Molina shines in South Medford baseball sweep

EUGENE — When opportunity came calling, Sebastian Molina was ready.

The South Medford senior outfielder was pressed into service when starting rightfielder Jaron Emerson pulled a hamstring scoring a run in the third inning of the opener of a Southwest Conference baseball road doubleheader.

All Molina did from there was collect three hits, score four runs and drive in three as South Medford defeated Sheldon, 9-1 and 9-7 in 10 innings, and remained undefeated in the SWC.

In just his second start of the season, Molina drove in what proved to be the winning run in the 10th inning of the nightcap. That finished a two-hit, two-run and two-RBI performance in the second game.

“Molina came through when we needed to make something happen,” said South Medford coach Ray Smith. “He had some big hits and made some nice plays defensively and ran the bases well. Sebastian came up in some crucial situations and produced.”

South Medford (16-3, 13-0 SWC) twice had the Irish (9-11, 6-8) on the ropes in Game 2, only to see the Irish tie the game — once with three runs in the bottom of the seventh then with two runs to knot the score 7-all in the eighth.

In the 10th inning the Panthers scored two runs when Brandon Letendre led off with a double and Molina delievered an RBI single. Jacob Melton followed with a single to put runners on first and third and Clint Campell scored Molina on a sacrifice fly.

Campbell (1-1), who relieved in the eighth, shut down the Irish in the 10th to pick up his first win of the season South starter Robby Carle limited the Irish to two runs until the seventh.

“Robby was in control until the seventh,” said Smith. “We had a couple of errors and some hits dropped in that weren’t hit hard. Sheldon competed their tails off in the second game and gave us everything we could handle.”

In the opener, Letendre (5-1) went the distance with six strikeouts and one walk and the Panthers played errorless defense.

“Brandon has been very reliable,” said Smith. “He was locating his off speed and our defense played well.”

South broke a scoreless tie with two runs in third inning. With one out, Emerson beat out a grounder to third and went to second on a throwing error. Melton was intentionally walked then Campbell and Jaalen Owens provided RBI singles.

Melton hit his sixth home run of the season — a 360-foot, three-run shot over the right-center field fence — in the sixth inning.

FIRST GAME

South Medford 002 403 0 — 9 12 0

Sheldon 000 000 1 — 1 8 1

Letendre and Thompson; Hill, Haffner (5) and Hansen. W — Letendre (5-1). L — Hill. 2B — She: Pickrel. HR — SM: Melton (6).

SECOND GAME

South Medford 021 101 020 2 — 9 13 4

Sheldon 100 001 320 0— 7 15 1

Carle, Campbell (8) and Thompson; Pickrel, Horn (6) and Lugo. W — Campbell (1-1). L — Horn. 2B — SM: Melton, Letendre; She: Hansen.

CRATER 5, MARIST 0: At Central Point, Crater senior Larson Kindreich threw his first-ever seven-inning no-hitter while striking out 18 batters in a dominant performance that led the Comets to their fourth consecutive Midwestern League victory at Anhorn Field.

Kindreich, who had previously tossed five- and six-inning no-hitters, walked three in the 108-pitch gem, as Marist managed to put only three balls in play, including two comebackers to the mound.

Also for Crater (16-5, 12-4 MWL), Ike Gilliland went 2-for-2 with an RBI single and Ryan Kulpa hit a two-run double to put the game out of reach in the sixth.

Sonny Hiday took the loss for Marist (9-12, 8-8), which has lost seven straight since starting league play 8-1.

Marist 000 000 0 — 0 0 3

Crater 110 003 x — 5 6 0

Hiday, Patterson (6) and Hopkins; Kindreich and Gilliland. W — Kindreich (5-2). L — Hiday. 2B — C: Kulpa.

HIDDEN VALLEY 6, PHOENIX 3: At Talent, Kolton Fisher hit a grand slam with two outs in the fifth inning, powering Hidden Valley to the comeback win at Hagler-James Park.

Phoenix (11-9, 4-6 Skyline), which suffered its fifth straight loss, got a pair of RBI singles by Colton Merriman and Chase Courtney in the second to take a 3-1 lead, which held until Fisher’s big hit.

Phoenix starter Ethan Humble struck out three, walked two and held Hidden Valley to five runs in six innings of work, while Brennen Watts went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Kolton Fisher picked up the victory for the Mustangs (19-2, 10-0).

Hidden Valley 100 040 1 — 6 8 0

Phoenix 120 000 0 — 3 7 2

Harry, Fisher (3), Lawson (7) and DiMatteo; Humble, Stella (7) and Merriman. W — Fisher. L — Humble (3-3). HR — HV: Fisher.

Softball

GRANTS PASS 14-10, WILLAMETTE 0-0: At Eugene, Devin Ireland and Alyssa Etheridge threw back-to-back no-hitters and Ireland had four doubles and four RBIs as Grants Pass rolled to a Southwest Conference sweep at Willamette High.

In the opener, Ireland struck out 12 without a walk, with two hit batters representing her only blemishes in the five-inning game. At the plate, she went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Also for the Cavers (17-2, 12-1 SWC), Etheridge went 3-for-4 with a double and four runs scored and catcher Jordan Kuykendall 2-for-4 with a home run.

In Game 2, Etheridge struck out 11 and walked one in another five-inning game, while also providing two hits and an RBI. Grace Gaither went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Kuykendall was 2-for-4. Ireland went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Sam McFarland pitched the last 1 2/3 innings of the first game and the entire second game for Willamette (3-19, 0-15).

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass 026 33 — 14 14 0

Willamette 000 00 — 0 0 7

Ireland and Kuykendall; Garcia, McFarland (4) and Ortega. 2B — GP: Ireland 2, Etheridge. HR — GP: Kuykendall.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass 100 36 — 10 13 0

Willamette 000 00 — 0 0 1

Etheridge and Kuykendall; McFarland and Ortega. W — Etheridge. L — McFarland. 2B — Ireland 2.

CRATER 12-11, CHURCHILL 1-9: At Eugene, despite compiling 29 hits on the afternoon, Crater needed some clutch pitching and defense to preserve the Midwestern League sweep in the nightcap.

Churchill threatened by getting the first two baserunners aboard in the bottom of the seventh in Game 2 but Comets pitcher Megan Wagner was able to escape the jam by forcing three straight outs.

Mackenzie Ryerson finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI for Crater (10-10, 9-4) while Grace Hilton and Kaila Lee each went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Janessa Harris also went 2-for-4.

In the opener, Crater’s Hannah Joseph went 4-for-4 with two doubles, four runs scored and three RBIs. Jordan Peterson had a two-run home run and went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs.

Wagner finished 3-for-3 and knocked in a couple of runs while Kaila Lee came up with a pair of doubles for the Comets.

FIRST GAME

Crater 204 33 — 12 14 1

Churchill 000 10 — 1 6 5

Cappello and Harris; Sheppler and Schaefer. W — Cappello (3-5). L — Sheppler. 2B — C: Joseph 2, Lee 2, Peterson, Wagner. HR — C: Peterson.

SECOND GAME

Crater 405 010 1 — 11 15 3

Churchill 260 100 0 — 9 7 6

Cappello, Wagner (2) and Harris; Olin, Sheppler (3) and Schaefer. W — Wagner (4-2). L — Sheppler. 2B — Cra: Joseph, Lee; Ch: Sheppler, Sundberg. HR — Ch: Sundberg.

HIDDEN VALLEY 11, PHOENIX 9: At Phoenix, behind Brooke Kentner’s monster performance, Phoenix nearly rallied in the seventh inning but fell short in the Skyline Conference contest.

Hidden Valley led the Pirates, 11-5 entering the bottom of the seventh but Kentner’s three-run double followed by Makenna Page’s run-scoring double with no outs cut the score to 11-9.

The Pirates (5-11, 1-9) were able to load the bases once again with two outs but were unable to take advantage.

Kentner, who was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored — her first-inning home run put the Pirates ahead, 2-1.

Page went 3-for-4, Claire Mathewson 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI, and Josie Bolstad went 2-for-4 with a triple.

Hidden Valley 114 050 0 — 11 14 1

Phoenix 200 030 4 — 9 16 3

Haberman and Caddock; E. Truex, Mathewson (4) and Bowman. W — Haberman. L — E. Truex. 2B — HV: Stone; P: Page, Kentner. 3B — P: Bolstad. HR — HV: Caddock; P: Kentner.

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