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Franchise first

Yakima, Wash.- Cowlitz earned a franchise milestone Monday night beating the Yakima Valley Pippins in a series for the first time with a 6-2 rubber match victory.

   The Black Bears (2-1, 13-17) opened the scoring in the third inning. Austin Ingraham (SR TCU) led off the inning with a walk. Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) then drove him in with a two out single.

   The Pippins (1-2, 14-16) had an answer in the fourth. After a lead-off triple an RBI sacrifice fly tied the game at one.

   Cowlitz got the lead back for good in the sixth. Newly named All-Star Devlin Granberg (SR Dallas Baptist) hit a lead-off opposite field home run to right which made it 2-1. It was Granberg's team-leading fourth of the season.

   The Black Bears got some insurance in the seventh and eighth. Ryan Kim (SO University of Portland) drove in Ingraham with a single to make it 3-1. Then Mark Pearson (JR Abilene Christian) hit a two out single to increase the lead to three.

   Yakima Valley brought one more run across in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI ground out. But two costly walks in the ninth from the Pippins reliever put the game out of reach. Cory Voss (SR Arizona) scored on an RBI single from Andy Armstrong (SO Oregon State) and Ingraham scored for the third time on an RBI sac fly from Nygaard.

   For the second consecutive game closer Jimmy Fouse (JR Dallas Baptist) pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. Fouse retired the Pippins in order with one strikeout to end the game.

   Starter ace Corbin Powers (R-SR University of Portland) earned the win pitching seven innings to improve his record to 3-2. Powers gave up just one run on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Powers was also named to the All-Star Game earlier in the day. Nick Strange (JR Tacoma College) pitched the eighth inning giving up one run on two hits.

   This was the fourth series all-time pitting the Black Bears against the Pippins. Yakima Valley won the first eight games between the two teams but now Cowlitz has won three of the last four.

   Cowlitz has won their last two rubber matches after losing their first two of the season.

   The Black Bears continue their six game road trip Tuesday in Wenatchee. Trevor Conn (RHP R-SR Dallas Baptist) gets the start with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.

Photo credit: Pat Jordan