Ashland High junior Rox Rogers will play for what would be the Grizzlies’ first boys tennis state singles championship today after dominating his OSAA Class 5A quarterfinal and semifinal matches Friday at the Portland Tennis Center.
The No. 2-seeded Rogers, who made up half the team that won the 5A boys doubles title last year, beat unseeded freshman Alle Banna of Churchill, 6-0, 6-0, in the quarterfinals and walloped fourth-seeded sophomore Peter Cerdans of Crescent Valley, 6-0, 6-1, in the semifinals to earn a date with top-seeded senior Carter Quigley of Summit this afternoon.
Quigley was equally impressive Friday, steamrolling his two opponents without dropping a game. Today’s championship match will be played at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton.
Rogers won’t be the only Grizzly playing for a trophy today, as Owen DiRienzo and Nur Shelton, the No. 4-seeded team in the 5A doubles tournament, fell in the semifinals and will be playing in the third-place match. DiRienzo and Shelton will take on the third-seeded team of Nathan Liu and Jeff Wang of Crescent Valley.
DiRienzo and Shelton pulled out a quarterfinal thriller over Summit’s Joshua and Ricky Marine, 6-4, 5-7, 6-0, before succumbing to the No. 1-seeded team from Summit, Garen Gasparovic and Peter Rutherford, 6-1, 6-0.
Prep Track and Field
Ashland High senior Myla Norvell placed fourth in the javelin and freshman teammate EJ Holland finished fifth in the 3,000-meter run at the OSAA Class 5A Track and Field State Championships, Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Norvell threw the javelin 123 feet, 5 inches to just miss a top-three finish. Madeline Thompson of Sandy won the event with a 137-4 toss.
Holland, the only freshman to qualify for state in the 3,000, crossed the finish line in 8 minutes, 46.24 seconds. Andy Monroe of Crater won the event in 8:37.28.
Holland will run in the 1,500 today for the Grizzlies, who will also be represented in the boys 4x400-meter relay, boys 800 (Alex Franklin), boys 110 hurdles, pole vault and triple jump (Jeremiah Sherrynewby), boys javelin (Nicky Weinberg), girls 1,500 (Alexa Hague), girls discus (Zoey Boyd) and girls shot put (Lilianne Smith).
At Dallas, the Dallas Dragons took advantage of three Ashland errors in the bottom of the sixth to score three runs and hand Ashland a season-ending loss, 5-4, in a Class 5A play-in game Friday at Dallas High School.
Ashland’s Nick Sanderson hit a two-run home run to tie the game 2-2 in the third and the Grizzlies scored two more runs on three hits in the top of the sixth before Dallas cashed in on Ashland’s costly miscues in the bottom of the frame to pull out the victory.
The Dragons’ rally began with an error that allowed leadoff batter Treve Earhart to reach safely. Clay Coxen and Tristan Devries followed with back-to-back singles, the latter driving in the first run of the inning. The tying run then scored on an error and the go-ahead run on another.
Ashland had runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Dallas starter Jaret Stewart capped his 112-pitch effort with a game-clinching strikeout.
Sanderson started on the mound for the Grizzlies and allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts before Peyton Fuller came on in relief in the sixth.
Shea Scott and Matt O’Donnell had two hits apiece for the Grizzlies, who finished their season 13-13.
Ashland;002 002 0—4 8 5
Dallas;200 003 x—5 7 3
Sanderson, Fuller (6) and N. McLennan; Stewart and Earhart. W — Earhart. L — Sanderson. HR — Sanderson.
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.