Victoria, B.C.- The Black Bears reversed their recent trend of falling behind big early in games Thursday but the result was the same.
Trailing 11-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning Victoria (13-13) scored six runs to walk off game one 12-11. The inning started with Harrison Goonewardene (SO Washington) giving up a single. The next batter hit a two run homer to trim the Cowlitz lead to 11-8. Kevin West (SO UC Riverside) then came in and the same exact thing happend. A single followed by a two run homer made it 11-10. Victoria then drew a hit by pitch and two walks to load the bases. The tying run came in from third on a wild pitch. The walk off hit was a chopper over Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) into left field.
Claire Eccles pitched the ninth inning for Victoria and made history by picking up her first win. Eccles is the first female player ever in the West Coast League.
After Victoria opened the scoring in the first the Black Bears (9-13) scored seven unanswered runs. Jace McKinney (JR University of Portland) hit an RBI single in the second to tie the game.
Nick Roberts (SO Washington) gave the Bears the lead in the fourth scoring on a wild pitch. Ryan Kim (SO University of Portland) hit an RBI single to make it 3-1. Then Devlin Granberg (SR Dallas Baptist) hit an RBI groundout expanding the lead to 4-1.
Cowlitz opened up their lead to 7-1 in the sixth on a three run homer by Granberg. Victoria trimmed the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half of the inning.
Kim drove in his second run in the seventh with a double. Victoria made it an 8-5 ball game with a three run homer of their own in the bottom of the seventh.
Kona Quiggle (SO Grand Canyon) gave the Bears a 10-5 lead with a two run homer in the next inning. Victoria again kept pace with a solo home run. The Bears scored their final run to make it 11-6 in the ninth when Nygaard hit an RBI single.
West took the loss dropping his record to 0-2. West didn't retire a batter in the ninth and gave up five hits. Starter Davis Baillie (R-SO Washington State) lasted 5.1 innings giving up two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two hit batters.
Both teams combined for six home runs. Victoria hit their four in the final three innings. The Black Bears had 21 hits which was a season high.
Cowlitz is now 0-4 on their Canadian road trip. Ace Corbin Powers (LHP R-SR University of Portland) will try and force a rubber match with the HarbourCats Friday. Powers takes on Isaac Mullins (LHP SO Washington State). First pitch is at 6:35 PM.
Photo credit: Pat Jordan