BASEBALL/SOFTBALL: Grizzlies fall to Colts in top 5A clash
SPRINGFIELD — The No. 2-ranked Ashland baseball team was unable to make an early 2-0 lead hold, as the Grizzlies fell to top-ranked Thurston 6-3 in Midwestern League action Wednesday evening.
Wednesday’s game served as the second game of the MWL doubleheader between the two teams that was started this past Saturday. Thurston claimed a 1-0 win in the opener, with the game being called in the bottom of the fifth due to rain.
The win allowed Thurston (12-2, 7-2 MWL) to take sole possession of first place in the MWL, one game ahead of Ashland (11-3, 6-2).
Four Thurston pitchers limited the Grizzlies to just two hits, one each from Elam Wright and Keller Bloodworth.
The Grizzlies, however, were able to take a 2-0 in the top of the second as Jackson Kemper scored on a Sean Thompson squeeze bunt and Cooper Rathbun scored on a wild pitch.
The Colts responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning against Ashland starting pitcher Evan Rhoden, knocking the young freshman out of the game before the second came to a close.
Thurston added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to 6-2.
Ashland drew seven walks against Thurston’s pitching staff, but also struck out 11 times — five times each against starter Connor Molony and relief pitcher Eli Crist.
Crist finished with a pair of RBIs, while Molony, Nolan Crist and Alex Boring each had an RBI apiece.
Rhoden, Brabec (2), Rosenthal (5) and Wright; C. Molony, E. Crist (3), Elliot (6), M. Molony (7) and Corgain. W — E. Crist. L — Rhoden. 2B — T: Crist, Boring.
PHOENIX 10, NORTH VALLEY 0, 5 inn.: Phoenix broke the game open with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and used a six-run fourth inning to help enforce the 10-run mercy rule in Skyline Conference play at Lithia & Driveway Fields.
Julius Bolstad allowed three hits with five strikeouts and three walks for Phoenix (5-7, 3-1 Skyline), and helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Dominic Crenshaw went 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI and led off the first with a triple. Jackson Shilts, who was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, followed with an RBI double and Bolstad added an RBI double before scoring on a passed ball to give the Pirates an early edge over North Valley (1-13, 0-4).
Kissel, Pezqueda (4) and Farmer; Bolstad and Hull. W — Bolstad (3-2). L — Kissel. 2B — P: Shilts 2, Bolstad 2. 3B — P: Crenshaw.
THURSTON 16-7, ASHLAND 12-6: At Springfield, Ashland saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end as Thurston took both ends of the Midwestern League doubleheader thanks to a 12-run inning in Game 1 and an inside-the-park home run in the nightcap.
Ashland (9-5, 5-3 MWL) led 10-4 in the opener before Thurston (8-4, 5-1) — buoyed by four Grizzlies errors — scored 12 runs in the bottom of the sixth to take its first lead.
Ashland’s Shelby Brown went 4-for-5 with a triple and five RBIs in Game 1, while Glory Pistole had three hits.
The Colts trailed 6-5 in Game 2 before Emily Spain gave her team the lead with a two-run inside-the-park homer with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Gabby Heiken had five hits and three RBIs in the doubleheader, while Mary Montgomery and Tessa Hobein each had two hits in Game 2, with the latter hitting her second home run of the season and driving in three runs.
Pistole, Heiken (6) and Theobald; Ogan, Thompson (5) and Touey. W — Ogan. L — Pistole (5-4). 2B — A: Pistole 2, Brown; T: Thompson, Montes. 3B — A: Brown; T: Miller, Touey.
Heiken, Pistole (1) and Theobald; Thompson, Ogan (1) and Touey. W — Ogan. L — Pistole (5-5). 2B — T: Spain. 3B — A: Heiken. HR — A: Hobein; T: Spain.
PHOENIX 11, NORTH VALLEY 10: Kendall Heywood connected for a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the seventh as Phoenix completed a late-game comeback to stay perfect in Skyline Conference play at L&D Fields.
Morgan James got the seventh-inning rally going for Phoenix (6-7, 4-0 Skyline) with a one-out double. She later scored on Heywood’s single, a lined shot past the second baseman that capped the Pirates’ rally from down 10-4 after 3 1/2 innings.
James, Raelyssa Goff and Alexis Dial all finished with two hits, with Dial driving in three runs.
In the circle, Goff finished with 14 strikeouts against North Valley (1-14, 0-4).
Allison and Smith-Rowe; Goff and Gilmore. W — Goff (4-4). L — Allison. 2B — NV: Malcolm. P: James, Dial. HR — NV: A. Godfrey.