By Jeremy McDonald
MEDFORD, Ore.—Sprague’s Will DeLoretto hasn’t pitched as much as he did Sunday until Sunday’s game in Southern Oregon, but the Olympian stepped up to the challenge against the four-time American Legion Triple-A Champions in Medford.
With the dry heat of Southern Oregon beating down on them, DeLoretto and his defense held the Mustangs to one run through the first two-and-two-third innings as Withnell looked to hang their second-straight zero of the contest on the scoreboard against Medford.
“Medford, a really good hitting team and I just really knew that if I trust OG over there, trust he’s going to call good pitches and I was going to hit spots,” said DeLoretto. “That’s all I basically can do, and like I said too they cranked me a bunch of times today but all I could hope for is to hitting spots. It worked out a lot though.”
Like the Nuggets of Grants Pass the night before up the Five in Grants Pass, the Mustangs challenged the Dodger defense by putting the ball in play.
The ball was hit well as it was the night before in Grants Pass as the two Southern Oregon-teams were known for strong defense and strong offense, but Withnell found ways to make plays defensively to hold Medford to four runs entering the bottom of the sixth inning with two ‘0’ innings and two innings where just gave up one run.
“I think this has shown us that we can compete with any team in the State and some of the younger guys, it’s their first year in Legion ball and I think this is showing them, this is who we have to beat. These are the kinds of team’s we got to face, and this is what we’re going to see late in the season,” said Tanner Sorenson on the defensive front.
Offensively, the bats that were going against Klamath Falls to start the Southern Oregon trip Friday, cooled off a bit over the last two games. The contact was there, but guys from the other team got in the way when they contacted the ball.
With their next series against Corvallis, a team that’s known to get the ball into play, the Dodgers got to do the same and snap out of their funk that they have been in during this early going of the season.
“Lately we’ve been hitting the ball right to them,” smiled DeLoretto, who pitched five innings with four strikeouts. “But we’ve been nuking them to the outfield and there’s great plays being made out there. It hasn’t been just been Medford, it’s been Grants Pass, it’s been the (Keizer) Crushers too. I mean we just got to find a way to drop the ball in the outfield. I mean everyone we’ve played have had a hellauve defense.”
The Gerding Builders Marketmen will be coming off of four-days rest after their tough marathon defeat to the Crushers in a non-league nine-inning game on Thursday 13-12, so Corvallis will be rested and ready to go Monday afternoon in Corvallis for the 6pm first pitch.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald