Mustangs one win away from title game

The Medford Mustangs' win-or-go-home victory over the Salem Withnell Dodgers on Saturday was sweet.

A triumph against Salem today would be even sweeter.

The Mustangs secured their third straight victory and avenged an opening-round loss to the Withnell Dodgers, prevailing 12-10 in their American Legion AAA state tournament game at Swede Johnson Stadium in Eugene.

Medford (37-11) plays the Portland Barbers at 10:30 a.m. this morning, with the winner advancing to take on Salem in the championship contest at 1:30 p.m.

The Mustangs have refused to lose since falling to the Withnell Dodgers 12-2 on Wednesday. On Saturday, Medford built a 10-3 lead by the third inning, but allowed Salem to chip away at the deficit before ultimately hanging on with some clutch pitching by Travis Cash.

The Mustangs, who survived eight errors, used a stretch of walks and a Salem mistake in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. The Withnell Dodgers scored three runs in the bottom of the first before Medford regained its advantage with four-run bursts in the second and third innings.

Salem drew within a single run after tacking on four runs in the bottom of the sixth, but was held scoreless by Cash, the last of five Mustangs to take the mound.

Cash, who entered in the seventh inning, retired seven of the last eight batters he faced. The right-hander got his squad out of a potentially disastrous bases-loaded jam in the seventh and then set down the side in order in the eighth.

In the ninth, Cash allowed a leadoff single before inducing three straight outs in the heart of the Withnell Dodgers' order.

Medford added an insurance run in the top of the eighth.

Seth Brown extended his hitting streak to 13 games by going 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He's now recorded a hit in 45 of Medford's 48 contests.

Ethan Schlecht went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, Colin Sowers was 2-for-4 with three runs and Jessie Hornbrook finished 2-for-5 with three runs.

In the victory, Sowers set the ballclub's single-season record when he was hit a by a pitch for the 15th time this year.

Portland beat Roseburg 7-5 earlier in the day.

Medford 244 100 010 — 12 11 8

Salem 301 114 000 — 10 14 3

Herrera, Stone (3), Anderson (5), Bohn (6), Cash (7) and Sowers; Mason, Knoll (2) and Plunkett. W — Cash (7-2). L — Mason. 2B — M: Schlecht 2, Treadway, Brown, Sowers. 3B — S: Giza. HR — S: Miles.

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