Jacob Melton had four hits and closed out a tight game on the mound as the Medford Mustangs rallied to beat Bozeman 6-5 and keep their Northwest Regional title hopes alive Thursday in American Legion AAA baseball action at Allegiance Field in Missoula, Montana.
Melton went 4-for-5 at the plate and scored twice, and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to help the Mustangs (37-11-1) dig their way out of an early 3-0 hole in an elimination game.
Berry Hunt picked up the pitching victory after allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, as Medford earned the right to play another elimination game today against Yakima or Missoula.
Bozeman (Montana) scored three runs on five singles in the top of the third but couldn't hold the lead for long.
In the bottom of the inning Melton hit a leadoff triple to right to ignite the Mustangs' own three-run rally. He scored Medford's first run on Nick Sanderson's sacrifice fly to center. Later, Kasey Buchanan's two-out double down the left-field line scored Tate Cowden from second, and Joe Johnson came home on a balk to tie the game.
Carder's RBI single and Johnson's two-run double put the Mustangs on top for good in the fourth. Both clutch hits were delivered with two outs.
Bozeman (57-17) inched closer by scoring a run in the fifth and another in the eighth, but Melton, who took the mound with two outs in the eighth, struck out the first batter he faced in the ninth before inducing a ground-out and fly-out to clinch the victory.
Medford is attempting to climb out of the losers bracket after suffering a 10-0 loss to Cheyenne Post 6 on Wednesday. Only six of the original eight teams remain for today's action, which will eliminate two more.
The championship round is slated for Sunday.