PREP BASEBALL: South, North score big SWC wins
EUGENE — With a little help from its crosstown rival and a stick-to-it nature, the South Medford baseball team put itself back into the picture for a potential Southwest Conference title on Tuesday.
The 10th-ranked Panthers rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a 4-3 comeback win at Sheldon, notching a sixth straight win for South.
Combined with North Medford’s win over SWC-leading Roseburg, South Medford pulled into a share of first place with the Indians at 7-3 in conference and 15-3 overall. Roseburg stands 6-2 in league.
After struggling the last time he faced Sheldon (9-10, 5-5 SWC), Panthers senior Carson Joe was dialed in to allow only one earned run and four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in 6 2/3 innings.
Kyle Cope made his return to the lineup and got the final out to preserve the victory for South. The sophomore right-hander suffered fractures in his nose, orbital bone and forehead and required surgery after taking a pitch to the face against McNary on April 2.
“It was really nice to be able to write his name in again on the lineup card,” Panthers coach Josh Moody said of Cope. “Today was the first time he’s pitched in over a month, so that was pretty awesome to see him in a real pressure situation and have him come through for us.”
Trailing 3-0 in the fifth inning, South Medford used singles by Jackson Robertson and Cameron Sewell to set the stage for a comeback. Jace Miller followed with an RBI double to the center field wall, and Tanner Douglas added a two-run single to tie the game.
In the sixth, Robertson supplied a one-out single and scored the go-ahead run on a double by Sewell.
Elijah Havey joined Sewell and Robertson in posting two hits for the Panthers.
Joe, Cope (7) and Havey; Welch and Spurlock. W — Joe (5-2). L — Welch. S — Cope. 2B — SM: Miller, Sewell; S: Buck.
NORTH MEDFORD 6, ROSEBURG 3: North Medford starter Johnny King allowed three hits and three runs — zero earned — over five innings and Davis Carr pitched shutout relief to help the Black Tornado upset SWC-leading Roseburg at North Medford High.
Jeremiah Robbins went 3-for-3 with two runs and one RBI and Carr was 2-for-3 for North Medford (10-11, 4-6 SWC), which rallied from a 3-0 second-inning deficit.
Tanner Keith and Easton Curtis, two of three freshmen making their starting varsity debuts, started a fifth inning rally with a walk and single, respectively. Robbins followed with an RBI double and King drove in another run with a push bunt.
Trey Newmann added an RBI and sophomore Joey Newberg had an RBI single in the five-run fifth.
Frankie Rutigliano plated Robbins in the sixth to extend North’s lead against Roseburg (12-6, 6-2).
Tatone, Corbin (5), Burke (5), White (7) and Hubbard; King, Carr (6) and Newberg. W — King (2-2). L — Corbin. 2B — NM: Robbins.
GRANTS PASS 6, SOUTH EUGENE 4: At Grants Pass, Troy Osborne and Ari Kantola each drove in two runs and Grants Pass used a five-run sixth inning to stun South Eugene in SWC action.
The Cavemen (10-9, 5-5) trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth before erupting, with Taholo Vainuku-Johnson also driving in a run against the Axe (6-11, 1-7), who got two RBIs from Gavin Bush.
Reeves, Gabriel (6), Lea (6) and Santiago, Reeves (6); Baker, Morgan (6), Osborne (7) and Osborne, Carnes (7). W — Morgan. L — Lea. 2B — SE: Bush, Lea; GP: Vainuku-Johnson, Osborne.
HENLEY 12, PHOENIX 1, 5 inn.: At Klamath Falls, Karver Wolowicz gave Phoenix an early lead but the Pirates couldn’t make it hold as fifth-ranked Henley scored 12 unanswered to record the Skyline Conference win via mercy rule.
Phoenix (6-12, 4-6 Skyline) took a lead in the top of the second on Wolowicz’s RBI groundout, but managed just two hits against Henley starting pitcher Dylan Tobias.
Henley, which has won seven straight, improved to 16-5 and 8-2 in the Skyline.
Hull, Crenshaw (4) and Shilts; Tobias and Harper. W — Tobias. L — Hull.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, BROOKINGS-HARBOR 0: Cascade Christian’s Owen Thompson threw 6 1/3 shutout innings and drove in all three runs for the top-ranked Challengers in a win over No. 3 Brookings-Harbor at Lithia & Driveway Fields.
Thompson, a junior, allowed just three hits and struck out 13 before making way for Ashton Moody, who got the final two outs to pick up the save.
Thompson gave Cascade Christian (17-1, 7-0 FWL) — which has won 15 straight games — a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third with a two-run single. Two innings later, he drove in leadoff man Cody Reece with an RBI single to left.
Reece scored two of the Challengers’ three runs.
Jason DeShon was a tough-luck loser for the Bruins (12-5, 5-2), allowing one earned run and just two hits — both to Thompson — while striking out nine in five innings of work.
DeShon, Burger (6) and Rosenburg; Thompson, A. Moody (7) and Wallace. W — Thompson. L — DeShon. S — A. Moody. 2B — BH: Dietrich.
ST. MARY’S 16, SUTHERLIN 2, 6 inn.: At Sutherlin, Alan Gomez drove in four runs and three St. Mary’s pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts to lead the Crusaders to a mercy-rule win in Far West League action.
St. Mary’s (10-6, 3-4 FWL) finished with 15 hits, including four each from Ean Lawrence and Beau Aldrich, who each drove in three runs.
Grant Russo also drove in a pair of runs for the Crusaders, who led 9-0 after the top of the second thanks to a seven-run second inning.
Travis Johnson went 2-for-3 and scored three runs and also picked up the win after throwing three innings in relief of Aldrich.
Aldrich, Johnson and Eli Haynes combined to walk just one Sutherlin (5-12, 0-7) batter and did not allow an earned run.
Aldrich, Johnson (2), Haynes (5) and Lawrence; Palm, Flora (2), Lepre (6) and McKnight. W — Johnson. L — Palm. 2B — SM: Aldrich, Gomez; S: McKnight.