After some mid-game fireworks resulted in the ejection of head coach Ray Smith, South Medford’s baseball team dialed it up a notch and pushed past North Medford for an 8-1 triumph in Southwest Conference play at Harry & David Field Tuesday.
The win marked the Panthers’ seventh straight over the Black Tornado, and it’s the second year in a row that South Medford has swept the crosstown series. South Medford (19-3, 16-0 SWC) will look to finish the SWC season with an undefeated record Saturday when it travels to face Willamette.
North Medford dropped to 12-11 overall and 7-9 in SWC play despite hanging with the state’s No. 1 team in the Class 6A power rankings through three scoreless innings behind starting pitcher Brandon King.
Smith was ejected after arguing a stolen base attempt by Jacob Melton at third base, where the Panther senior was called out. All that excitement seemed to generate some enthusiasm on both sides, but mostly to South Medford’s favor.
North Medford scored the game’s first run in the fourth inning after King singled off South starter Brandon Letendre, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt that also resulted in an error. A sacrifice bunt by Jon-o Gassman and sacrifice fly by Brady Buchanan gave the Tornado a 1-0 edge in the top of the fourth.
The lead was short-lived, however, as South scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take control. Doubles by Jaalen Owens, Jaylin Parnell and Zac Ankeny allowed the Panthers to go up 2-1, then Sebastian Molina supplied an RBI single to cap the surge.
The Panthers tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach, with Jack Thompson belting an RBI double to mark the end of the day on the mound for King. After reliever Brady Buchanan got two outs, Molina’s two-run single and an RBI single by Robby Carle followed to make it 7-1.
South’s final run came on a throwing error with two outs in the sixth.
King finished 2-for-3 with one run for North, while South saw Owens go 2-for-3 with two runs, Parnell 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI and Molina 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Letendre went the distance on 88 pitches, allowing one unearned run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
North Medford 000 100 0 — 1 4 2
South Medford 000 341 x — 8 10 1
King, Buchanan (5) and Robbins; Letendre and Thompson. W — Letendre (7-1). L — King. 2B — NM: Gassman; SM: Owens, Thompson, Parnell, Ankeny.
GRANTS PASS 11, SOUTH EUGENE 7: At Eugene, Tyler Rund had three hits, included two home runs, and seven RBIs to help Grants Pass rally twice in registering the SWC road victory.
Grants Pass’ Cade King contributed three hits and pitched five innings to pick up the win. Kolby Dinkel added two hits for the Cavemen (8-16, 5-11 SWC) against South Eugene (15-11, 10-8).
Grants Pass 004 025 0 — 11 12 4
South Eugene 205 000 0x — 7 8 1
King, Morgan (6) and Dinkel; Touchette, Laughlin (6) and Brown. W — King. L — Touchette. 2B — GP: Bellum, King, Rund; SE: Miller. HR — GP: Rund 2; SE: Miller.
CRATER 7, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eagle Point, Crater senior left-hander Larson Kindreich pitched his third straight no-hitter, and second in a row over seven innings, and provided a two-run single during a six-run sixth inning to help the Comets earn the Midwestern League victory.
The only thing keeping Kindreich from a perfect game was a walk to Eagle Point senior Johnny Alves in the fourth inning. Kindreich finished with 12 strikeouts. He now has four no-hitters this season after previously tossing gems against Marist, North Eugene and Ashland.
Garrett Dance went 2-for-2 with one run for Crater (19-5, 15-4 MWL), which used five singles and three walks in the sixth to overcome Eagle Point (11-11, 10-9).
Crater 000 106 0 — 7 8 0
Eagle Point 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
Kindreich and Gilliland; Dy. Marsh, Fontana (6) and Alves. W — Kindreich (6-2). L — Dy. Marsh.
THURSTON 17, ASHLAND 0, 5 inn.: At Springfield, Ashland’s offense produced singles from Eli Westrick, Nick Buccino and Ian McKenna-Wood against MWL-leading Thurston.
Thurston (19-5, 18-1 MWL) was led by Micah Burke and Chase Elliott, who produced four hits and seven RBIs from the bottom of the order.
Ashland fell to 1-18 in league and 1-23 overall.
Ashland 000 00 — 0 3 3
Thurston 728 0x — 17 15 0
Amman, Reynolds (2), Nixon (2) and Evans, Gilliland (5); Stedman, Crist (5) and Burke. W — Stedman. L — Amman. 2B — T: Elliott, Fisher, Duran, Burke, Francis.
ROGUE RIVER 2, LAKEVIEW 1: At Rogue River, Carson Smith’s RBI double in the sixth inning scored Cameron Hooker with the go-ahead run in the Southern Cascade League game.
Henry Black went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored for the Chieftains (12-8, 6-4 SCL). Hooker had two hits.
Lakeview 000 100 0 — 1 7 1
Rogue River 001 001 x — 2 9 0
Smith, Summers (6) and Alves; Dhabolt, Chavez (5), Nelson (7) and Tambellini. W — Chavez (1-0). L — Summers. 2B — L: Erickson; RR: Hooker, Smith. 3B — RR: Black.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 14, ST. MARY’S 3, 6 inn.: At Cave Junction, Illinois Valley pitcher Bryce Bruner held St. Mary’s to two hits over 5 2/3 innings as the Cougars won their second Southern Cascade League game of the season.
Bruner struck out six and walked three, while Andrew Bell was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs for Illinois Valley (3-14, 2-8 SCL). Tristin Konrad, who scored four runs, and Bruner, who scored three, each added three hits.
St. Mary’s is 3-11 and 2-8.
St. Mary’s 003 000 — 3 2 1
Illinois Valley 303 143 — 14 15 1
Wailehua, Covington (3), Dole (5), Eiler (6) and Hadley; Bruner, Jolley (6) and Bell. W — Bruner. L — Wailehua. 2B — IV: Bell, Konrad.