Katayama, Mustangs storm past Dr. Stewart's

The Medford Mustangs have an awful lot going for them after Friday's state tournament game.

Led by Dan Katayama, the Mustangs romped past the Roseburg Dr. Stewart's 15-5 in seven innings at Kiger Stadium, landing Medford in the American Legion AAA state finals in Klamath Falls.

Not only did the Mustangs secure a berth for Sunday's finale, but they will have their ace Matt Maurer rested and in line to pitch that contest while the offense totes a hot bat and momentum at the plate.

If Medford (37-8) beats the Salem Post 9 Highwaymen in today's 6:30 p.m. contest, it will have two attempts to win the state championship Sunday. The Dr. Stewart's and Salem Withnell Dodgers will square off in an elimination game today at 3:30 p.m.

With one tournament loss hanging on the other three remaining teams, the undefeated Mustangs would have to be beaten twice in the double-elimination event.

"We like our position," said Mustangs general manager Don Schneider. "I think we have the best hitting club and the best pitching. We're in a good spot. Somebody has to beat us twice."

With the Dr. Stewart's putting the first run on the board in the opening inning, Katayama provided an early spark to get the Mustangs headed in the right direction.

In the bottom of the frame, after Colin Sowers singled, Katayama hit a two-run home run — his fourth blast of the year — giving Medford a 2-1 edge.

Roseburg knotted the score at 2 in the top of the third, but this time the Mustangs would put the game out of reach.

Maurer, coming off a three-home run game, hit a bases-clearing double. Bradey Shipley later capped the frame with a two-run homer to complete a seven-run inning for the Mustangs.

"It was really nice to see Bradey hit one," said Medford coach Sandee Kensinger. "He's been in a bit of a slump lately."

The Mustangs' Lucas Stone also singled during the inning, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.

The Mustangs closed it out by driving in two in the bottom of the seventh, winning by virtue of the 10-run mercy rule.

It was the third time the Mustangs posted 10-plus runs in the tournament.

Starting pitcher Garrett Tygerson wasn't at the peak of his game, but was still effective enough to claim the victory.

Tygerson (6-1) went six innings, allowing five runs — four earned — on 10 hits, three walks to go with four strikeouts.

His most crucial out was with a 10-5 lead in the sixth inning with two on and two out. Tygerson struck out Josh Graham, one of Roseburg's top hitters, to get the Mustangs out of the jam.

Justin Bohn spelled Tygerson in the seventh and pitched a scoreless frame.

Katayama went 4-for-5 with four runs scored and five RBIs.

Shipley, Maurer and Seth Brown had two hits each. Maurer drove in four runs with Shipley and Brown both plating two. Shipley also scored twice.

Sowers finished 3-for-5 and crossed home plate twice.

Roseburg Dr. Stewarts 101 120 0 — 5 10 2

Medford Mustangs 207 103 2 — 15 15 1

J. Priestley, Cavens (3), Tovey (7) and Ampi; Tygerson, Bohn (7) and Sowers. W — Tygerson (6-1). L — J. Priestley. 2B — M: Katayama, Maurer. 3B — M: Shipley. HR — R: Stone; M: Katayama, Shipley.

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