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Cats strike early

Longview, Wash.- Victoria struck early and hung on the rest of the way in game one defeating Cowlitz 6-3.

   The HarbourCats (12-8, 26-21) scored twice in the first on an RBI single and RBI infield single to take the initial lead. The Black Bears (12-7, 23-23) answered with one run in the bottom of the inning. Mark Pearson (JR Abilene Christian) drove in Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) with an RBI single.

   Victoria brought two more runs home in the second. Back-to-back RBI doubles made it 4-1. Again Cowlitz had a response right away. Kona Quiggle (SO Grand Canyon) led off the inning reaching on an error by the second baseman. Andy Armstrong (SO Oregon State) then singled to move Quiggle to second. Preston Jones (SO Oregon State) drove home Quiggle with a sacrifice bunt and a throwing error by the third baseman. The next batter Ryan Kim (SO University of Portland) made it 4-3 with an RBI sac fly.

   Victoria increased their lead back to two in the third. After a lead-off double an RBI single kept the HarbourCats out of the Bears reach.

   The knock out blow came in the eighth when the lead-off batter hit a home run to left field to make it 6-3.

   Starter Nico Tellache (SO Oregon) took the loss dropping his record to 0-3. Tellache gave up five runs over six innings and surrendered eight hits with two strikeouts, three walks and one hit batter. Cole Henderson (SO Nevada) pitched two innings giving up the homer on three hits. Closer Kragen Kechely (SO Dallas Baptist) pitched the ninth and retired the HarbourCats in order.

   The Black Bears have now lost four in a row overall and ten straight to Victoria over the past two seasons.

   Corvallis won the rubber match Friday against Gresham 7-2. Cowlitz and the Knights are now virtually tied for first place in the South Division with the Black Bears holding two games in hand. Yakima Valley was idle and the Pippins are only a half game back for second place overall in the division.

   Davis Baillie (RHP R-SO Washington State) will try and lead the Black Bears to a much needed win Saturday against Blake Hannah (RHP JR UC Davis).

Photo credit: Pat Jordan