It was better late than never for the Medford Mustangs on Friday night, with the local American Legion AAA baseball team scoring in its final at-bat and then ultimately winning in extra innings to gain a doubleheader split with Eugene at Harry & David Field.
Eugene scored six unearned runs to win 9-4 in the opening game of the Area 4 twin bill but Medford responded with a 2-1 triumph in the eight-inning nightcap.
Eugene pitcher Zach Eyster had a perfect game through six innings with six strikeouts but Charlie Walker wrecked it with a single to center field to lead off the bottom of the seventh in Game 2. After Walker advanced to third base on a wild pitch and sacrifice bunt by A.J. Doolittle, Medford (22-16, 5-7 Area 4) tied the game at 1-all on a one-out single by Ethan Schlecht to right field.
In the bottom of the eighth, Nate Namanny led off with a single against Eyster and pinch-runner Taylor Humphrey moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Wellock. Humphrey then scored the winning run on a squeeze bunt by Hayden Evans.
Christian Morrison went the distance to gain the victory, allowing four hits in eight innings with 11 strikeouts and one walk. All four hits came in the fifth inning, when Eugene (36-9, 9-5) scored its lone run.
In the opener, the Challengers capitalized on two Medford errors in the third inning to build a 3-1 lead. With the bases loaded and two out in the sixth, Eugene scored three runs when Doolittle threw wide of first base and the ball rolled down the right field line.
Walker was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI and Schlecht 2-for-4 with one RBI in Game 1.
Eugene Challengers 012 024 0 — 9 8 3
Medford Mustangs 010 021 0 — 4 6 3
Lessel, Woods (7) and Giland; Flynn, Doolittle (6) and Westhelle-Grant, Wallan (5). W — Lessel (6-0). L — Flynn (4-3). 2B — E: Ralston, Land; M: Walker. HR — E: Nielson.
Eugene Challengers 000 010 00 — 1 4 0
Medford Mustangs 000 000 11 — 2 4 1
Eyster and McDaniel; Morrison and Westfall, Westhelle-Grant (8). W — Morrison (3-4). L — Eyster (5-2). 2B — E: Land.
CENTRAL POINT 6-10, SOUTH MEDFORD 0-2 — At Central Point, Taylor Pardee tossed a three-hitter and was 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI in the opener and Evan Erskine and Ty Fox each had three hits in Game 2 as Central Point earned the Area 4 sweep at Anhorn Field.
Pardee struck out six with no walks and needed only 72 pitches in a complete-game effort. Fox was 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI in support for the American Legion A Comets (34-6, 27-2 Area 4).
Erskine was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs and Fox 3-for-4 with one run in the nightcap for Central Point, while Nate Walker went 2-for-3 to pace South Medford.
South Medford 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Central Point 100 311 x — 6 9 0
James and White; Pardee and Aplin. W — Pardee (5-1). L — James. 2B — CP: Fahndrich, Martin, Pardee, Turner. 3B — CP: Fox, Tibbets.
South Medford 110 000 0 — 2 6 1
Central Point 211 321 x — 10 12 1
Walker, Newman (5) and White; Lathrop, Joerger (7) and Caballero. W — Lathrop (5-0). L — Walker. 2B — CP: Aplin.
10-11-YEAR-OLD STATE TOURNAMENT — At Hermiston, Robby Carle hit his first-ever home run — a two-run shot — but Medford National dropped a 12-8 decision to Pendleton on Thursday in the third-place game of the double-elimination tournament.
Medford National, which finished with a 4-2 record, played six games in seven days after dropping its first game of the tournament.
Daniel Shenk went 2-for-3 with two doubles and Jack West added two hits in as many plate appearances for Medford.
KLAMATH BASIN JUNIOR — At Klamath Falls, Reese Fisher eagled his final hole to secure a victory in the boys intermediate division on Thursday at Reames Country Club.
Reese, 13, finished with a 145 total over the two-day event. He shot an even-par 72 on Wednesday at Running Y, then fired a 1-over 73 on Thursday at Reames to secure the win in the intermediate classification (ages 12-13).
Reese, a Medford resident, held a six-shot lead with seven holes to go before Spencer Tibbits, of Vancouver, Wash., rallied to get within one shot on the final hole.
Both competitors drove the middle of the fairway, and Tibbits was in line for a birdie putt on his third shot. Reese, however, sank his second shot using a 50-degree wedge from about 105 yards out to seal the victory.
In the boys ages 14-15 division, Medford's Joshua Wu took fifth with a 152 total, while Will Street, also of Medford, was 13th in the junior (ages 16-17) division with a 155.
Medford's Baylee Hammericksen was second with a 107 in the girls pee-wee division (ages 8-11), while Riley Hammericksen was fourth with a 119.
The Klamath Basin Junior is the third of six Oregon Golf Association Junior tournaments on the schedule. The next three tournaments will be the Central Oregon, the Portland City and the Salem City.
INTERMEDIATE (12-13) — 1, Reese Fisher, Medford, 72-73—145; 15, Ben Quast, Ashland, 93-93—186; 16, Joseph Barsuglia, Grants Pass, 91-96—187; 17, Jackson Bartow, Grants Pass, 96-99—195; 18, Michael Piazzini, Rogue River, 114-118—232.
BOYS (14-15) — 5, Joshua Wu, Medford, 74-78—152; 7, Jeremy Wu, Medford, 79-76—155; 12, Jake Quast, Ashland, 83-82—165; 13, Brandon Chun, Medford, 81-84—165; 19, Logan Artner, Medford, 87-90—177.
JUNIOR (16-17) — 13, Will Street, Medford, 81-74—155; 14, Glenn Linder, Eagle Point, 77-78—155; 15, Noah Brooks, Central Point, 77-79—156; 18, David Murphy, Rogue River, 78-80—158; 24, Taylor Klemp, Medford, 79-85—164; 31, Blake Bartlett, Central Point, 88-84—172; 35, Daniel Schuler, Medford, WD-76.
10, Donnie Thomason, Grants Pass, 97-101—198.