Longview, Wash.- It's something about Sunday home games this season.
Cowlitz (13-8, 24-24) played another wild one against Victoria (13-9, 27-22) and earned an important 11-6 victory in game three.
With the game tied at five in the fourth inning the Black Bears took back the lead for good. Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) hit a fly ball to left field that the HarbourCat bobbled out of his glove. Andy Armstrong (SO Oregon State) scored on the error to make it 6-5.
Derek Scott (JR Abilene Christian) increased the lead with a two out solo home run in the fifth. Four of Scott's ten hits this season are home runs.
Victoria narrowed the gap to 7-6 with solo homer of their own in the seventh. It was a unique home run because the one base runner stopped on the base path and the HarbourCat that hit the dinger passed him. So one run came in and one out was recorded on the play.
Cowlitz put the game out of reach scoring four runs in the eighth. Dane Stankiewicz (SO Grand Canyon) first hit a two-run single. The next batter Preston Jones (SO Oregon State) dealt the knock out blow with a two run home run to left field to make it 11-6. It was Jones' first home run of the season.
Closer Kragen Kechely (SO Dallas Baptist) pitched the ninth in a non-save situation and retired the HarbourCats in order with one strikeout.
Starter Cobi Johnson (SR Northwest Nazarene) earned his first decision of the season picking up the win. Johnson lasted five innings and gave up five runs, four earned, on eight hits with one strikeout and one walk. Austin Merrill (SO Chapman) made his second relief appearance of the season pitching 1.2 innings. Merrill gave up one run on two hits with one strikeout and one walk. Then Taylor Graham (JR Central Washington) lasted 1.1 innings. Graham was perfect in his appearance.
For the third straight game Victoria took a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second Cowlitz tied the game. Jones picked up his first two of four RBI with a double. The HarbourCats took the lead back scoring two runs in the third.
Cowlitz answered with a three run third to make it 5-4. Mark Pearson (JR Abilene Christian) hit an RBI double then Nick Roberts (SO Washington) and Scott hit back-to-back RBI ground outs.
Victoria tied the game again with a two out solo home run in the fourth.
The game was tied three times and there was one lead change.
Cowlitz beat Victoria for the first time in two years snapping a 12 game losing streak to the HarbourCats. The last time the Black Bears beat Victoria was on July 29, 2015.
Earlier this season at Story Field on Sunday June 25 against Port Angeles the Black Bears came back from a 10-3 deficit to sweep the Lefites with a 16-12 victory.
Corvallis was idle again while Bend and Yakima Valley both won. Cowlitz is now tied with Corvallis for first place in the South Division. Both teams have played 21 games as well. Bend is one game back with one more game played. Yakima Valley is one and a half games back with one game in hand to Cowlitz and Corvallis.
The Pippins come to town starting Tuesday for a huge series. The first pitch for game one is at 6:35 PM.
Photo credit: Pat Jordan