The Black Bears completed a sweep of the visiting Klamath Falls Gems on Wednesday with their second walk-off in three days, this one in the fifteenth inning, by a 5-4 score. As with the previous walk-off win against the Gems, Chris Iriart at the plate for the winning run, this time with a bases loaded hit by pitch.
The Wednesday night event drew a record crowd at Story Field, with a Cowlitz Literacy Council celebration and Fiber Federal Family Night.
The Bears put the first run on the board in the bottom of the first thanks to a single to center field by Daniel Orr driving home Elliot Cary for the 1-0 lead. The Gems took the lead in the top of the third, scoring two unearned runs to take a temporary 2-1 edge.
The Bears tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, with a Derek Rustich double plating Orr.
With the Gems leading 3-2 and the game in its late stages, Jonathan Serven singled home Orr,who had doubled earlier in the inning, in the bottom of the eighth to tie the score at three. The Black Bears had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, a theme that would continue through extra innings, but were unable to push across the game winner.
A Gems run in the twelfth gave the visitors a 4-3 lead, but the Black Bears were not finished. With two outs and Chris Iriart on third, Seaver Whalen doubled to center field driving home Iriart and tying the game once again at 4-4.
The Black Bears ended each inning from the ninth through the thirteenth with the winning run in scoring position. Finally in the fifteenth, a walk to Taylor Bryant a bunt single by Cary, and the second intentional walk of the night to Caleb Hamilton loaded the bases, and Iriart was hit by a pitch to give the Black Bears the hard earned victory.
Starting pitcher Billy Sahlinger pitched seven innings, allowing four hits and three runs, two unearned, while striking out four. The University of Portland right hander lowered his season ERA to 2.08, and the Black Bears won for the eighth time in his eight starts. Henry Omana came in for four and one-third innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out two. Joe Reta pitched three and two-thirds innings to take the win, allowing only four hits with no runs while striking out four.
Orr led the Black Bears offensively with three hits, two runs and one RBI. Iriart, Cary and Rustich also added multi-hit nights as Cowlitz pounded out fourteen hits in the extended contest.
The Bears will face the Portland All Stars Thursday night at Story Field with first pitch at 6:35. Thursday night is Longview Parks and Recreation Night, with prizes and giveaways courtesy of the Longview Parks and Recreation. Thursday is also ThirstyThursday; fans 21 and over can enjoy $2 canned beer all night!