Black Bears



Matt Ozanne Named Player of the Week

How clutch has Matt Ozanne been for the Cowlitz Black Bears this week?

Here's how clutch.

The four game series which concludes Monday is the biggest series for the Black Bears all season. Entering the four game stint, Cowlitz trailed second place Klamath Falls by two games, and third place Bend by one.

In game one on Friday, Ozanne stopped a rally by making a tough catch in right and doubled off the runner at first to stop the bleeding.

He wasn't done, though. He doubled in the bottom of the first to tie the game at one run apiece, then later hit a grand slam en route to a 7-4 victory.

After Friday's game, the Black Bears trailed Klamath Falls by just a game, and with a Bend loss, they are were tied for third as well.

Saturday night was when Ozanne made his mark.

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Ozanne doubled to plate the Black Bears' first run of the game. With the game tied at 5 in the bottom of the eighth, Ozanne game up huge. With two outs and Brian Carrol on third, Ozanne hit a triple down the right field line that was fair by inches.

In those two games, Ozanne was 5-8, with two doubles, a triple, a home run – the grand slam – a walk, and a whopping eight runs batted in. With another win Saturday, and another Bend loss, the Black Bears moved into sole posession of second place – and more importantly the playoff spot – in the west division.

Monday's conclusion still has Cowlitz fighting for their playoff lives. Will they respond?


Sam Barbee