Mustangs stumble against Fairfield in tourney opener

A couple unexpected errors — one physical and one mental — put the Medford Mustangs in an early hole it couldn't crawl out of Wednesday in the opening game of the Best of the West Wood Bat Challenge.

Fairfield B&L scored three runs without a hit in the first inning and held off a Medford rally to score a 5-3 victory at Harry & David Field.

"We just gave up a couple embarrassing runs," said Mustangs manager Sandee Kensinger. "You can't give good teams those kinda opportunities. But we'll have it again (today) and see if we can turn it around."

The Best of the West continues today at H&D, with Fairfield taking on the Salem Withnell Dodgers at 4 p.m. and Medford playing host to the Las Vegas Lions at 7.

In other action, Klamath Falls defeated Reno, 12-2.

Logan Odom hit the first batter of the game, Mike Norris, and walked Sam Hedrick before inducing a fly out to center fielder Kory Locken. After Norris and Hedrick pulled off a double steal, Kyle Coburn plated a run on a groundball out.

Odom then hit Johnny Scholtens with a pitch to put runners on the corners. Scholtens then stole second base, with Colin Sowers' throw from the plate sailing into center field to allow Hedrick to score. When Locken was a little nonchalant about chasing down the errant throw, Scholtens took advantage and raced home to score a second run on the play.

"The kid never stopped running and we didn't make a play," said Mustangs general manager Don Schneider.

Fairfield (13-8) tacked on single runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 5-0 lead, but the Mustangs (7-3) plated two in the seventh to make things interesting.

A Kody Stevens single and Jared Smith double put runners in scoring position, and Sowers followed with a fly ball to center field that was dropped. Stevens scored on the play and Sowers moved up to second base. Zack Earle plated Smith with a sacrifice fly before Locken popped up to end the inning.

The Mustangs cut into their deficit in the bottom of the ninth when Smith belted a leadoff double and, with two out, Locken's grounder was misplayed by the shortstop. Trent Smith then hit a grounder to shortstop to end the inning and the comeback attempt.

Griff Boyd, Stevens and Jared Smith each went 2-for-4 to pace Medford.

"We actually didn't hit the ball too bad," said Kensinger. "The wind was kinda blowing in and we stung the ball pretty good but didn't get rewarded for it."

Odom walked five and hit three batters in suffering his first loss of the season, with Neil Emerson and John Adamson providing scoreless relief. Emerson struck out three with one walk, while Adamson didn't allow a hit and had three strikeouts in his three innings.

"Neil came in and did a nice job and Johnny came in and did a nice job so there's some positives," said Kensinger. "It's a long summer. We earn our money in July because that's when we play the bulk of our league games, so we've still got plenty of baseball left."

Fairfield B&L 301 100 000 — 5 7 4

Medford Mustangs 000 000 201 — 3 8 1

Russell, Anderson (8) and V. Romero; Odom, Emerson (4), Adamson (7) and Sowers. W — Russell. L — Odom (2-1). 2B — M: J. Smith 2.

American Legion A

NORTH MEDFORD 13, PHOENIX 1 — At Talent, Cody James belted a two-out, two-run double to highlight a five-run second inning that helped carry North Medford to a five-inning, American Legion A victory.

Hayden Wolfe was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs and Brady Shipley 2-for-3 with two runs for the Mavericks (9-1, 8-0 Area 4), while Matt Pitcarin allowed four hits to earn the win.

Five errors hampered the cause for Phoenix (1-11).

North Medford Mavericks 057 10 — 13 10 2

Phoenix Bucs 100 00 — 1 4 5

Pitcarin and Pine; Tally and Davis, Ritchey (3). W — Pitcarin (1-0). L — Tally (0-1). 2B — NM: James.

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