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Black Bears Take Series Opener, 4-1

Game Story. Walla Walla, WA. July 16, 2013.  A 12-hit attack and a strong outing by starting pitcher Dominic Mazza led the Black Bears (17-14) to a 4-1 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets (19-15).  The Sweets had come into the game tied for first in the Northern Division. 

All Star selection Kyle Knigge got things started with a single to lead off the game. He advanced to second on a sacrifice from Ryan Aguilar, and Devyn Bolasky drove him in with a single to give the Black Bears the early 1-0 lead.

Bolasky continued his terrific season for Cowlitz with a 4-for-5 performance including a double, RBI and stolen base, extending his hitting streak to 18 games.  He is hitting .432 for the season.

With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the fourth, there was a lightning induced weather delay. The game resumed 51 minutes later, with both starters remaining in the game.

The score remained tied until the seventh, when the Black Bears added two runs off of Sweets' starter Bret Helton, courtesy of a Knigge single that scored Corey VanDomelen, and an error to score Knigge.

Cowlitz added an insurance run in the ninth, as Aguilar collected his third single of the evening, advanced to third on a double from Bolasky, and scored on a Danny Recio sacrifice fly.

Black Bears starter Dominic Mazza allowed one run on three hits in the first inning, and then allowed just two for the remainder of his seven innings. Henry Omana pitched a scoreless eighth and Brian McAfee worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save, giving the Black Bears the victory and Mazza his third win of the season.

Aguilar extended his streak of reaching base safely to 28 games and leads the league with a .534 on-base percentage.  The top of the Black Bears order -- Knigge, Aguilar and Bolasky --  had a combined 9 hits.

Game two of the three game series will take place Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Jon Bjorklund (2-1, 3.94 ERA) will take the mound for the Black Bears opposite Jonathan Harris (1-4, 3.85 ERA) and the Sweets. Catch all the action on KEDO AM 1400 and streaming live on cowlitzblackbears.com beginning at 6:55 with Shane Downey.