Yakima, Wash.- Cowlitz and Yakima Valley kicked off the second half of the season with a back-and-forth affair but the Pippins had just a little more offense and hung on for the 7-5 win.
Yakima Valley got on the board first early with an RBI double. The Black Bears answered with a four run second inning. Ryan Kim (SO University of Portland) hit an RBI single to tie the game and Preston Jones (SO Oregon State) also scored on the play from an error on the Pippins short stop. Andy Armstrong (SO Oregon State) and Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) then hit back-to-back doubles to make it 4-1.
Yakima Valley went back to work and scored six unanswered runs to grab a 7-4 lead. The Pippins scored four in the third. The big play was a three run homer down the left field line. Two more came across in the fifth on a sacrifice fly and a double.
Cowlitz got a little closer in the sixth. Mark Pearson (JR Abilene Christian) doubled with one out and was brought home by the next batter Jones with an RBI double.
The Black Bears put the tying runs aboard in the seventh and ninth but couldn't break through again.
The game was tied twice and there were two lead changes.
Jones went 3-for-4 on the night with an RBI, a run scored and two doubles. Cowlitz out hit the Pippins 13 to seven.
Starter Nico Tellache (SO Oregon) took the loss. Tellache only lasted 2.2 innings dropping his record to 0-2 giving up five runs on just three hits and issued five free passes. KJ Strickland (JR Linn-Benton College) relieved him and pitched 2.1 innings giving up two runs, neither were earned, on three hits. Nick Strange (JR Tacoma College) then went two innings and gave up no hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Lastly Trevor Conn (R-SR Dallas Baptist) pitched the eighth and got out of a bases loaded no outs jam with with two strikeouts and a popout.
Game two is at 5:05 PM Sunday. Davis Baillie (RHP R-SO Washington State) makes his second start of the season against AJ Landis (RHP JR Colorado Mesa).