After a frustrating opening week that included a mountain of errors and four straight losses, the Ashland High baseball team needed somebody to step up and lead the Grizzlies out of the gloom.
Sophomore pitcher Steen Fredrickson was willing and able Thursday.
Fredrickson rebounded from a shaky first inning to dominate on the mound and Ashland's defense provided the kind of support that's been missing as the Grizzlies thumped previously unbeaten Phoenix 9-2 at North Mountain Park.
Fredrickson allowed four hits — only two after the first inning — and struck out 11 without a walk in a complete-game effort to pick up the win. He also hit an RBI triple in the fifth as part of a five-run rally that gave Ashland a comfortable 8-2 lead.
The Grizzlies also got their bats going. Leadoff hitter Bryce Rogan was 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs, Jamie Flynn 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Eric Carlson 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.
Flynn and Carlson each provided run-scoring singles in the third, with Carlson's plating Flynn from third to give the Grizzlies the lead for good, 3-2.
Ashland blew the game open in the fifth with five hits, including Jack Carroll's two-run single to left.
In the sixth, Carter Glick added a sacrifice fly to score Rogan, who led off with a triple to right.
Fredrickson made sure the run support wasn't wasted. After surrendering two runs on two hits, including Jordan Pond's RBI triple, in the first, Fredrickson retired five of the next seven batters he faced on strikes. Only one Phoenix baserunner advanced beyond first base after the first inning, and that was Pond, who doubled in the third.
Pond was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI to lead Phoenix (4-1), which was held to single-digit runs for the first time this season after scoring 59 runs in its first four games.
Phoenix pitcher Aaron Hutchinson surrendered nine runs, all earned, on 11 hits. He had three strikeouts and a walk.
Phoenix 200 000 0 — 2 4 4
Ashland 003 051 x — 9 11 0
Hutchinson and McCreadie; Fredrickson and Glick. W — Fredrickson (1-1). L — Hutchinson. 2B — P: Pond. 3B — P: Pond; A: Rogan, Fredrickson.
ASHLAND 7, NORTH MEDFORD 1 — At Ashland, the Ashland boys tennis squad picked up nonleague wins in all but one singles match at Hunter Park.
Ashland's top singles player Grant Kahn, a junior, downed North Medford's Logan West 6-0, 6-2. On the doubles side, the Grizzlies' top pairing of senior Max Burt and junior Michael Montes defeated Ryan Hogan and Kyle Campbell, 6-2, 6-2.
SINGLES — Grant Kahn, A, d. Logan West, 6-0, 6-2; Mischa Kirby, A, d. Tyler West, 6-1, 6-3; Daniel Pedersen, NM, d. Jordan O'Donnell, 6-1, 6-1; Kai Weston, A, d. Kellin Pedersen, 7-5, 6-4.
DOUBLES — Max Burt-Michael Montes, A, d. Ryan Hogan-Kyle Campbell, 6-2, 6-2; Nathanial Baize-Gabe LaMont, A, d. Benton Coulman-Kane Garrett, 6-1, 6-0; Nick Benson-Cannon Dukes, A, d. Ryan Trapp-Alex Forehand, 6-2, 6-1; Connor Kaegi-Logan Kisler, A, d. Isaiah Williams-Alex Down, 6-1, 6-0.
A strong winter performance helped Southern Oregon climb seven spots and into the top 10 of the latest National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, setting the stage for a possible record-breaking spring finish.
Three of Southern Oregon's winter programs — wrestling, men's basketball and men's indoor track and field — finished their respective seasons in the NAIA's top 25 to garner Cup points for the Raiders. The wrestling team led the way with its second consecutive national runner-up finish, with the second-place performance gaining 90 points. Men's basketball ranked 10th in the postseason NAIA poll and totaled 53 points, while the indoor track and field team picked up 49 points for a 24th-place finish.
Southern Oregon's winter season was one of the most successful in department history. Along with the second-place team finish for the wrestling team, the program set a school record as four individual wrestlers claimed national championships.
The men's basketball team established a new team record with 25 wins and advanced to the NAIA Division II National Tournament round of 16 for the second time in team history, and the men's indoor distance medley relay team gave the SOU track and field program its first ever indoor national championship.
Southern Oregon tallied 192 points in the winter sports and has a combined 342 points including the fall season total. The Raiders are one of three Cascade Collegiate Conference programs in the top 10 of the Directors' Cup standings. The CCC is the only conference to achieve that feat.