Spencer Six slammed a bases-loaded double to give Pepsi the lead and Doran Gillespie tripled and scored on an error to pad the advantage Wednesday afternoon as the Bottlecaps rallied to top South Medford 11-8 in the first round of the American Legion Class A state baseball tournament at North Marion High School in Aurora.
Pepsi (22-7) trailed 7-5 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, but erupted for six runs and held the Colts at bay over the final two innings to make a winner of reliever Brody Black.
Gillespie started on the mound for the ‘Caps, but ran into trouble in the third inning and surrendered five runs before Black got Pepsi out of the inning. The Colts scored just one more run, on a ground out in the sixth.
“It wasn’t that Doran got knocked around, but he was behind hitters the whole time and he was getting an elevated pitch count,” Pepsi coach Justin O’Byrne said. “Brody did a good job of settling us down and then we got that big inning that really changed the momentum around.”
Black threw 55 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, allowing one hit with two strike outs and a walk.
Jett Black started the game-winning rally in the fifth with a single. Jacob Westwang doubled in Jett Black to make it 7-6 and Luke Van Norman and Garrett Russell drew walks to load the bases. Six then drilled a 3-2 pitch into the gap for a standup double and a 9-7 advantage.
Gillespie, who went 2-for-3, tripled to score Six and scored when South Medford hesitated and then bobbled a throw.
Russell hit 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored and Westwang was 3-for-4 with a run and the RBI double. Caden Johnson had a double and scored for Pepsi, which had six extra-base hits in the game.
Pepsi, the Area 4 North champions, avenged a 5-0 loss to the Colts on July 1. The Bottlecaps will play tournament host North Willamette Valley tonight at 8 p.m. South Medford will face the Umpqua Lions and NWV at 2 p.m. today in a loser-out contest.
O’Byrne plans to start Jett Black against North Willamette Valley.
S.Medford 025 001 0 — 8 11 3
Pepsi 230 060 x — 11 12 3
Carl, Ledendecker (5), Campbell (6) and Thompson; Gillespie, B. Black (3) and Six. WP — B. Black. LP — Carl. 3B — Gillespie (P). 2B — Johnson (P), Westwang (P), Six (P), Russell (R), B. Black (P).