The Black Bears split a doubleheader with the visiting Victoria HarbourCats on Thursday night, dropping the first game 1-0, and winning the nightcap in walk-off fashion, 4-3.
Tough defense in game one of Thursday night’s double-header was not enough to hold the HarbourCats at bay as they took the series with a 1-0 victory in seven innings.
Chris Castellanos and Victoria starter Alex Falgade dueled for five scoreless innings, with Castellanos giving up only two hits and striking out six.
The HarbourCats scored the game's lone run in the top of the sixth with a pair of hits. JJ Franklin pitched well in relief of Castellanos, allowing only three hits and one run, but took the loss for Cowlitz.
Austin Baker's three-run blast broke a two game scoreless streak for the Black Bears, and Taylor Bryant provided the late inning heroics, leading Cowlitz to a 4-3 victory of the Harbour Cats in the second game of the doubleheader.
Cowlitz had not scored on the HarbourCats in the series until Baker’s first plate appearance in the bottom of the second gave the Bears a 3-0 lead. His three run home-run to right field energized the crowd, driving home Caleb Hamilton and Chris Iriart.
The HarbourCats put pressure on the Bears with two runs in the top of the fourth to trail the Bears 3-2.
Starting pitcher Billy Sahlinger pitched five innings, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out one. Cowlitz has won all seven games in which Sahlinger has started.
Henry Omana was dominant in a set-up role, striking out all three batters that he faced on 11 total pitches in his team leading 16th appearance of the summer.
Closer Joe Reta came in for the save in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately, the Harbour Cats found a hole and tied the game 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Black Bears went to work in the bottom of the seventh, refusing to allow the game to go to extras. Leadoff hitter Trevor Lane led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Kyle Hunt. A walk to Kort Peterson set the table for Bryant, who promptly singled to center to score Lane with the game winner..
The Bears head to Bellingham Friday for a three game series against the Bells. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Be sure to tune in online at www.cowlitzblackbears.com or www.kedoam.comam1400 for a live broadcast by the Black Bears' very own Shane Downey.