The Black Bears fell to the Kitsap Blue Jackets in game one of a three game series at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Event Center 4-3 on Monday night. Cowlitz starter Colton Krueger contributed a quality start -- his fifth in five WCL starts -- but the Black Bears were once again unable to find the formula in a one run game.
The BlueJackets opened the scoring with a run in their half of the third, but the Black Bears were quick to match them. Kort Peterson led off the 4th inning with a single and scored from third on a bunt by Casey Worden to tie the game at 1-1.
The score did not remain tied for long, however, as Jeffrey Bohling hit a home run for Kitsap on the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth to recapture the lead for the BlueJackets.
Austin Baker and Caleb Hamilton both walked to start the fifth inning, giving the Black Bears a big opportunity. A bouncer to back to Kitsap starter Matt Narahara resulted in a force out at second base, but an error on the relay throw allowed the tying run to come home.
Jake Dahlberg entered the game in relief for the Black Bears, recording the first two outs with ease before running into trouble. The next four batters reached base safely for the Blue Jackets, with two runs coming home to give Kitsap a 4-2 lead.
Facing the BlueJackets' bullpen, the Black Bears had their chance in the eighth. Seaver Whalen singled to lead off the inning, followed by a walk to Kyle Hunt and Kort Peterson being hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. However, Tyler Gartner, making just his second appearance for the Blue Jackets this season, induced a double play that scored Whalen but recorded two precious outs, and pop up ended the threat with the score at 4-3.
The Black Bears went down in order in the ninth against Gartner to give him the six out save.
The two teams will be back in action on Tuesday night from the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events Center with first pitch scheduled for 6:35. Chris Castellanos will take the mound for the Black Bears opposite Skyler Genger and the Blue Jackets. Shane Downey will bring you all the action beginning at 6:20 on KEDO AM 1400 and streaming live from cowlitzblackbears.com.