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Knights Take Series Finale, 3-2

The Corvallis Knights defeated the Cowlitz Black Bears, 3-2, on Thursday evening in the final game of a three game series.  

The game showed early signs of being another pitchers' duel between the two talented staffs.  Black Bears' starter Shane Bieber (UC Santa Barbara) was in command from the start, scattering three singles through the first four innings.  His counterpart, the Knights' Chris Haddeland (Linfield), was similarly stingy.  

In the bottom of the third, the Black Bears drew first blood against the two-time D-III National Pitcher of the Year.  Singles by Casey Worden (Saddleback CC), Caleb Hamilton (Oregon St) and Austin Baker (Arkansas St) loaded the bases, and a two-out single by Joey Greco (Missouri Baptist) drove in Worden, but the home side was unable to do any further damage.

The Knights managed two unearned runs in the top of the fifth, taking a 2-1 lead as both starters extended to the late innings.

J.J. Franklin (Cal Poly Pomona) replaced Bieber in the top of the eighth.  Bieber's outing was an impressive seven innings, scattering seven hits, two unearned runs and five strikeouts

In the bottom of the eighth, Baker coaxed a one-out walk, and Greco promptly tripled off of the center field hitting barn, knotting the game at 2-2.  

After the Knights scored an unearned run in the ninth to take a 3-2 lead, the Black Bears mounted a final challenge.  A one-out double by Worden put the tying run in scoring position, but Cowlitz was unable to capitalize, ending the game with runners at first and second.

Franklin took the loss, allowing only two hits and one unearned run in his two full innings, striking out five.

The Black Bears are on the road playing the Medford Rogues starting Friday at 6:35. Be sure to tune in online at KEDO 1400.