Ashland staged a last-ups rally to force extra innings then pulled off another dramatic escape in the seventh to stun Klamath Falls 6-5 and claim the Little League 9-10 District 6 tournament Monday in Talent.
The victory advances Ashland to the Little League 9-10 Oregon State Tournament, which begins July 21 in Portland.
Ashland trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth — Little League games are six innings — but wasted no time fighting back when Freeman Rountree led off the inning with an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on the overthrow and scored when the throw back in to the pitcher was mishandled.
Klamath Falls reclaimed the momentum in the top of the seventh, capitalizing on Ashland’s fielding woes to seize a 5-3 lead.
Down to its last three outs again, Ashland fought back one base at a time. The game-winning surge began when Treyzen Dickson was hit by a pitch with one out. Malakai Chandler then walked and both baserunners advanced on a passed ball. That brought up Rountree, whose fielder’s choice ground-out to short cut the deficit to 5-4.
Wyatt Catz then walked and stole second to put both Ashland baserunners in scoring position with two outs. Moments later Chandler came home on a wild pitch, and soon thereafter the ball got away from the catcher again and Catz slid into home safely to complete the comeback.
The win allowed Ashland to avenge its only tournament loss — Klamath Falls won the first meeting between the two teams 13-1 on Thursday — and earn Ashland Little League what is believed to be its first 9-10 District 6 title since 2005, when future Ashland High School ace and recent Cornell graduate Jamie Flynn led the team to victory. Ashland did it the hard way, fighting its way out of the loser’s bracket with wins over Lakeview and Klamath Falls before beating Klamath Falls again in a winner-take-all rematch.
The Ashland players will host a car wash at Northwest Pizza & Pasta Company (1585 Siskiyou Blvd.) on Sunday starting at noon, during which they will be accepting donations.
The Ashland all-stars are coached by Jerrold Rountree, Dan Dickson and Navarro Chandler.
For more information on how to donate, contact Jerrold Rountree at 1-360-601-0225.
Southern Oregon University’s athletic department was one of five in the Cascade Collegiate Conference to attain the CCC Presidents’ Academic Excellence designation for the 2016-17 academic year, the league office announced Monday.
Athletic programs from SOU, Carroll, College of Idaho, Corban, Northwest Christian and Oregon Tech were all recognized for having a combined grade-point average of 3.0 or better and for having 60 percent or more of their eligible athletes having earned Academic All-CCC accolades.
SOU’s All-Cascade Conference student-athletes combined for a 3.3 GPA include members of its basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track and field and volleyball teams.
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.