PORT ANGELES, Wash.- Cowlitz hung on Monday for a 4-3 victory in game one at Port Angeles to reach 200 wins in franchise history.
Port Angeles native Travis Paynter (JR Hawaii Pacific) retuned home and pitched five solid innings only giving up one run on three hits while striking out five Lefties with one walk. It was Paynter's first win of the season.
The Black Bears led the entire game after a two run first inning. Ryan Kim (JR University of Portland) led off with a four pitch walk then stole second base and advanced to third on the errant throw from the catcher. The next batter Andres Sosa (JR Dallas Baptist) drove him in with an RBI ground out. Austin Bell (R-JR Dallas Baptist) singled and Blake Burton (JR University of Washington) doubled to put two runners in scoring position. The next batter Dutton Elske (JR University of Portland) again hit an RBI ground out to double the lead.
The lead off batter for the Lefties drove the second pitch of the at bat over the left center fence to cut the lead in half.
But Cowlitz got that run back in the second when Liam Ballance (SR Vancouver Island University) hit his first home run of the season out in left field to make it 3-1.
Both pitching staffs took over until the bottom of the eighth. Port Angeles got their second solo home run of the game with two outs to narrow the gap to 3-2.
Cowlitz (5-5) made it a two run game again in the ninth with some help from the Lefties reliever. A hit by pitch, walk and an error by the third baseman loaded the bases with one out. Then a wild pitch scored pinch runner Kyle Sandstrom (JR Sacramento State) for a key insurance run.
Port Angeles (6-4) got yet another solo home run in the bottom of the ninth but closer Isaac Mullins (R-JR Washington State) got the final two outs for his third save of the season.
Cowlitz is now 6-1 all-time against the second year Lefties.
Seth Rayburn (RHP R-SR Tennessee-Martin) starts game two Tuesday at 6:05 PM.