The Victoria HarbourCats defeated the visiting Cowlitz Black Bears, 3-0, on Thursday evening at Sports Traders' Diamond. With the victory, the HarbourCats took the three-game series, the first of three that the teams will play this season under the West Coast League's new divisional alignment.
The Black Bears got a strong outing from starter Jake Corn (Oregon), who took the loss while scattering six hits and three runs in seven innings of work, striking out six. Victoria managed individual runs in the first, third and fourth innings, with the final tally coming on a solo home run by Bryce Greagor (Nevada). Henry Omana (Cal St. Fullerton) pitched an effective eighth inning for Cowlitz, surrendering one hit and striking out three.
Victoria's starter Mikey Wright kept Cowlitz off balance throughout the evening. The San Jose State right hander retired the Black Bears in order in six of his seven recorded innings, and did not walk a batter.
However, with Corn keeping the Black Bears close, Cowlitz threatened in the top of the eighth, as consecutive singles by Daniel Orr (Corban) and Brian Poupore (Kansas), followed by a wild pitch, put runners at second and third with no out. After a pitching change, catcher Nick Funyak (Puget Sound) lined sharply to shortstop Alex DiGoti, who flipped to second for a double play to preserve the shutout.
Cowlitz also got hits from Jonathan Serven (Long Beach St) and Austin Baker (Arkansas St.), whose fourth inning double gave him a hit in five consecutive games.
The Black Bears' northern swing continues tomorrow, as they travel to Kelowna for their one and only meeting against the Falcons this year. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35. Shane Downey will be bringing you all the action beginning at 6:20 with the Black Bears pregame show on KEDO AM 1400 and streaming live on www.cowlitzblackbears.com.