six-inning opener for the Panthers (7-18, 4-11 SWC), then added an RBI single in Game 2 after Cassie Fleming had singled in the third inning. Maddie Dalke also had an RBI single in the opener.
Hailey Yount was 3-for-4 with six RBIs and Grace Gaither 2-for-3 to pace the Cavers (22-3, 12-3) in the opener, while Kylie Rucker was 3-for-4 with three runs and Devin Ireland 2-for-4 with two RBIs in Game 2.
Padgett and Stevens; Truex and Bratcher. W — Padgett. L — Truex (3-6). 2B — GP: Padgett, Yount 2.
Padgett and Stevens; Dalke and Bratcher. W — Padgett. L — Dalke (3-7). 2B — GP: Gaither, Stevens, SM: Leetch.
WILLAMETTE 9-8, ASHLAND 3-4: At Ashland, Ashland outhit Willamette but couldn’t overcome a nine-error day that sank the Grizzlies’ playoff hopes at North Mountain Park.
Alia Gorringe had seven hits on the day for Ashland (8-14, 4-10 MWL), including a 4-for-4 effort in the opener.
In Game 1, Ashland’s Ella Hart had two hits and Gabby Heiken a double. Heiken also limited Willamette (10-13, 6-8) to one earned run in four innings in the circle, as the Grizzlies shot themselves in the foot with seven errors.
In Game 2, Gorringe went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Hart and Kallin Hakes had two hits apiece.
Garcia and Ortega; Heiken, Adams (5) and Hakes. W — Garcia. L — Heiken (6-6). 2B — W: Olson; A: Heiken, Hart, Gorringe.
Garcia and Ortega; Adams, Heiken (3) and Hakes. W — Garcia. L — Adams (2-8). 2B — W: Bidikofer; A: Gorringe, Hart. 3B — A: Gorringe.
PHOENIX 26-23, KLAMATH UNION 2-0: At Klamath Falls, Makenna Page went 5-for-6 with two doubles and a homer in the opener, Halie Bowman was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Game 2 and the Pirates completed their Skyline Conference campaign with a 42-hit sweep.
In the opener, Page came a triple shy of batting for the cycle, while Abigale George went 3-for-3 with three runs and Raelyssa Goff 3-for-4 with three runs for the Pirates (13-10, 8-7 Skyline).
In Game 2, Goff, Ashley Gurr and Taylor Wallack had two hits apiece. Goff also pitched well, holding KU (1-19, 0-15) scoreless on one hit while striking out three.
The Pirates will find out their Class 4A play-in opponent after the rankings freeze Monday.
Mathewson and Bowman; Allred and Martin. W — Mathewson (7-5). L — Allred. 2B — P: Page 2, Hanson, Goff 2, Bolstad, Prinslow. 3B — P: Bolstad. HR — P: Page, Bowman.
Goff and Bowman; Boyette and Martin. W — Goff (6-5). L — Boyette. 2B — P: Mathewson, Goff 2.