LAKE OSWEGO — Untimely miscues and an inability to string hits together has been the Achilles' heel for South Medford's baseball team all season and each haunted the Panthers again Monday during the opening round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
South Medford committed two of its four errors in the first inning to allow Lake Oswego to open a 2-0 lead and the Lakers (21-6) used a two-run sixth inning to close out the Panthers for a 5-2 triumph.
Junior left-hander Nate Namanny struck out eight, walked three and allowed three earned runs in tossing a six-hitter for the Panthers (13-14), who lost in the state championship final last season.
With two outs gone in the first, South had a chance to exit the inning unscathed but third baseman Taren Bradd's throw to first baseman Kanin Campbell was a little high and eventually dropped at first to let one run cross home plate. Harrison Ramey followed with a grounder that was booted, allowing another run to score.
The Panthers trailed 3-0 before scratching for two runs in the top of the sixth to give hope for yet another comeback. Bradd singled to start the inning, was sacrificed to second base by Austin Griffin and singled to third by Kirk Eastman. Namanny followed with a shot that deflected off pitcher Brock Pellow but still led to an out when shortstop Tyler Campbell recovered to make a play on the RBI groundout.
After Ryan Wellock drew a walk, Andrew Phillips laced an RBI single to left-center field to make it 3-2. With two outs, however, sophomore Pat Alexander grounded out to third to end the uprising.
Phillips finished 2-for-3 for the Panthers and came close to scoring South's first run in the fifth before being stranded at third base. After his leadoff single, Alexander belted a double to put both runners in scoring position. Pellow then struck out Campbell and induced a fly ball to right field by Sean Pearson that was hauled in and eventually led to Alexander being caught in a rundown and Phillips thrown out at the plate for the final out.
South Medford 000 002 0 — 2 6 4
Lake Oswego 201 002 x — 5 6 0
Namanny and Phillips; Pellow and Sanders. W — Pellow. L — Namanny (3-7). 2B — SM: Alexander, Campbell; LO: McLaughlin.
BEAVERTON 8, NORTH MEDFORD 0 — At Beaverton, University of Oregon-bound Jordan Spencer belted a leadoff home run in the fourth and combined with Jeremy Lipps to pitch a six-hit shutout for Beaverton in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
Beaverton (16-10) led only 1-0 through three innings before compiled seven runs in the ensuing three innings to pull away. Spencer struck out seven and walked one.
North Medford (11-15) lost its best chance to score when it loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, only to have Charlie Walker's liner up the middle snagged with a leaping grab by the shortstop and turned into a double play.
Second baseman Taylor Raff and right fielder Hayden Evans each managed nice defensive plays to help deny the Beavers.
North Medford 000 000 0 — 0 6 1
Beaverton 010 313 x — 8 9 0
Herrera, Doolittle (4) and Pine; Spencer, Lipps (7) and Taylor. W — Spencer. L — Herrera (5-6). 2B — NM: Pine; B: Richard. HR — B: Spencer.
NORTH SALEM 7, GRANTS PASS 2 — At Salem, Matt Cole and Tyler Bennett produced RBI singles to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning for Grants Pass but North Salem answered with five runs in the bottom half of the frame to earn the first-round victory.
The Cavemen (11-17) were limited to three hits by Vikings senior Jordie Rodriguez. North Salem (19-8) used a pair of walks, two singles, a GP error and a suicide squeeze bunt to pull away in the sixth.
Grants Pass 000 002 0 — 2 3 1
North Salem 020 005 x — 7 7 3
Robinson, Bennett (6), Polder (6) and Custer; Rodriguez and Ferguson. W — Rodriguez. L — Bennett (3-6). 2B — NS: Hamilton.
ROSEBURG 4, SOUTH SALEM 1 — At Roseburg, Roseburg's Josh Graham didn't allow a run in a complete-game effort to secure a victory in the Indians' Class 6A state playoff opener.
The Indians (18-5) will host Newberg in Wednesday's second round.
Graham allowed five hits, two walks and struck out six to improve to 9-1 on the season.
South Salem 001 000 0 — 1 5 2
Roseburg 001 030 x — 4 5 1
Atkinson, Knoll (5) and Chipman; Graham and Leach. W — Graham (9-1). L — Atkinson. 3B — R: Nelson.
ALOHA 2, SOUTH MEDFORD 0 — At Aloha, Serenil Sierra pitched a perfect game to lead Aloha to the first-round victory in the Class 6A state playoffs.
The senior struck out 10 and walked none for the Warriors (21-6), keeping South Medford off balance and forcing the Panthers (11-17) into eight pop-ups.
South senior Lucy Baldovino struck out six with no walks but allowed eight singles, three of which led to runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
South Medford 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
Aloha 000 110 x — 2 8 0
Baldovino and Ramsay; Sierra and Portesi. W — Sierra. L — Baldovino (11-16).
ROSEBURG 6, WEST LINN 2 — At Roseburg, Makinna Akers picked up the pitching victory to lead Roseburg to the state playoff victory and set up a second-round date at Southern Oregon Hybrid foe Crater on Wednesday.
All three of the remaining SOH teams are on the same side of the Class 6A bracket, with North Medford in the top spot.