Bellingham, Wash.- Bellingham once again bested Cowlitz in game two but it was the pitching that led the way this time en route to a 5-1 victory.
The Black Bears (12-5, 23-21) opened the scoring early as Cory Voss (SR Arizona) drove in Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) with an RBI single but that was pretty much it offensively. Cowlitz only had four base runners the rest of the game.
Meanwhile Bellingham (9-8, 25-19) sent eight batters up in the bottom of the first and took the lead for good. The Bells scored three runs on three hits.
In the third Bellingham increased the lead to 4-1 on a ground ball to the mound with runners at the corners. Starter Austin Merrill (SO Chapman) tried to turn a 1-6-3 double play but the throw bounced into center field scoring the runner from third.
The Bells final run came home in the fourth on an RBI single.
Merrill lost his first game of the season dropping his record to 2-1. Merrill pitched pitched six innings allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits with two strikeouts, one walks and one hit batter. Cole Henderson (SO Nevada) lasted the final two innings and was perfect striking out two Bells.
The lost snapped a streak of six consecutive series victories.
Despite dropping another game to the Bells, the Black Bears were helped out tonight by Gresham and Bend as they beat Corvallis and Yakima Valley respectively. Cowlitz is still two games up on Corvallis and three games up on Yakima Valley for first place in the South Division. The Black Bears are also still one game up on the Pippins for the second best overall record in the division.
CJ Blowers (R-SO Edmonds College) will try and earn the Black Bears one victory in the series Thursday before heading back to Longview. First pitch is again at 6:35 PM.
Photo credit: Pat Jordan