Dr. Stewart’s left the bases loaded in one inning and had the game-winning run on first in the 10th but couldn’t get the extra hit it needed to cap off a courageous comeback against Grants Pass Sunday night at Bill Gray Stadium at Legion Field.
Instead, the Docs dropped both ends of the American Legion baseball Area 4 doubleheader to G.P., 7-2 and 9-8.
“We played horrible baseball, what we did right is we didn’t quit,” Roseburg coach Scott Shaver said. “And when you have a team that doesn’t quit, you always have a chance to win. I’m proud of my boys for that. This was not our night, we were horrible, but we kept banging.”
Dr. Stewart’s committed 10 errors in 17 innings against the Nuggets — not one run in the second game was earned — but the squad was in position to pull off a sweep of Area 4’s second-best team.
It didn’t change what the Docs need to do in their regular-season finale at 5 p.m. tonight against Willamette Valley at Hamlin Middle School in Springfield. Sweep the Titans and the Docs advance to a Super Regional. Dr. Stewart’s (13-22 overall) is 7-11 in Area 4 action entering the twin bill with the Titans (8-10 Area 4). Should the Titans win either contest, the Docs’ season will end.
“It’s tight, it’s Area 4 baseball every year, it’s tight,” Shaver said. “We’ve left a lot of spares on the table all season long, but if we go up to Willamette and we sweep, it’ll be fun.”
In a similar situation — but with less control over their fate — in 2016, the Docs did everything necessary and got some help to advance to the postseason. They’ll have ace Will Shaw along with Braxton Beerbohm, Zack Mandera and close to a full bullpen available.
“Docs is a good club, they’ve had some misfortune throughout the season, but they’re always going to compete and play hard,” G.P. coach Kevin Shafer said. “I told our guys after we won Game 1 that we had an opportunity that if we swept we’d be the two seed. We jumped out to the big lead and we kind of coasted a little bit.”
In the first game against the Nuggets, Roseburg was in a tie game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded, but couldn’t get the key hit. In the seventh, errors led to five G.P. runs and the 7-2 loss.
In Game 2, the Docs fell behind 7-0 after five innings, having left the bases juiced in the fourth. In the sixth, they mounted a furious rally, sending 11 hitters to the plate and pulling within one at 7-6. They tied the game in the seventh when Trevor Mehlhoff reached base and made his way around with some heady base-running. Mehlhoff slide in on a wild pitch to force extra innings.
Throughout Game 2 the Docs did get one consistent performance from pitchers Cody Johnson and Carter Dahl. The duo gave up 10 hits, but not one earned run. Johnson left the game after the sixth and Dahl finished the contest.
“I can’t say enough about the job Cody Johnson and Carter Dahl did on the mound,” Shaver said. “There was not one earned run against them; they had to throw five, six outs some innings because we couldn’t field the ball behind them. Just an amazing job by those two on the mound.”
After G.P. scored two in the top of the 10th, the Docs got one back and had the tying run on second and the winning run on first with two outs, but Treven Jacks went down on a called third strike after fouling off the two previous pitches.
“We had multiple chances to win that game, we had multiple chances to win both games,” Shaver said. “We left them pumped in the sixth in the first game with a chance to change that whole momentum and we just didn’t get it done. It’s kind of the way our season is going, we’re just not getting it done. But the important games are Tuesday and we have a full shelf of pitchers to go.”
“In reality for them, they were going to have to win Tuesday regardless,” said Shafer, a former ace pitcher for Douglas High and a Docs’ alum. “The good thing for us is Klamath got one from Eugene, so we’re in as the two.”
GrantsPass 001 001 5 — 7 11 1
Dr.Stewart’s 000 020 0 — 2 6 5
Bastendorf, Norberg (7) and Kissel; W.Shaw, Beerbohm (3), Dahl (6), Lucido (7) and Te.Jacks. WP — Norberg. LP — Lucido. 2B — Bastendorf (GP), Te. Jacks (DS), Gray (DS).
GrantsPass 010 060 000 2 — 9 10 4
Dr.Stewart’s 000 006 100 1 — 8 7 5
Ireland, Smith (6), Rund (7) and Kissel; C.Johnson, Dahl (7) and Leischner. WP — Rund. LP — Dahl. 3B — Zozaya (GP). 2B — Rund (GP), Bastendorf (GP), Leischner (DS).