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PREP BASEBALL: Ashland slides by Eagle Point

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Strong pitching carries Grizzlies to nail-biting sweep of Eagles

It wasn’t always pretty for the Ashland baseball team but the end results were all that mattered in a Midwestern League sweep of Eagle Point at North Mountain Park in Ashland.

Ashland used stellar efforts on the mound from Gabe Brabec, Evan Rhoden and Keller Bloodworth to secure a pair of nail-biting victories, 4-3 and 9-8 in nine innings, over the visiting Eagles, who had no designs of going down quietly.

“Really the story of the day was our pitching,” said Ashland coach Nick Hall. “It just barely held us together.”

Brabec, a junior, limited Eagle Point to one hit with 12 strikeouts and three walks over six solid innings in the opener. In Game 2, the freshman Rhoden struck out 10 with three walks and three hits allowed over 5 2/3 innings.

Bloodworth, a sophomore, nailed down the opening win with a scoreless seventh inning for a save and then pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings in Game 2 with five strikeouts and one walk to earn the extra-inning decision for Ashland (3-0, 2-0 MWL).

“We had excellent starting pitching in both games and we didn’t really do anything else good, that’s why it was so close,” said Hall. “We didn’t play good defense, we didn’t hit with runners in scoring position, and we had some baserunning boo-boos, but our pitching was excellent.”

Credit also went to Eagle Point (1-2, 0-2), which managed only five hits over the twin bill but was still in position to win each game Friday.

“They did a lot of stuff and put a lot of pressure on us so hat’s off to them for their baserunning and manufacturing of runs,” Hall said of the Eagles.

Eagle Point senior Michael Elder supplied an RBI single during his team’s three-run fourth inning in Game 1 to gain a 3-2 advantage, but Ashland came right back in the fifth with a pair of runs to score the comeback victory.

For the Grizzlies, Bloodworth went 2-for-2 with two runs and Jackson Rosenthal was 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI to help secure the opener.

Ashland appeared destined for an easier outcome in Game 2 after a five-run fourth inning and another run in the fifth gave the Grizzlies an 8-3 lead.

Once again, the Eagles scrapped their way back, posting a pair of runs in the sixth and then three in the seventh to tie the game before Bloodworth could come in and hold the game at 8-all.

After that, it was a series of missed opportunities until the ninth inning, where a pair of walks, a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball resulted in the final run for Ashland.

“We had scoring opportunities in the bottom of the seventh and bottom of the eighth and we couldn’t get it done,” said Hall. “Then we score without a hit in the ninth. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

Jackson Kemper drove in two runs while Rosenthal and Bloodworth each had two hits in Game 2 for the Grizzlies, with Tripp Repp and Rosenthal each scoring twice.

For the Eagles, Joshua Jackson was 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs while teammates Camden Gorman and Elder each scored twice in the nightcap.

FIRST GAME

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J. Jackson, Isackson (3), Fazio (3) and Hammer; Brabec, Bloodworth (7) and Wright. W — Brabec (2-0). L — Fazio (0-1). S — Bloodworth (1).

SECOND GAME

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Ashland110510 001—984

Moore, Rullamas (4), Fazio (5), Dustin (9) and Hammer; Rhoden, Shrader (6), Bloodworth (7) and Wright. W — Bloodworth (1-0). L — Dustin (0-1). 2B — EP: J. Jackson; A: Rosenthal.

NORTH MEDFORD 10, NEWBERG 0, 5 inn.: North Medford starting pitcher Trey Newmann struck out nine over four shutout innings and got plenty of early run support as the Black Tornado cruised to a win its season opener at North Medford High.

Newmann allowed just two hits and walked two, while Frankie Rutigliano pitched the final inning in relief to complete the shutout.

Rutigliano also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Aiden Horsley was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three runs. Rutigliano and Horsley hit back-to-back RBI triples in the bottom of the first to put the Tornado (1-0) up 2-0.

Horsley added an RBI single in the second inning, while Kellen Willer added an RBI double, Colton Morgan had a fourth-inning RBI single and Newmann added an RBI on a sac fly.

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C. Newman, Geibel (4) and N. Newman; Newmann, Rutigliano (5) and Robbins. W — Newmann (1-0). L — C. Newman. 2B — NM: Robbins, Willer. 3B — NM: Rutigliano, Horsley.

CRATER 6-5, NORTH BEND 5-4: At North Bend, Crater came back to tie the nightcap in the fourth inning and went ahead for good in the fifth to complete a season-opening Midwestern League sweep.

The Comets (2-0, 2-0 MWL) committed three errors in the bottom of the first inning and the Lava Bears (0-2, 0-2) capitalized by grabbing a 3-0 lead.

In the fourth, Crater’s Josiah Hearne ripped a two-run single and was followed by Brandon Tibbils’ two-run double to knot the score at 4-all. In the top of the fifth, Damon Kindreich drove home Caleb Randolph — who reached base with a walk and stole second — for the eventual winning run.

Hayden Kindreich allowed one earned run on seven hits, no walks and seven strikeouts in a complete-game effort.

Both Damon Kindreich and Ryan Hill went 2-for-3 with a double for Crater.

In the opener, Tibbils hit a two-run double in the top of the second as the Comets built a 4-0 lead.

Crater’s defense came up big in the sixth when the Comets escaped a bases loaded jam with no outs behind a 4-6-3 double play and a strikeout by Tibbils.

Randolph struck out eight in his four innings.

FIRST GAME

Crater1311000—662

North Bend0301010—562

Randolph, Tibbils (5) and Lundeen; H. Wheeling, Wicks (5) and Brode. W — Randolph (1-0). L — Wheeling. 2B — C: Tibbils; NB: Wheeling.

SECOND GAME

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H. Kindreich and D. Kindreich; L. Wheeling, Gelens (5) and Brode. W — H. Kindreich (1-0). L — Gelens. 2B — C: Tibbils; NB: Stevens.

LASSEN 5, PHOENIX 4: At Yreka, Calif., Phoenix starter Julius Bolstad threw five strong innings but Lassen used a pinch-hit walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to rally at the Yreka Tournament.

Bolstad struck out six and allowed three hits and no earned runs while also batting 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Phoenix’s Dominic Crenshaw went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI singles to help Phoenix (0-3) build an early 4-2 lead.

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Lassen2020001—554

Bolstad, Hull (6) and Shilts; Shields, Robinson (6) and Wright. W — Robinson. L — Hull (0-1).

CASCADE CHRISTIAN TAKES TWO: At Yreka, Calif., Triston Wallace hit an RBI triple in the top of the seventh to break a 7-all tie and allow Cascade Christian to beat Yreka and sweep a pair of games at the Yreka Tournament.

The Challengers (2-0) recorded a 6-4 win over Del Norte earlier in the day before striking late to beat host Yreka 8-7.

Owen Thompson picked up the win in Game 1 for Cascade, throwing six shutout innings after allowing two hits while striking out six.

Austin Waits went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs against Del Norte, and Cody Reece and Cole Shields each scored a pair of runs. Ashton Moody and Liam Benade also had an RBI apiece.

In Game 2, three of Cascade’s top four hitters — Reece, Thompson and Shields — each scored two runs. Shields also had a double, a triple and two RBIs.

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Thompson, Stofflet (7) and Wallace; Mattz, Daniels (5) and Maxwell. W — Thompson (1-0). L — Mattz. 2B — CC: Reed; DN: Bommelyn. 3B — DN: Dixon.

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Yreka0201040—795

Waits, Stofflet (5), Knips (6) and Wallace; Knight, Vann (5) and Randall, Zediker (5). W — Knips (1-0). L — Vann. 2B — CC: Shields; Y: Callahan, Knight. 3B — CC: Shields, Wallace. HR — Y: Persing.

ST. MARY’S SPLITS: At La Pine, St. Mary’s rolled up seven runs in the seventh inning to rally past Joseph/Enterprise/Wallowa/Elgin, 9-3, before the Crusaders were dealt their first loss by La Pine, 7-6.

After Travis Johnson reached first base with a bunt in the top of the seventh, Beau Aldrich’s double tied the score at 3-all. Later in the frame with Aldrich at third, Tyson Delplanche laid down a bunt that brought Aldrich home and put the Crusaders up for good before tacking on five insurance runs.

The Crusaders’ Alan Gomez finished 3-for-5 and scored twice, Aldrich went 2-for-5 and Ean Lawrence finished 2-for-3.

Johnson allowed two unearned runs on three hits and struck out four. The starter Lawrence fanned four over the first two innings.

St. Mary’s held a 5-2 lead over La Pine until the fifth inning, when the Hawks (2-1) tallied five runs to take a 7-5 edge.

In the top of the sixth, Lawrence singled and stole second and third base to get into position for Gomez’s RBI single. Gomez was able to steal second base before being stranded, with the game ending after the top of the sixth due to darkness.

Gomez went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Lawrence was 3-for-3 with two runs andJ ake Pivaroff 2-for-3 with an RBI.

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Joseph/Enterprise1000200—355

Lawrence, Johnson (3) and Shunk, Lawrence (3); Grover, Collier (6), Melville (7) and C. Fent. W — Johnson (2-0). L — Collier. 2B — SM: B. Aldrich. 3B — JE: Rouse.

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La Pine01015x—792

B. Aldrich, Haynes (5), Russo (5) and Lawrence; Briggs, Flack (3), Price (6) and Flack. W — Flack. L — Haynes (0-1). 2B — SM: Gomez, Delplanche.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Ben Bleicker prepares to slide home safe during game one Friday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Joseph Ostreicher gets to home-plate before the tag during game one in Ashland Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Brandon Hammer (catcher) and third baseman Luis Uribe catch Ashland's Elam Wright in a squeeze for an out during game one in Ashland Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Keller Bloodworth gets a base hit during game one Friday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Brendon Rullamas tags out Ashland's Keller Bloodworth at Second base during game one Friday.