MURPHY — Phoenix’s roller-coaster baseball season reached a zenith on Saturday when the Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak by sweeping previously unbeaten Skyline Conference co-leader Hidden Valley in a doubleheader.
The Pirates won in remarkable fashion in the first game. With two outs and no one on, Phoenix scored eight runs on seven hits for an improbable, 8-6 win. It preceded a 7-4 triumph in Game 2.
Phoenix is 13-9 overall and in third place in the Skyline at 6-6. It had won nine of 10 games before going on its recent skid.
Hidden Valley (19-4, 10-2) had a school-record 16-game winning streak ended and is two games behind unbeaten Henley in the Skyline.
In the seventh inning of the first game, Kade Beer’s two-run single put Phoenix in front, 7-6, and Kevin Botermans followed with an RBI single. Chase Courtney, who was 2-for-4, had a two-run single in the frame.
Brennen Watts was 2-for-4 for the Pirates, who were held to two hits the first six innings.
In Game 2, Courtney was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a stolen base and Watts was 2-for-4.
Phoenix 000 000 8 — 8 9 2
Hidden Valley 006 000 0 — 6 6 0
Martinez, Stella (7) and Merriman; Lawson, Kissel (7), Harry (7) and DiMatteo. W — Martinez. L — Kissel. 2B — P: Courtney; HV: Williamson.
Phoenix 300 211 0 — 7 9 2
Hidden Valley 001 002 1 — 4 3 1
Beer, Serean (3), Stella (6) and Merriman; Fisher, Harry (6) and DiMatteo. W — Serean. L — Fisher. 2B — P: Courtney, Stella.
NORTH MEDFORD 4-10, GRANTS PASS 2-0: Zack Collins tossed a gem in the opener, Ryan Sandoval did the same in Game 2 and North Medford greatly improved its chances of qualifying for the Class 6A state baseball playoffs with the sweep at North Medford High.
In the opener, Collins held Grants Pass (7-16, 4-11 SWC) to two runs in 6 2/3 innings and Sandoval scored the go-ahead run on an error in the sixth.
The Cavemen loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh before North (12-10, 7-8) looked to reliever Brady Buchanan, who induced a game-ending fielder’s choice ground out.
In Game 2, Sandoval held GP scoreless in six innings on four hits while striking out eight, and Quinton Rumrey went 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI.
The wins, combined with Roseburg’s sweep of Sheldon, gave the fourth-place Tornado a 1 1/2-game lead over fifth-place Sheldon in the SWC standings with three games remaining on North’s schedule. The top four teams from the SWC automatically qualify for the 32-team state tournament.
Grants Pass 200 000 0 — 2 5 2
North Medford 100 012 x — 4 5 2
Rund and Dinkel; Collins, Buchanan (7) and Robbins. W — Collins (4-3). L — Rund. 2B — GP: King; NM: King. 3B — NM: Sandoval.
Grants Pass 000 000 — 0 4 4
North Medford 221 212 — 10 10 0
Morgan, King (3), Knight (5) and Dinkel; Sandoval and Robbins. W — Sandoval (4-3). L — Morgan. 2B — NM: Rumrey. 3B — GP: Rund; NM: Gassman.
EAGLE POINT 5-4, SPRINGFIELD 4-0: At Eagle Point, Skyler Gaudern threw a four-hit shutout in the opener but the Eagles failed to secure the Midwestern League sweeep after commiting four defensive errors in the nightcap.
Gaudern, a sophomore right-hander, struck out five without a walk to improve to 5-2 with the Game 1 victory. Domenic Fontana went 2-for-3 and scored a run, and Clayton Fraughton came through with a two-run single in the sixth to help the Eagles (11-10, 10-8 MWL) pull away.
In the second game, Springfield pitcher Kensen Smith went the distance, holding the Eagles to four runs on seven hits. Caleb Irvin hit a double for the Millers (4-19, 4-14).
Springfield 000 000 0 — 0 4 6
Eagle Point 000 005 x — 5 5 1
Machleit, Irvin (4) and Barrager; Gaudern and Alves. W — Gaudern (5-2). L — Machleit. 2B — S: Barrager; EP: Marsh.
Springfield 012 203 0 — 8 10 1
Eagle Point 101 020 0 — 4 7 4
Smith and King; Schreiner, Fontana (6) and Alves. W — Smith. L — Schreiner (1-1). 2B — S: Irvin; EP: Leeper.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 11-15, ROGUE RIVER 9-8: At Rogue River, Cascade Christian solidified its hold on first place with the Southern Cascade League sweep.
The Challengers improved to 11-7 overall and 9-1 in league. Rogue River is 11-8 and 5-4.