Longview, Wash.- Once again Cowlitz (10-16, 22-31) and Corvallis (16-10, 34-19) traded blow for blow but the Knights came out on top 7-5 to take the series.
With the game tied at five in the top of the ninth and closer Austin Dick (JR, Nevada) on to pitch, the Knights scored twice to retake the lead for good. Corvallis was able to load the bases after the first out then Matt Kelly suicide sqeezed Michael Farris home. The next batter Greg Saenz hit an RBI fielder's choice to get the insurance run. It was the first two runs Dick had given up all season.
In the bottom of the inning Knights closer Chase Kaplan allowed runners to get to the corners with a hit by pitch and a single but induced a foul out to right field on Yeager Taylor (SO, UC Riverside) and struck out Lorin Archibald (JR, Oklahoma) to nail down the win. Kaplan improved his record to 2-2 while Dick received his first decision of the season with the loss.
Dick came in with two outs and two runners on in the top of the eighth with the Black Bears leading 5-4 to try and nail down another four out save. But Taylor Travess hit a ground ball to first which Archibald fumbled allowing Saenz to score to tie the game. Before that Dustin Wells (SR, George Fox) gave up the fourth run on an RBI single to Kyle Nobach before being taken out for Dick. Both runs in the inning were charged to Wells.
For the second game in a row Corvallis scored three times in the first inning. Nobach scored from third on a wild pitch from Black Bears starter Jacob Worrell (SR, UC Riverside). Zak Taylor and Cody Hawken then hit RBI singles to make it 3-0.
Cowlitz answered in the fifth. After Jace McKinney (SO, Mt. Hood CC) reached with an infeld single and stole second Tim Jones (SO, Northwest Nazarene) hit the first inside the park home run in Black Bears history. Right fielder Emilio Alcantar tracked the fly ball all the way to the wall but ran into it and was unable to make the catch. McKinney scored and Jones was able to touch them all as well to narrow the gap to 3-2. Toby Johnson (JR, Arkansas State) then hit his first home run of the season over the right field wall to tie the game. It was the first time this season Cowlitz hit two home runs in the same inning.
The Black Bears took their only lead in the sixth. With the bases loaded Jones drew a walk for his third RBI of the game. In the seventh the Black Bears scored an insurance run. Taylor hit an RBI double for his team leading ninth two bagger to make it 5-3.
The Black Bears committed five errors which was a season high in one game.
The Black Bears will close out the 2016 season Sunday at 7:05 PM. Ace Kevin Baker (JR, RHP University of Portland) will make his final start. There will be a fireworks show after the game.