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Medford players celebrate at home plate after John Adamson, far left, hit a grand slam in the Mustangs’ 8-0 victory in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader with Klamath Falls at Harry & David Field. - Jamie Lusch

Records fall in Mustangs' sweep

Medford hasn’t exactly been known for home runs this summer in American Legion AAA play, but you wouldn’t be able to convince the Klamath Falls Falcons of that fact.
The Mustangs used a three-run homer in the eighth inning by Logan Odom on June 27 to earn a split in an Area 4 twin bill against the Falcons, and were back at it again on Friday.
John Adamson’s fourth-inning grand slam broke a scoreless tie in the opener en route to an 8-0 victory, and Griff Boyd’s two-run blast in Game 2 kick-started a seven-run first inning as Medford secured the sweep going away with a 14-2 triumph at Harry & David Field.
“We have a lot of team power and we’re just seeing the ball well right now,” said Adamson, who leads the team with five homers. “If you look at our lineup we’ve got a lot of guys that can put it deep but this park’s not easy to hit it out. When you’re hitting the ball hard, it’s going to go out every once in a while.“
Medford entered Friday’s key Area 4 doubleheader with 18 home runs, but the combination of the Mustangs’ hot bats and a couple errant pitches proved enough to put the Falcons on their heels at a most inopportune time. Medford carried only a one-game lead over Klamath Falls in the Area 4 standings heading into the twin bill.
“This was huge,” said Mustangs manager Sandee Kensinger of the sweep. “John’s home run just kinda set the tone right there.“
Adamson’s blast may have been the signature moment on Friday, but it certainly wasn’t the only grand feat by the local boys.
The two wins allowed the Mustangs (34-5, 9-1 Area 4) to stretch their winning streak to 19 games, surpassing the team record of 18 set in 1991 when Medford opened the season 18-0, and build a three-game edge over the second-place Falcons (35-7, 6-4).
The Mustangs will put their streak on the line today with a 5 p.m. road doubleheader against the Eugene Challengers. Klamath Falls entertains the Grants Pass Nuggets today in another Area 4 twin bill.
Jordan Lewis also picked up a pair of pitching milestones in his opening-game shutout. The Phoenix left-hander tied a Mustang record by earning his 27th career victory in improving to 7-0 this season. He also moved into third place on the Mustangs’ career strikeout list with eight in a complete-game, five-hit performance.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me and it gives me something to work toward every game,” said Lewis, who surpassed Brad Arnsberg (218) when he fanned Rockey Rosser to lead off the third inning. “I want the win, obviously, for us, but it’s nice to know you’re breaking records as you go.”
Lewis now has 225 strikeouts, trailing only Bryan Bealer (258) and Matt Skundrick (263) on the all-time list. His 27 wins equals that of Bobby Wolcott, and Lewis still has another season of eligibility to play for the Mustangs.
“It’s an honor to have my name on a list of such great players who have played on this team over the years,” added Lewis.
Lewis found himself in a tight pitcher’s duel with James Nygren through three innings in the opener, but Medford finally was able to put something together against the Oregon State hurler in the fourth.
Boyd opened the inning with a single off the right-hander and then the Mustangs got a break when Odom’s high pop fly to shallow left field glanced off the glove of shortstop Colin Stock to put two runners on. Stock was put in a tough position on the play after left fielder Kelly Shannon got a late break on the ball and the duo was joined by third baseman Mike Mastroianni to make a tight circle on the final descent.
Kody Stevens then worked the count for a walk to load the bases for Adamson, who had no aspirations of clearing the fence during his at-bat.
“My initial thing was just try and get something deep to try and get a sacrifice fly,” said the former South Medford High standout. “Obviously, we needed one (run) there, so I didn’t want to strike out or ground out into a double play. I just wanted to get the ball deep.“
He did that and more on a Nygren pitch that was left up and over too much of the plate. The left-handed stroke soared toward the right field fence before finally settling just past the wall.
“I got it high and it just kinda kept going,” said Adamson. “I thought it was just going to be a fly ball, I wasn’t expecting it to clear out there.“
Colin Sowers added a one-out single and scored on a two-out single by Dustin Smith to give Lewis a comfortable 5-0 cushion.
The Mustangs tacked on three more runs in the sixth after singles by Sowers and Zack Earle and a walk to Dustin Smith loaded the bases. Kory Locken followed with a two-run single and Boyd supplied a run-scoring sacrifice fly for the final margin of victory.
In all, eight of the nine Medford starters had at least one hit in the opener, with Sowers and Earle each going 2-for-3.
The nightcap proved to be more of the same for the Mustangs, who jumped all over Falcons starter Kyle Conner for seven runs in the first inning.
After Boyd’s blast made it 2-0, Odom and Stevens singled to keep up the momentum and Adamson slapped an RBI single. When Adamson took off for second on a wild pitch, Stevens wound up scoring after Rosser’s throw from the plate sailed into center field.
Jared Smith was later hit by a pitch and Earle was walked to load the bases for Dustin Smith, who capitalized on his second at-bat of the inning with a three-run double to the gap in left field.
The onslaught continued in the third with six more runs for a 14-1 Medford advantage, with Lewis Sebrell’s two-run double highlighting a frame that saw five different players drive in at least one run. Trent Smith came off the bench to notch an RBI single, while fellow reserves Jordan Bostwick and Blake Mitchell also plated a run. Jared Smith preceded Sebrell’s blast with an RBI double of his own.
The quick striking offense was more than enough for starter Sam Gaviglio, who improved to 5-1 by tossing a four-hitter in the five-inning affair. An error helped the Falcons score their first run of the twin bill in the second inning after a leadoff double by Seth Brown, and Colin Stock supplied the only other run with a solo homer in the fifth.
Dustin Smith and Sebrell each finished with three RBIs in Game 2 for the Mustangs, with Boyd driving in a pair of runs and scoring three times.
FIRST GAME
Klamath Falls Falcons 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Medford Mustangs 000 503 x — 8 10 1
Nygren, Brown (4), Bocchi (6) and Conner; Lewis and Sowers. W — Lewis (7-0). L — Nygren (5-3). 2B — KF: Rosser; M: Earle. HR — M: Adamson (5).
SECOND GAME
Klamath Falls Falcons 010 01 — 2 4 3
Medford Mustangs 716 0x — 14 9 2
Conner, Stratton (4) and Rosser; Gaviglio and L. Sebrell. W — Gaviglio (5-1). L — Conner (5-1). 2B — KF: Brown; M: D. Smith, J. Smith, L. Sebrell. 3B — M: D. Smith. HR — KF: Stock (12); M: Boyd (4).
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com

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