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PREP ROUNDUP: North’s Rutigliano no-hits Highlanders

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After a tough outing earlier in the week, North Medford starting pitcher Frankie Rutigliano wanted to make sure his start Saturday was nothing like the last time he took the mound.

Turns out, that was certainly the case.

Sharp with multiple pitches from the onset, Rutigliano rolled through the North Eugene lineup, throwing a five-inning no-hitter in North Medford’s 15-0 win over the Highlanders at North Medford High.

“He was really efficient coming back from a rough start,” said Black Tornado head coach Kerry Curtis. “He came back and had great command of all of his pitches and really was poised on the mound. He’s such a competitor and I know it was important for him to come out and be effective.”

Rutigliano, a sophomore right-hander, lasted just one inning in North Medford’s 11-5 loss to Scappoose on Tuesday.

In that start, it took Rutigliano 51 pitches to get through the first inning.

In Saturday’s outing, Rutigliano needed just 59 pitches total to mow down the North Eugene lineup.

Rutigliano finished with four strikeouts and walked one batter as he picked up his first win on the season.

“He did a phenomenal job,” said Curtis. “He was just really efficient, really effective and he just competed regardless of what the score was. ... He was locked in and focused and really wanted to bounce back and have a good outing.”

The Black Tornado (4-2) gave Rutigliano a 3-0 lead to work with after the first inning, scoring three runs on a two-run single by Davis Carr and Colton Morgan’s RBI single in back-to-back at-bats.

North Medford broke it open two innings later with a 12-run bottom of the third. Morgan had two run-scoring hits in the inning, first a two-run single and then an RBI single the next turn through the order.

All 10 of the Black Tornado’s hits against the Highlanders (2-3) were singles.

Taking advantage of opportunities with runners in scoring position was something Curtis was happy to see after Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to McNary.

“We left a lot of runners on base in the McNary game,” recalled Curtis. “There were opportunities there where really all we needed was a single, we don’t need doubles in the gap. Today, we had those same opportunities and guys were hitting line drives and just hitting the ball hard, putting it in play and giving our baserunners a chance to score. We didn’t leave runners on base today and that was one of the things we talked about after today’s game — we took advantage of opportunities and capitalized on those.”

Morgan finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs, and Carr was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Rutigliano’s batterymate Jeremiah Robbins went 2-for-3.

Johnny King and Trey Newmann also drove in a pair of runs apiece for the Black Tornado.

North Medford returns to the field Tuesday when it hosts South Salem (0-5).

“The players had a team meeting and part of that meeting was talking about energy and having energy when we’re out there,” said Curtis. “They had a lot more energy in the dugout today, lots of support, a lot of positive talk and not the grumbling we can sometimes hear. We told them, ‘Winning is a lot more fun than losing and the reason why we’re out here is to have fun and play this great game.’”

North Eugene00000—002

North Medford30(12)00—15101

Justice, Merrill (3) and Cook; Rutigliano and Robbins. W — Rutigliano (1-1). L — Justice.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 14, PLEASANT HILL 12: Cascade Christian used a seven-run surge in the third inning to eliminate a 7-1 deficit and held off a late Pleasant Hill comeback bid to win its final game in the Challenger Baseball Spring Break Classic at Lithia & Driveway Fields.

Four different Challengers drove in two runs — Ashton Moody, Owen Thompson, Liam Benade and Noah Lentendre. Thompson went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, while Moody was 2-for-5 and scored two runs, and Benade was 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Austin Waits, who got the start for Cascade Christian (5-1), also had a two-hit game, and leadoff man Cody Reece scored three runs.

Blake Richardson went 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs for Pleasant Hill (3-3), which scored three runs in the top of seventh to cut the Cascade Christian lead to two runs.

Pleasant Hill1150023—12116

Cascade Christian107222x—14104

Hylemon, Hart (4), Ziolkowski (5), Gunn (6) and Allen; Waits, Knips (3), Stofflet (6) and Wallace. W — Knips. L — Gunn. 2B — PH: Richardson, Bryson; CC: Reece, Thompson 2. 3B — PH: Hylemon, Richardson; CC: A. Moody.

Softball

CRATER WINS TWO: At Reno, Nev., Crater closed out play at the Reed Softball Tournament with a pair of wins, beating Churchill of Nevada 9-4 in six innings and then picking up an 8-0 victory in four innings over Reno.

Crater (5-2) totaled 18 hits in the two games, holding an early 4-2 lead against Churchill and a 4-0 advantage over Reno after the first inning.

The Comets’ Payton Schwab hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning against Churchill, while McKenna Sease went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Kaylynn Wolchok was also 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.

Wolchok stayed hot in the nightcap, going 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored. Sease went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, and Alyssa Kilbane was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored, while Comets leadoff hitter Kailee Davis finished 1-for-2, stole four bases and scored two runs.

Alex Perez was again impressive in the win over Reno, allowing just two hits and striking out six in four innings.

Churchill020020—4113

Crater13032x—9110

Fillmore and Vershum; Lundeen, S. Foster (3) and Reid. W — Lundeen (1-0). L — Fillmore. 2B — Ch.: Owens; Cr: Wolchok 2, Sease 2, Lundeen. 3B — Cr.: Kilbane. HR — Cr.: Schwab.

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Reno0000—022

Crater4004—870

Flanagan and McKillip; Perez and Reid. W — Perez (2-1). L — Flanagan. 2B — C: Reid, Kilbane. 3B — C: Wolchok

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Frankie Rutigliano delivers a strike against North Eugene Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Colton Morgan avoids getting hit by a pitch during Saturday's game against North Eugene.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford second baseman Colton Morgan makes a play for an out during the second innng.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Davis Carr beats the throw to first base after bunting the ball against North Eugene Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Aidan Becksted connects for an RBI single against North Eugene Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford first baseman Kellen Willer tags out North Eugene's Blake Edwards during the second inning Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Davis Carr connects for a base hit against North Eugene Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Davis Carr drops a bunt against North Eugene Saturday.
North Medford vs North Eugene Saturday at North Medford High School.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
North Medford vs North Eugene Saturday at North Medford High School.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
North Medford vs North Eugene Saturday at North Medford High School.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune