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Tigers coach's instincts pay off.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

JUNCTION CITY - Just before he handed his lineup card to the umpire, Junction City coach Cal Fagan decided to scratch Brandon Wilson from the lineup.

BASEBALL

"We almost had him (designated hitter) today, but it was a last-minute decision to save him for a situation, and we got a situation," Fagan explained.

That situation arrived in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 2-2 tie when Wilson was sent in as a pinch hitter and delivered a two-out single that drove in the winning run to lift Junction City to a 3-2 win over Elmira on Friday.

Blake Weed hit a one-out single in the sixth and moved to second on a groundout by Deric Hemmele. Wilson stepped to the plate and was quickly in an 0-2 count before he hit a 2-2 pitch off Elmira ace Chris Rice into right field to plate Weed.

"I was thinking that Rice was pitching well, but I knew I could get a hit off him," Wilson said. "That's all I needed to do, and I did it."

That was what Fagan hoped for when he sent Wilson to the plate.

"It's not easy to come off the bench like that, but Brandon is a fastball hitter," Fagan said. "We knew Chris Rice throws hard, and Brandon hit a fastball and did well."

After opening the Sky-Em schedule with a loss to La Pine, Junction City has won five in a row to move into sole possession of first place. Elmira dropped into a tie for second place at 4-2.

The Falcons scored first when Jarryd Brown drove in Sten Morgan with a groundout in the first inning. Elmira made it 2-0 when Colton Haag drove in Paul Thomassen with a double in the third inning.

Junction City freshman Cody Garner allowed only two hits the rest of the way to earn the win with a complete game.

"That is a freshman out there throwing," Fagan said. "He did the same thing against Marist. He had a weak first inning and then got stronger as the game went on."

Garner struck out 10, including two in both the sixth and seventh innings.

"I was just doing what I can," the lefty said. "My fastball was doing good all night and I threw some curves, but I was just sticking with my fastball."

Garner got Junction City's offense going with a double to lead off the fourth inning, then Ryan Rauschert followed with a single. One out later, Hemmele hit a single that scored both runners to tie the game 2-2.

Pleasant Hill 8, Siuslaw 6

FLORENCE - Levi Steigleder had two hits and three RBIs, and Andrew Downes hit a pair of doubles as the No. 5-ranked Billies moved into a tie with Elmira and Marist for second place.

Drew Rainwater was 2-for-3 with a double, Karl Wangerin had two hits and an RBI, and T.J. Thomas had two RBIs for the Vikings.

Marist 4, La Pine 2

The No. 2-ranked Spartans scored all four of their runs in the third inning and took advantage of five Hawks errors.

Mike McCormick had an RBI for Marist, and Chad Parks and Brad Larson had RBI doubles for La Pine.

Midwestern League

North Eugene 7, Thurston 1

Jon Keller threw a no-hitter and struck out 10 as the Highlanders defeated the Colts.

Steven Humble and Dan Winterstein each had two hits and one RBI while Keller went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Keller had no walks but hit the first batter of the game, who eventually came around to score the Colts' lone run.

South Eugene 13, Willamette 6

Dan White clubbed a grand slam, Jack Carpenter had two hits and two RBIs, and Aaron Pratt had a double and three RBIs to lead the Axemen.

Zach Taylor added two doubles and three runs scored, and Ben Kiesse had two hits and an RBI for South Eugene.

Jody Potter had two hits, including a double, and two RBIs, and Chad Metzel also had two hits with a double for the Wolverines.

Sheldon 10, Springfield 0

Joel Smith pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts over six innings to lead the Irish. Nate Hiestand's single in the fourth inning was the Millers' only hit.

Corey Moran was 4-for-4 with a triple, RBI and three runs scored, and Adam Powell was 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs in Sheldon's 11-hit attack.

Teammate David Dember had two RBIs.

Marshfield 7, Lebanon 0

COOS BAY - Scott Carpenter tossed a four-hitter and added a couple of hits to lift the Pirates over the Warriors.

Chad Bunnell was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs for Marshfield. Carpenter had 11 strikeouts and one walk and went 2-for-4 at the plate.

Trico League

Jefferson 8, Oakridge 7

JEFFERSON - Fernando Guzman ended the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run. Guzman was 3-for-4 with the home run, a double and three RBIs.

Waldport 6, Harrisburg 2

WALDPORT - Brandt Thissell hit a solo home run and Jeff Dahl pitched a complete game with six strikeouts to pace the league-leading Irish.

Mohawk 8, Lowell 3

Mohawk 6, Lowell 1

MARCOLA - Tony Brayton pitched a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts and was 2-for-3 with a double as the Indians swept the Red Devils. Teammate Rusty Warren was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in the first game.

Far West League

North Bend 4, Douglas 2

North Bend 5, Douglas 3

WINSTON - Ethan Ottemiller gave up six hits while pitching a complete game in the opener as the Bulldogs handed the Trojans their first league losses.

South Umpqua 8, Brookings 4

South Umpqua 11, Brookings 7

MYRTLE CREEK - Brandon Justice was 3-for-5 with two home runs, a triple and four RBIs as the No. 3-ranked Lancers took a two-game lead over second-place Douglas. Jeff Green hit a solo home run for the Bruins in the second game.

Sutherlin 18, Coquille 3

Sutherlin 10, Coquille 2

SUTHERLIN - Caleb Scroggins clubbed a home run in the first game to lead the Bulldogs' sweep of the Red Devils.

Big Fir League

Reedsport 7, Gold Beach 4

REEDSPORT - Tyler Hague struck out 10 batters and scattered nine hits to lead the Braves. Scott Brose was 3-for-4 with a home run for the Panthers.

Bandon 9, Myrtle Point 1

BANDON - Ernest Garrett was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Simon Fraser was 2-for-3 with a triple and RBI to lead the Tigers. Brian Wagner had eight strikeouts along with two hits and two RBIs at the plate.

Glide 13, Oakland 3

GLIDE - Kellan Steed had two triples and two RBIs and pitched the last inning to lead the No. 2-ranked Wildcats.

UVC 8, North Douglas 2

ROSEBURG - Branden Graf was 4-for-4 with a triple, double and four RBIs, and Kevin Graf struck out 10 while scattering six hits for the No. 9-ranked Monarchs.

Nonleague

Kennedy 8, Monroe 2

MOUNT ANGEL - Kurt Hartshorn was 2-for-3 with a double in a loss for the Dragons (12-3).
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Title Annotation:Sports; Cal Fagan makes a late decision to save Brandon Wilson, who comes through with the winning hit
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 23, 2005
Words:1172
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