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LOCAL ROUNDUP: Mustangs ride Whitney, Melton to clutch Area 4 sweep

SPRINGFIELD — Ethan Whitney pitched a one-run complete game in the opener, Jacob Melton homered in both games and the Medford Mustangs rallied for a wild 12-11 victory in the nightcap to sweep the Willamette Valley Titans and gain some breathing room in the Area 4 standings Wednesday in an American Legion AAA doubleheader at Hamilin Middle School.

The wins allowed the league-leading Mustangs (24-8, 8-2 Area 4) to open up a three-game lead over the Titans (5-5 Area 4) in league play as both teams reached the halfway point of their conference schedule.

Medford has won six straight heading into today’s twin bill against the Titans.

In the opener, Whitney needed only 91 pitches to get through seven innings while holding Willamette Valley to one run on three hits. He struck out six, walked two.

“(Whitney) was phenomenal in the first game,” Medford coach Nate Mayben said. “He did a great job of controlling his pitches and throwing strikes.”

Medford scored four runs on four hits, including Melton’s solo shot to lead things off, in the top of the seventh. Justin Geyer’s line drive to left scored Dylan Marsh and Zac Ankeny to give the Mustangs a four-run lead. Geyer had three RBIs in the win.

In the nightcap, the game was tied 7-all in the top of the sixth when Jon-o Gassman drove a hard line drive into right field. The ball got past a diving outfielder and three runs scored to put Medford ahead to stay, 10-7.

Down 12-9, the Titans opened the bottom of the seventh with three straight singles before a fielding error made it 12-10. Medford then turned to Whitney, who struck out the first batter he faced before allowing a run to score on a fielder’s choice and picking off a baserunner at third to end the game.

FIRST GAME

Medford 000 001 4 — 5 6 0

Willamette Valley 000 001 0 — 1 3 2

Whitney and B. Thompson; Wonham and Criet. W — Whitney. L — Wonham. 2B — M: B. Thompson. HR — M: Melton (8).

SECOND GAME

Medford 002 316 0 — 12 8 8

Willamette Valley 400 302 2 — 11 11 1

J. Thompson, Sandoval (4), Buchanan (6), Whitney (7) and B. Thompson; Miller, Bryce (6), Sayles (6) and Criet. W — Sandoval. L — Bryce. 2B — M: Gassman, Marsh; WV: Bryce, Duran. HR — Geyer, Melton (9).

Great West League

SAN FRANCISCO 3, MEDFORD 2: Brad Bussard’s two-out single in the top of the eighth drove in what proved to be the winning run and the San Francisco Seals fought off Medford’s late rally in the bottom of the frame to pull out the victory at Harry & David Field.

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Medford scored two runs on two hits and had the potential tying run on third base with one out, but San Francisco relief pitcher Tim Brokop induced a ground out before striking out Tanner Cantwell to end the threat. In the ninth, Brokop struck out Josh Congdon with a runner on first to end the game.

Kody Garvin went 2-for-3 with a walk to lead the Rogues (22-18).

Bussard and Brenden Avventino had two hits apiece for the Seals (14-22).

San Francisco 000 011 010 — 3 8 0

Medford 000 000 020 — 2 5 3

Olofson, Brokop (6) and Gregersen; Simpson, Button (6) and Bell. W — Olofson. L — Simpson. 2B — SF: Athanacio. HR — SF: Brue (1).

American Legion A

KLAMATH FALLS 3-17, ASHLAND 2-11: At Klamath Falls, Ashland held leads in both games, but saw the Cardinals use late-game rallies of very different varieties to grab two Area 4 South wins at Kiger Stadium.

The Pilots (7-15) held a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning of the opener after Rowan Amann’s RBI single. However, the Cardinals scored a pair of runs on a Pilots error to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Ashland right-hander Nick Buccino was the tough-luck loser in the opener, throwing a complete-game six-hitter without allowing an earned run.

Pilots leadoff hitter Eli Westrick collected three of his team’s seven hits in the opener.

In Game 2 Ashland led 9-5 through four innings but Klamath Falls grabbed the lead in a hurry, scoring six runs in back-to-back innings in the fifth and sixth to go ahead 17-9.

Cardinals designated hitter Cooper Hamilton finished a single short of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with a triple and a home run and four RBIs.

Nathan Carter went 1-for-4 with a double and drove in three runs, while a pair of Pilots — Buccino and Isaac Evans — both had multi-hit games and recorded a pair of RBIs in the loss.

FIRST GAME

Ashland 001 010 0 — 2 7 3

Klamath Falls 010 002 x — 3 6 0

Buccino and Evans; Rivera, Grahm (6) and Waits. W — Grahm. L — Buccino. 2B — KF: Gibson.

SECOND GAME

Ashland 200 610 2 — 11 13 4

Klamath Falls 113 066 x — 17 13 2

Lawrence, Anway (5), McLennan and Evans; McGarry, Howard (5), Ericson (7) and Waits, Grahm (6). W — Howard. L — Anway. 2B — A: Carter; KF: Ericson, Monteith, Grahm, Waits. 3B — KF: Ericson, Hamilton. HR — Hamilton.

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