Daniel Orr (Corban) sent the sellout crowd at Story Field Friday night happy as the Black Bears walked-off winners for the second straight night. Fireworks illuminated the night sky on the opening night of the West Coast League season following the 3-2 Black Bears victory in game one of a three game set against the Medford Rogues.
The game was a pitchers' duel early on as Black Bears starter Billy Sahlinger (U of Portland) and Rogues' righty Nathan Kuchta (Cypress CC) matched scoreless innings through six frames.
Jake Dahlberg, who will be heading to the University of Illinois-Chicago after a successful freshman season at Mt. Hood Community College, releived Sahlinger in the seventh. A two-run Nathan Etheridge home run gave the Rogues a late inning lead, but Dahlberg battled to keep the Black Bears in the game, scattering three Rogues hits and stranding baserunners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth.
The Black Bears quickly cut the lead in half in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a Chris Iriart RBI double down the right field line, plating Austin Baker from first after he was hit by a pitch.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the ninth setting the stage for late inning heroics yet again. With one out, Ryan Aguilar (Santa Ana), returning for his second season with the Black Bears, hit a pinch-hit double to put the tying run in scoring position. Iriart added to his early season RBI total, driving Aguilar home to tie the game at 2-2. Brian Poupore singled Iriart to third, and setting the stage for Orr's heroics.
After taking two close strike Orr laced a ball through the left side of the infield to send the crowd into a frenzy. His teammates mobbed the outfielder near the first base bag to celebrate the thrilling come from behind victory
Fans, be sure to join us at Story field for game two of the three game series against the Medford Rogues for Aaron's Super Saturday. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a 2014 Black Bears magnetic schedule. Jake Corn, who will be headed to Oregon in the fall with make the start for Cowlitz opposite Jeff Hardy and the Rogues. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.