EUGENE — The Medford Mustangs rapped 31 hits Tuesday to sweep the Eugene Challengers and earn the automatic berth from Area 4 into the American Legion AAA state tournament.
Medford produced eight runs in the sixth inning and won the opener, 16-1, in six innings. The Mustangs took the nightcap, 10-2, assuring that they can’t be caught by anyone other than Roseburg with four games to play.
As state tournament host, Dr. Stewart’s is already automatically in the tournament so Medford gets in as the No. 1 seed out of Area 4 regardless of how the final regular season games play out. Medford is 33-9 overall and 13-3 in Area 4, with two games Saturday at Roseburg and two more Sunday against Dr. Stewart’s at home.
The state tournament is in Roseburg July 28-Aug. 1.
In the first game, Jack Thompson drove in four runs and scored twice, going 2-for-4. Jon-o Gassman was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, and Jacob Melton was 3-for-5.
Pitcher Joe Johnson scattered four hits, struck out six and walked two over five innings for the win.
In Game 2, Melton entered the game with a 0.25 ERA and lowered it by not allowing an earned run while going the distance. He allowed seven hits, struck out three and walked two.
Johnson wielded the Mustangs’ hottest bat, belting a home run and two doubles while going 4-for-4 with two runs.
Melton was 4-for-5 with two RBIs, and Justin Geyer drove in five runs, going 2-for-4.
Johnson, Buchanan (6) and Geyer; Jackson, Allen (5), Bullock (6) and Crowson. W — Johnson. L — Jackson. 2B — M: Melton, Thompson.
Melton and Geyer; Myers, Updegrave (4), Keeler (5) and Crowson. W — Melton. L — Myers. 2B — M: Johnson 2; E: Keeler, White. HR — M: Johnson.
Great West League
MEDFORD 9, CHICO 4: At Chico, Calif., Kolby Button pitched four scoreless innings in relief to earn his fourth win for the Medford Rogues, who had 10 hits and tallied seven unanswered runs to slip by Chico for the Great West League victory.
The Rogues (25-20) got on the scoreboard first with a two-run home run by Mitchell Neunborn in the second inning that plated teammate Joe Bath and snapped a streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings by Chico starter Shane Gustafson.
After a four-run outburst by GWL-leading Chico (34-10) in the third inning, Medford answered to tie at 4-all in the top of the fourth when Logan Meadows singled home Joe Bath and Neunborn scored on a wild pitch.
After that is was all Rogues as they scored twice more in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Blake Baumgartner and a sacrifice fly by Josh McIntyre, added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Riley Kasper and then closed out the Heat with a two-run single by Cole Carder in the ninth.
Simpson, Button (4), Pike (8) and Bath, Elvis (8); Gustafson, Dragmire (5), Clawson (5), Galvagno (7), Roundy (9) and Tweed. W — Button. L — Dragmire. S — Pike. 2B — C: Meggs, DeBaca, Branch, Roundy. HR — M: Neunborn (6).
American Legion A
ASHLAND 4-1, NORTH MEDFORD 3-13: At Ashland, Dane Reynolds supplied a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning for Ashland in Game 1 but North Medford answered with a dominant pitching outing by Gavin Schmidt in Game 2 to salvage an Area 4 split.
With the scored tied 3-all in the seventh, Luke Brown hit a one-out double and, after an intentional walk to Nick Buccino, Nate Carter singled to load the bases. Reynolds followed with the game-winning single for Ashland.
Buccino was 2-for-3 with one run and three-run home run for the Pilots (9-17, 8-12 Area 4) in the opener, while A.J. Balsiger was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Mavericks (20-15, 13-9).
Schmidt struck out nine with one walk, one hit batter and six hits allowed to earn the complete-game win in the nightcap for North Medford.
Balsiger again helped spark the Mavericks by driving in four runs, while Ryan Kloek was 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs, Schmidt was 3-for-4 with three runs and Dylan Empasis added three RBIs.
Borraggine, Schmidt (7) and Passey; Hanks, Lawrence (7) and Evans. W — Lawrence. L — Borraggine (3-2). 2B — NM: Huffman; A: Brown, Buccino. HR — A: Buccino.
Schmidt and Passey; Nixon, Burns (4), Stranberg (5) and Brown. W — Schmidt (7-1). L — Nixon. 2B — A: McLennan.
GRANTS PASS 5, SOUTH MEDFORD 2: At Grants Pass, Jett Hood’s three-run triple highlighted a four-run first inning for Grants Pass that proved more than enough to upend South Medford in Area 4 play.
Logan Lauchstedt and Chase Hinton each had RBI singles for South Medford.
Grants Pass starter Matt Knight struck out four with two walks and six hits allowed in the complete-game win.
Shields, Campbell (2), Lauchstedt (4), Costanti (5), Joe (6) and Joe; Knight and Hood. W — Knight. L — Shields. 2B — GP: Calabro. 3B — GP: Hood.