The Black Bears' starting pitcher Colton Krueger (Clark) and Medford's Jeff Hardy (West Virginia) locked horns in yet another West Coast League pitchers' duel on Saturday, with Medford coming out on top, 4-3, from Harry and David Park. The loss is the Black Bears fourth in a row.
It was the second time in the young season that Krueger and Hardy have faced off as starters in the second game of a series. The result this time around was a mirror image of the Black Bears' 4-3 win in their season opening home series against the Rogues.
The game's first six and a half innings passed quickly, as both pitchers were efficient. Krueger scattered six Rogues' hits, and gave up singular runs in the fourth and sixth before being relieved by Joe Reta (Orange Coast) in the seventh. Hardy, meanwhile, held the Black Bears hitless through seven, allowing only three Black Bears to reach base.
The Rogues added an unearned run in the home half of the seventh to take a 3-0 lead.
When Hardy exited in the top of the eighth, Cowlitz wasted no time greeting the Rogues' bullpen. A Nick Funyak (Puget Sound) double advanced Sever Whalen (Lower Columbia), who had reached on a fielders' choice, putting runners at second and third with one out. Kort Peterson (UCLA) drove in the Black Bears' first run of the game with a fielder's choice, and a two-out single by Corey Van Domlen (Linfield) scored Funyak to make the score 3-2.
An additional run came across for the Rogues in the eighth, making the score 4-2.
Caleb Hamilton (Oregon State) and Chris Iriart (U of Houston) both were hit by pitch to begin the Cowlitz ninth, and advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice by Ryan Aguilar (U of Arizona). Hamilton scored on a Brendan Salgado (UC Santa Barbara) groundout, but the game ended with Iriart at third.
The Black Bears and Rogues conclude their season series tonight from Medford, with first pitch at 6:35.