Panthers ride hot bats to big win in Arizona

SURPRISE, Ariz. — South Medford didn't play a lot of defense, but when Jimmy Sporer and company hit like they did Thursday it usually doesn't matter.

Sporer was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs, Ryan Carle 2-for-3 with an RBI and Nate Walker unleashed a three-run home run, his first of the season, as part of the Panthers' four-run first inning as South Medford beat Heritage High School of Littleton, Colo., 15-12, in the Coach Bob Invitational.

The game, which featured 19 hits between the teams, was called after five innings because it had exceeded a 2-hour, 45-minute time limit.

Already ahead 6-4, the Panthers (2-2) scored six runs on three hits in the third. Kaleb Bell's two-run single got things started, and Ryan Carle added an RBI double to right.

Walker's first-inning dinger sailed well over the wall in left-center.

The 12-hit explosion allowed the Panthers to overcome a rough day in the field. They committed seven errors.

Knowing the game would be stopped after the fifth, Heritage (0-5) tried to climb back in the fifth and nearly did. A two-run single cut a seven-run deficit to five, and back-to-back bases-loaded walks put the tying run on first base.

But South Medford relief pitcher Caleb Newman buckled down after that. He induced a pop out by the No. 9 hitter, struck out the next batter then completed the escape when the next batter grounded into a 4-6 fielder's choice.

The Panthers complete their Arizona trip today with a game against Boulder Creek, at 3:30 p.m.

South Medford 426 21 — 15 12 7

Heritage 223 14 — 12 7 2

Lupton, Thomas (4), Newman (5) and White; Thorpe, Benson (2), Null (3), Michna (4), Tardy (5) and Boos, Opipz (4). W — Thomas. L — Thorpe. 2B — SM: Carle, Breeze; H: Griebel, Boos. HR — SM: Walker (1).

NORTH MEDFORD 11, HORIZON CHRISTIAN 1, 5 inn. — At Surprise, Ariz., North Medford junior Jordan Ragan picked up his first win for the Black Tornado by allowing four hits with five strikeouts and two walks in a Coach Bob Invitational game shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.

Austin Zavala went 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs for the Black Tornado (6-1) and David Crofton was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI against the Class 3A team from Tualatin.

Colton Cosner and Kyle Esquerra each had doubles for Horizon Christian (1-1), which led 1-0 until Tate Cowden's two-out, two-run single helped spark North Medford.

Horizon Christian 010 00 — 1 4 2

North Medford 022 34 — 11 9 0

Cosner and Mueller; Ragan and Zavala. W — Ragan (1-0). L — Cosner. 2B — HC: Esquerra, Cosner; NM: Zavala. 3B — NM: Zavala.

MOUNTAIN RANGE 5, ASHLAND 4 — At Phoenix, Ariz., Ashland leadoff hitter Aaron Scott was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and junior pitcher Steen Fredrickson gave up only one earned run in six innings, but the Grizzlies committed five errors that led to four unearned runs.

Ashland (0-2) scored twice in the fourth on RBI singles by Jett Hamik and Scott to take a 3-1 lead, but a misplayed ground ball allowed Mountain Range to avoid a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half, and the Mustangs capitalized by scoring four runs to take the lead for good.

Eric Carlson singled and advanced to second on a wild throw to give the Grizzlies a chance to tie the game with one out in the seventh, but a strikeout and fly out squashed Ashland's comeback hopes.

For the Mustangs (4-2), Noah Draper was 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBIs.

Ashland 001 201 0 — 4 9 5

Mountain Range 100 400 x — 5 8 2

Fredrickson and Glick; Peterson, Plunkett (6) and Caulkins. W — Peterson. L — Fredrickson. 2B — A: Glick, Scott, Sanderson; MR: Draper 3.

CRATER 2, NORTH SALEM 1 — At Central Point, Dylan Pearce tossed 5 1/3 innings of no-hit ball and had a career-high 13 strikeouts as Crater closed its Spring Break Tournament by squeaking past North Salem at Anhorn Field.

After North Salem stopped Pearce's no-hitter, a Comet error followed by a two-out single nixed the shutout while trimming Crater's lead to 2-1.

But Pearce responded in the top of the seventh by striking out the side to secure his first victory. The run he allowed was unearned. He also gave up just two hits and walked four to help Crater bump its record in the event to 3-1 and improve to 5-1 on the season.

Ty Plankenhorn singled home Zach Lathrop in the bottom of the second inning and Lathrop gave the Comets a 2-0 lead on an RBI single that plated Blake Fahndrich.

Lathrop, Plankenhorn and Paul Turner each had two hits for the Comets.

North Salem 000 001 0 — 1 2 3

Crater 100 100 x — 2 11 1

Hamilton and Jolly; Pearce and Aplin. W — Pearce (1-0). L — Hamilton.

WESTVIEW 14, GRANTS PASS 3 — At Central Point, Grants Pass didn't get on the scoreboard until its two-run sixth inning and Westview thumped the Cavemen in Crater's Spring Break Tournament at Anhorn Field.

Jake Stoffel drove in a run in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single and Cody Ekwall forced home a run when he was hit by a pitch for the Cavemen (2-5).

Westview's Parker Kelly had three-run home runs in both the fifth and seventh innings. Kenyon Yovan helped out by going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

Westview 102 051 5 — 14 12 2

Grants Pass 000 002 1 — 3 4 6

Finkelnburg, Tamblyn (2), Riccardi (3), Cox (5), Stofiel (6), Johnson (7) and Sofiel, Hanna (6); Bunn, Worthington (4), Kroplin (7), Lauffenburger (7). W — Cox. L — Bunn. 2B — WV: Yovan 2, Votta; GP: Chandler. HR — WV: Kelly 2.

ENTERPRISE 4, PHOENIX 2 — At Yreka, Calif., Phoenix pitcher Aaron Hutchinson allowed two earned runs on five hits but didn't get much run support at the Gold Nugget Tournament.

Zach Kentner was 2-for-3 and scored a run, and Calvin Decker drove in a run with a ground out as Phoenix got within 3-2 in the top of the fourth.

The Pirates (2-2) were in position to rally in the second, but Max Potter's hard line drive with two runners on base was snagged by the shortstop and converted into an inning-ending double play.

Phoenix 001 100 0 — 2 4 2

Enterprise 300 100 x — 4 5 2

Hutchinson and McCready; Kosta and Lackman. W — Kosta. L — Hutchinson (1-1). 2B — E: Smith, Crisosta.


NORTH MEDFORD 6-10, WEST LINN 0-0 — North Medford's Alexis Barkwell struck out 15 batters and homered in the first game, and Keisha Williams was 3-for-3 with three RBIs in the nightcap to help North Medford improve to 6-1.

Barkwell, who also went 2-for-2 in the second game, capped North's four-run first inning in Game 1 with a two-run shot to center. She then retired eight of the first 11 batters she faced on strikes.

In Game 2, Williams delivered an RBI single in the second and a two-run single in the third as the Tornado quickly built a 7-0 lead. Tralene Kucera's bases-clearing triple in the fourth gave North a 10-run lead, and they won by the mercy rule after West Linn (1-4) failed to score in the top of the fifth.

North Medford pitcher Sarah Thomas struck out six and walked two while holding the Lions scoreless on two hits.


West Linn 000 000 0 — 0 2 2

North Medford 400 110 x — 6 7 1

Von Ahn and Freiling; Barkwell and Ramsay. W — Barkwell (4-1). L — Von Ahn. HR — NM: Barkwell (1).


West Linn 000 00 — 0 2 1

North Medford 034 300 — 10 10 2

Von Ahn and Freiling; Thomas and Ramsay. W — Thomas (2-0). L — Von Ahn. 2B — WL: Hartdegan. 3B — NM: Kucera.

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