In a road trip characterized by close games -- five of the six games were decided by two or fewer runs, and all six were tied during their respective seventh innings -- the Black Bears finished in style. A twelfth inning home run by catcher Casey Worden gave the Black Bears a 5-4 win against the Walla Walla Sweets on Tuesday night from Borleske Stadium.
The Black Bears once again put a run on the board in the top of the first, courtesy of a two-out, RBI single by Joey Greco to drive in Caleb Hamilton.
The visitors kept the pressure on in the top of the second, starting with a fielder's choice by Trevor Lane to drive in Jonathan Serven, and followed by a bases loaded walk to Daniel Orr to give Cowlitz a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
However, the Sweets scored three runs on one hit in the bottom of the third to tie the game 3-3.
Cowlitz took the lead in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to center field by Hamilton that drove in Derrick Rustich for the 4-3 lead. The Bears kept the lead until the bottom of the seventh, when Walla Walla tied the game at 4-4.
The game went into extra innings, and the Black Bears were determined to get the result, having runners in scoring position in the 10th and 11th. Finally, with the score still tied in the top of the twelfth, Worden's second home run of the season gave Cowlitz the lead for good at 5-4.
The Black Bears out-hit the Sweets 14-7, led by Orr and Lane with three hits and an RBI each. Rustich and Greco also contributed multi-hit nights, with Rustich scoring two runs and Greco adding an RBI.
Black Bears pitchers were in command throughout. Starting pitcher Billy Sahlinger pitched six innings, allowing two hits, three runs and striking out three. Henry Omana had a spectacular night, pitching four and one thirds innings, allowing only two hits while striking out seven in his longest outing as a Black Bear. Joe Reta made his fourth appearance of the road trip, recording his third save of the season and lowering his ERA to a skimpy 1.35.
Join us at Story Field on Thursday July 11, when the Black Bears take on the Kitsap Blue Jackets with first pitch scheduled at 6:35. Thursday is also the Cowlitz Black Bears’ 2014 “Bark in the Park,” presented by The Dog Zone, where there will be fun contests for dogs and their owners all night. Dogs are welcome at Story Field for this special night only. Thursday night is also Thirsty Thursday; fans 21 and older can enjoy $2 canned beers.