There was nothing metaphorical about Docs coach Scott Shaver’s plans to take some of Legion Field to Kiger Stadium in Klamath Falls on Thursday.
Seven hours before Dr. Stewart’s faced the Klamath Falls Falcons in an Area 4 doubleheader at Kiger Stadium, Shaver and the rest of the Docs stepped foot on Legion Field with a gallon bag. Each coach and player proceeded to gather a handful of dirt and a bit of grass and put it in the bag.
Cody and Caden Johnson, almost 30 minutes late for departure after needing to return home for a forgotten item, were sent out to gather a bit of earth from Dr. Stewart’s home field, where the Docs have won 12 straight contests.
There was a clear method to the madness. Mired in a seven-game road losing streak, the Docs needed to transport their homefield mojo to a road venue and there was no better time than Thursday against Klamath Falls.
The skid hit eight games after the Docs burped up a late lead and lost in the first game, 10-9. The slide ended the way it needed to — with a grind-it-out complete-game pitching effort by Cody Johnson in a 6-4 victory in Game 2.
With a 3-1 series win over the Falcons, the Docs have finally moved beyond splitting Area 4 series and kept themselves within three games of league leader Medford with eight conference games remaining.
Dr. Stewart’s (18-14, 7-5 Area 4) will host a traveling Australian team on Saturday at Bill Gray Stadium at Legion Field, then hosts Willamette Valley on Monday before facing the Titans on the road Tuesday.
Klamath Falls (15-20, 3-9) remained in last place in Area 4, though it has more wins over Medford (26-8, 8-2) than any other team. The Docs and Medford will meet July 21 and 22; the first doubleheader will be at Legion Field.
The Docs are hosting the AAA Legion Oregon State tournament at Legion Field beginning July 28 and are automatically in the field as the host team.
Cody Johnson gave up nine hits and two walks while striking out four, but he remained unflustered in the seventh when the Falcons tried to rally.
Dr. Stewart’s never trailed in Game 2.
In the first game, the Docs led up to the bottom of the sixth, when the Falcons broke through for four runs against starter Jace Stoffal. Reliever Drake Borschowa surrendered one run in the seventh.
The Docs led 5-3 entering the seventh in the nightcap and added an insurance run when Caden Johnson reached on an error and moved to third on Garrett Russell’s single. Caden Johnson eventually scored on a second error to make it 6-3.
Offensively, Zack Mandera and Doran Gillespie were both 2-for-4 in the first game as eight of nine Docs got a hit. In the second game, Jonathan Stone hit 3-for-3 and seven of nine Docs had at least a single.
Docs 301 011 3 — 9 10 5
KlamathFalls 003 024 1 — 10 10 4
Stoffal, Borschowa (6) and Holland; W. Schluter, Loney (7) and M. Hamilton. WP — Loney. LP — Borschowa. 2B — B. Black (DS), Gillespie (DS), Loney 2 (KF), Tacchini (KF). 3B — J. Hamilton (KF).
Hits — D.S. 10 (Russell 1-3, Holland 1-4, Stone 1-4, B. Black 1-4, Mandera 2-4, Co. Johnson 1-4, Gillespie 2-4, Ca. Johnson 1-3, J. Black 0-4), K.F. 10 (J. Hamilton 2-4, Hadwick 1-4, Loney 2-4, Miller 0-4, Tacchini 2-4, Ha. Rasica 0-4, M. Hamilton 1-4, He. Rasica 0-2, Overstreet 2-2). RBIs — D.S. 8 (Holland, Stone 2, B. Black 2, Co. Johnson, Gillespie, Ca. Johnson), K.F. 6 (J. Hamilton, Loney 3, M. Hamilton, Overstreet 1).
Docs 100 400 1 — 6 10 2
KlamathFalls 000 300 1 — 4 9 3
Co. Johnson and Leischner; Whitlock, Loney (7) and T. Schluter. WP — Co. Johnson. LP — Whitlock. 2B — Stone (DS), Tacchini (KF), Miller 2 (KF).
Hits — D.S. 10 (Russell 2-4, Holland 1-3, Stone 3-3, B. Black 1-4, Mandera 1-3, Gillespie 1-3, Leischner 0-3, Luther 1-3, Ca. Johnson 0-3), K. F. 9 (J. Hamilton 2-4, Hadwick 0-4, Loney 1-3, Miller 2-4, Tachini 3-3, Ha. Rasica 0-4, Schram 0-3, T. Schluter 0-3, Overstreet 1-2). RBIs — D.S. 4 (Stone, B. Black, Gillespie, Luther), K.F. — 3 (Miller, Tacchini, Schram).