Maurer, Mustangs power past Salem Withnell

One home run just wasn't enough for Matt Maurer and the Medford Mustangs.

He and his teammates wanted — and got — lots of big hits at one of their favorite stadiums on Thursday in Klamath Falls.

Maurer crushed three homers, including a first-inning grand slam, and the Mustangs finished with 19 hits and six four-baggers in an 18-8 victory over the Salem Withnell Dodgers in the American Legion AAA state tournament at Kiger Stadium.

The crucial win puts Medford a win away from Sunday's finals. The Mustangs will play Roseburg Dr. Stewart's, a 21-6 winner over Salem Post 9, at 7 tonight.

Maurer, Garrett Tygerson and Lucas Stone hit consecutive home runs in the eighth. Stone finished with two solo shots and two runs and Tygerson was 2-for-4 with two runs.

"We love playing here," Maurer said. "It seems to play like a shorter field. The wind blows out and when you get a good hit, the ball just flies.

"Everyone has played really well. There have been some boo-boos here and there and as a team. Now, it's just one game at a time."

Dan Katayama was 4-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs and Maurer — who hit leadoff homers in the eighth and ninth innings — finished 3-for-6 with six RBIs and three runs for Medford. Justin Bohn went 3-for-5 with three runs, Nick Hall 2-for-5 with three runs and Seth Brown 2-for-6.

The Mustangs (36-8) jumped on the Dodgers early, posting eight runs in the top of the first inning.

"We built ourselves a good cushion to start with," Medford manager Sandee Kensinger said. "Matt hit the grand slam, and that and some other hits sort of opened the flood gates."

Starting pitcher Bradey Shipley, who improved to 5-1, had nine strikeouts and six walks before being relieved by Nate Namanny in the seventh inning.

Shipley allowed five runs in the second before settling down. He struck out the first batter in the seventh, giving him eight straight outs, and then gave up an infield single and walk. Namanny, who was replaced by Michael Bradshaw in the ninth, came in and fanned the next two batters.

Kiger Stadium has proved to be a favorable venue for Medford. The Mustangs belted out nine home runs in a doubleheader sweep of Klamath Falls on July 13. On Wednesday, they tallied 18 hits in a 16-2 triumph over Madison-Portland.

"The kids love playing there," Kensinger said. "It's a hitter's ballpark. We hit some other decent balls that were caught, too."

Before Thursday, Medford owned victories over every team in the tournament except Salem Withnell. The Dodgers (31-9) beat the Mustangs, 17-10, on July 15.

"We took care of business," Kensinger said. "Our kids were pretty motivated today. They don't like getting beat in their own park and they know they need to keep winning."

Medford 803 100 051 — 18 19 3

Salem Withnell 050 000 030 — 8 9 2

Shipley, Namanny (7), Bradshaw (9) and Sowers; Cardona, Madden (4), T. Giza (8) and Ferguson, Marlett (9). W — Shipley (5-1). L — Cardona. 2B — M: Sowers, Brown, Bohn; S: Rosconi. HR — M: Maurer 3 (9), Stone 2 (5), Tygerson (4); S: Miles.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or e-mail

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