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Black Bears Win A Wild One, 8-7

 

Game Story. Longview, WA. July 13, 2013- In front of a capacity crowd at Story Field, the Cowlitz Black Bears twice overcame deficits against the visiting Bellingham Bells, with Tanner Pinkston's two-run walk-off single giving them their first lead of the night, and an 8-7 victory, on the game's final pitch.  

After two scoreless innings, the Bells' bats were the first to awaken. A leadoff double by second basemen Trent Chatterton and a single by center fielder Johnny Sewald gave the Bells an early 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Bells catcher RJ Ybarra struck a blow with a three-run home run on the first pitch in the at bat to give the Bells a 4-0 lead. The Bells scored once more in the inning to make the score 5-0.

Back to back walks by Konnor Armijo (Utah) and Taylor Bryant (Cal State Fullerton) gave Cowlitz life in the bottom of the fourth inning. Both advanced on a passed ball, and a two-out single by Devon Gradford (UC Santa Barbara) gave the Black Bears their first hit of the evening and scored both runners.

Still down 5-2, Bryant and Gradford walked to put runners on first and second with one out in the sixth.  Austin Grebeck (Oregon) reached on a fielder's choice, hustling to beat a throw that would have ended the inning.   With the inning extended, Kyle Knigge (LC State) doubled to score Bryant and Grebeck, and bring the Black Bears to within one at 5-4.

The Bells added a run in the top of the seventh inning, attempting to keep the game out of the reach of the rallying Black Bears, but Cowlitz answered with two of their own in the eighth, as RBI singles by Grebeck and Devyn Bolasky (UC Riverside) tied the game at 6-6.

Bellingham went back on top in the ninth on a Chris Beall single, and the Black Bears again trailed by one when they came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. Paul Martinez (Oregon State) advanced to first base on a dropped third strike to get the rally going for Cowlitz.   Armijo followed with a single and  Bryant walked to load the bases for Pinkston. After fighting off a couple of tough pitches, Pinkston smoked a 2-2 fastball down the third base line to score Bryant and Armijo, sending the crowd into a frenzy and giving the Black Bears an 8-7 win on Gallery of Diamonds Diamond Dig Night.

Cowlitz and Bellingham will be back in action tomorrow night at Story Field for the third and final game of their three game series against. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05pm.