CHICO, Calif. — The Great West League-leading Chico Heat used steady defense and some clutch pitching to beat the Medford Rogues 5-3 and claim the three-game series Wednesday at Nettleton Stadium Field.
Mitchell Neunborn went 2-for-4 with a double and A.J. Miller smashed his third home run of the season, but the Heat (35-10) and relief pitcher Brayden Bonner slammed the door shut in the ninth after the Rogues scored once and had the tying run at first base with two outs.
Facing Rogues No. 3 hitter Tommy Ahlstrom, who had two hits on the day and is batting .353, Bonner induced a game-ending infield pop-up to give Chico its seventh win in its last 10 games.
Medford starter Bobby Voortmeyer took the loss for the Rogues (25-21) despite not giving up an earned run in five innings. The opportunistic Heat scored three unearned runs against Voortmeyer on five hits, taking advantage of some costly miscues by the visitors.
Ryan Sanchez was credited with the win after allowing two runs, both earned, on six hits in five innings. He struck out six without a walk.
Tanner Roundy and Joe DeBaca had two hits apiece for the Heat.
Medford 000 020 001 — 3 9 4
Chico 210 000 11x — 5 9 1
Voortmeyer, Diaz (6) Carle (7) and Bell; Sanchez, Smith (6), Abernathy (8), Bonner (8) and Phillips. W — Sanchez. L — Voortmeyer (2-3). 2B — M: Baumgartner, Neunborn; C: Branch, Elder. HR — M: Miller (3).
American Legion A
SOUTH MEDFORD 9-10, ASHLAND 7-8: At Ashland, the Ashland Pilots entered Wednesday’s regular-season finale knowing that they needed a lot to go right to see their slim postseason hopes become a reality.
After 10 hard-fought innings to open their final doubleheader of the summer, those hopes were dashed.
Ashland needed to win both and then see Eagle Point get swept in a doubleheader as well to have any shot of making the state tournament field.
The 10th and final inning of the opener saw South Medford score four runs against Ashland reliever Ean Lawrence, who had previously thrown four innings of scoreless relief in the game.
The Colts took a 6-5 lead on an RBI triple into the left field corner by Kaleb Barney, who was then the first of two runners to score on wild pitches within minutes of one another. Charlie Campbell capped what proved to be the game-winning, four-run surge with an RBI single into left.
Ashland was able to cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 10th, getting an RBI double from Nathan Carter — who was 2-for-4 in Game 1 — and an RBI groundout from Tuesday’s walk-off hero, Dane Reynolds.
The Pilots were able to get the would-be tying run on base, when Westrick drew a two-out walk, but a grounder off the bat of Amann ended the game.
South Medford 000 230 000 4 — 9 11 1
Ashland 102 010 100 2 — 7 10 4
Laushtedt, Ledendecker (8) and Joe; Westrick, Lawrence (6), Amann (10) and Brown. W — Ledendecker. L — Lawrence. 2B — SM: Hinton, Campbell, Joe, Ledendecker; A: McLennan (2), Buccino, Carter. 3B — SM: Barney .
South Medford 102 043 0 — 10 12 4
Ashland 101 100 5 — 8 15 1
Shields, Campbell (7) and Joe; Buccino, Amann (4), Stranberg (5), Burns (6), McLennan (7) and Evans, Brown (5), Evans (6). W — Shields. L — Buccino. 2B — SM: Shields; A: Lemhouse, Westrick, Brown. 3B — A: Carter.