GRANTS PASS — South Medford — undefeated in Southwest Conference baseball — faced a potential challenge Saturday with a road doubleheader at Grants Pass, a team that had put together a three-game league winning streak. But the Panthers came away unscathed.
South Medford received a pair of strong starting pitching performances and made the best of its opportunities in posting a sweep over the Cavemen, 7-2 and 4-1.
South sophomore pitcher Ricky Boortz (4-0) struck out seven and gave up one earned run in six innings to pick up the victory in the opener. Then senior hurler Brandon Letendre (5-1) went six innings, surrendering just an unearned run and six hits to win the nightcap. Jacob Melton pitched one inning of scoreless relief in both games.
“We jumped on them fairly early in the first game.” said South Medford coach Ray Smith. “Boortz did a good job keeping it down and competed well.”
Senior third baseman Clint Campbell had two hits, three RBIs and scored a run for the league-leading Panthers (13-3, 10-0 SWC) in Game 1.
South capitalized on four walks to go with a double by Campbell and Jaron Emerson’s single to score four runs in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead.
For Grants Pass (6-12, 3-7), Nate Morgan went 3-for-3 with two doubles, and Andrew Medley and Payton Calabro each collected two hits.
In Game 2, the Panthers struck for two runs in the first and added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.
Melton opened the game with a single, Campbell reached on an error and Jaylin Parnell produced an RBI single to stake South to a 2-0 lead.
Robby Carle and Emerson both had a pair of hits for the Panthers.
“We’re feeling good where we’re at,” said Smith, whose squad holds a 31/2-game lead over second-place Roseburg, “but there’s a lot of games left. We need to win a couple of more games to come out on top.”
South Medford 001 400 2 — 7 6 1
Grants Pass 000 110 0 — 2 10 0
Boortz, Melton (7) and Thompson; King, Coyle (7) and Dinkel. W — Boortz (4-0). L — King. 2B — SM: Campbell, Thompson; GP: Morgan 2.
South Medford 200 002 0 — 4 7 1
Grants Pass 000 010 0 — 1 4 6
Letendre, Melton (7) and Thompson; Rund and Dinkel. W — Letendre (5-1). L — Rund.
EAGLE POINT 11-6, ASHLAND 1-0: At Eagle Point, Dylan Marsh surrendered one hit in the six-inning opener and Andrew Schreiner tossed a five-hit shutout in the nightcap, giving Eagle Point the Midwestern League sweep at The Yard.
In the first game, Marsh struck out five and walked four to improve to 3-1, and also went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. He got plenty of help as Domenic Fontana went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Kolbi Blevins 2-for-3 with three runs and freshman Darin Marsh 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.
In the second game, Schreiner struck out five without a walk and extended to 15 innings his consecutive scoreless innings streak. Also for the Eagles (7-6, 6-4 MWL), Blevins went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs.
Ashland (0-12, 0-10) was led by freshman Nathan Carter, who went 2-for-3.
Ashland 000 001 — 1 1 1
Eagle Point 342 002 — 11 11 1
Evans, Reynolds (2), Nixon (5) and Gilliland, Nixon (4); Dy. Marsh and Alves. W — Dy. Marsh (3-1). L — Evans. 2B — EP: Dy. Marsh.
Ashland 000 000 0 — 0 5 4
Eagle Point 200 031 x — 6 6 3
Buccino, Amann (5) and Evans; Schreiner, Barnes (7), Gaudern (7) and Alves. W — Schreiner (2-0). L — Buccino. 2B — EP: Gaudern. 3B — EP: Blevins.
ST. MARY’S 11-7, ILLINOIS VALLEY 1-4: St. Mary’s registered its first two Southern Cascade League victories in the home doubleheader sweep.
The Crusaders improved to 2-3 in league play and 3-6 overall while Illinois Valley fell to 2-8 and 1-3 in the SCL.