Longview, Wash.- Cowlitz won their first rubber match of the season in their final game of the first half Wednesday over Wenatchee 9-7.
The game was tied three times and featured one lead change.
With the game tied at six in the bottom of the seventh inning Devlin Granberg (SR Dallas Baptist) hit a lead-off home run to give the Black Bears (11-16) the lead for good. Ryan Kim (SO University of Portland) added some insurance with an RBI double to deep left center. Finally Marco Valenzuela (SO Nevada) made it 9-6 with an RBI single.
The AppleSox (15-12) scored one more time in the eighth on a wild pitch but the Dallas Baptist duo of Kragen Kechely (SO) and Jimmy Fouse (JR) held Wenatchee the rest of the way. Kechely saw one batter and induced a ground out to second base to end the eighth. Fouse picked up his second save in as many days striking out two AppleSox to strand two runners in scoring position.
Cowlitz used seven pitchers in the get away game. The fourth KJ Strickland (JR Linn-Benton College) picked up the win pitching 1.1 innings giving up a solo home run. Starter Austin Merrill (SO Chapman) lasted 3.2 innings giving up five runs on five hits with one walk.
Wenatchee opened the scoring in the first on an RBI sacrifice fly after a triple. The Black Bears struck back in the second scoring five runs while sending nine batters to the plate.
The AppleSox answered in the fourth with four runs to tie the game at five. Andy Armstrong (SO Oregon State) gave Cowlitz their second lead in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double. Wenatchee once again had a response in the seventh with a solo home run.
Cowlitz finished the first half in fourth place in the South Division. The Black Bears begin the second half on Saturday at Yakima Valley.
Thursday's game against non-West Coast League opponent the Kitsap BlueJackets has been cancelled due to field light maintenance at Story Field. The Black Bears play their final exhibition game Friday against the West Coast Guns. First pitch is at 6:35 PM.
Photo credit: Pat Jordan