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PREP BASEBALL: Panthers sweep GP for SWC title

GRANTS PASS — South Medford assured itself of no worse than a share for the Southwest Conference baseball title Saturday, sweeping Grants Pass with 8-5 and 7-1 triumphs after posting 11 hits in each game of the doubleheader.

The Panthers, No. 7 in the Class 6A coaches poll and No. 4 in the state power rankings, improved to 21-3 overall and 12-3 in SWC play by pushing their winning streak to 12 games. South last won the league title in 2018.

Roseburg (16-7, 10-3) could put itself in position for a share of the SWC title with a sweep of Sheldon (12-10, 8-5) on Monday in Eugene.

Cameron Sewell came up big in each end of Saturday’s twin bill for South Medford, getting the scoring going with a two-run double in the second inning of Game 1 before a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth.

In Game 2, Sewell went the distance to earn the pitching victory, allowing three hits with six strikeouts, to go with an RBI single of his own.

Sewell finished conference play 3-0 with three saves, logging 30 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run and giving up only six hits in total.

After Grants Pass (12-13, 6-9) tied the opener at 4-all in the fourth on an RBI single by Troy Osborne and three-run double by Luke Morgan, Jake Mason scored on Sewell’s infield hit with some aggressive baserunning and an elusive slide at the plate in the fifth. Jace Miller, who went 3-for-5, followed with an RBI single.

South sealed the opening win in the seventh on a two-run single by Kaleb Long.

Elijah Havey went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI in Game 2, while Tosh Stupenhaus combined to go 4-for-6 with three runs and one RBI in the twin bill for the Panthers. Jackson Robertson added two RBIs in Game 2.

FIRST GAME

South Medford0220202—8112

Grants Pass0004010—571

Douglas, Robertson (6), Sewell (6) and Havey; Ireland, Montejano (5) and Osborne. W — Douglas. L — Montejano. S — Sewell. 2B — SM: Sewell; GP: Morgan.

SECOND GAME

South Medford0201040—7113

Grants Pass1000000—130

Sewell and Havey; Baker, Morgan (6) and Osborne. W — Sewell. L — Baker.

SOUTH EUGENE 4-6, NORTH MEDFORD 2-7: North Medford scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to deny South Eugene, which used two runs in the ninth inning to claim Game 1 in the SWC doubleheader at North Medford High.

Down to its final out in the nightcap, North Medford got a triple from Trey Newmann to keep its hopes alive. Colton Morgan followed with an RBI single to tie the game and advanced to third after stealing second and seeing the resulting throw go into center field. Frankie Rutigliano then supplied a walk-off single up the middle for the Tornado (11-15, 5-10 SWC).

North had previously scored five runs off seven hits in the third inning, with Jeremiah Robbins, Aiden Horsley, Morgan, Rutigliano and Kellen Willer each posting RBIs.

The Tornado tied the opener with a run in the seventh following a double by Willer and single by Robbins, but the Axe tallied two runs in the ninth and Morgan was stranded at third in the bottom of the inning.

FIRST GAME

South Eugene002000002—453

North Medford010000100—281

Reeves, Uceda (8) and Santiago; Horsley, King (8) and Newberg. W — Uceda. L — King. 2B — SE: Santiago; NM: Morgan, Willer. 3B — SE: Margerum.

SECOND GAME

South Eugene2010201—631

North Medford0050002—7122

Hadley, Moses (3) and Reeves; Rutigliano, Carr (5) and Newberg. W — Carr. L — Moses. 2B — NM: Robbins. 3B — NM: Newmann.

WILLAMETTE 6-8, ASHLAND 1-1: At Eugene, Elam Wright connected for a solo home run in the first inning of Game 1 but Ashland was limited to three hits overall in the opener and had only a single by Cooper Rathbun in the nightcap of a Midwestern League doubleheader.

Kayden Sandow belted two home runs — driving in three runs — and Tyson Rather added another to lead Willamette (18-3, 12-2 MWL) in the opener.

In Game 2, Rathbun followed a walk by Jackson Kemper with a two-out single in the fourth inning but starter Ryan Prescott recorded one of his nine strikeouts to curb the threat by Ashland (15-7, 10-4).

The teams had entered the twin bill tied for second in the MWL standings.

FIRST GAME

Ashland1000000—132

Willamette020112x—660

Brabec, Shrader (6) and Wright; Stavros, Sandow (7) and Bushnell. W — Stavros. L — Brabec. HR — A: Wright; W: Sandow 2, Rather.

SECOND GAME

Ashland0000100—114

Willamette310310x—881

Rhoden, Rosenthal (4), Bloodworth (6) and Wright; Prescott, Martinez (6) and Bushnell. W — Prescott. L — Rhoden.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford junior Cameron Sewell drove in three runs in the opener and earned a complete-game pitching victory in Game 2 on Saturday.