Behind a 14 hit attack that included home runs by Brendan Salgado (Cal Poly Pomona) and Chris Iriart (U of Houston), the Cowlitz Black Bears took the series opener against the Victoria Harbour Cats, 9-5, Friday night at Story Field. .
Salgado started the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning. An inning later, the Black Bears extended the lead to 3-0 when a single to right field by Corey VanDomelen (Linfield) scored Daniel Orr (Corban) and Kyle Hunt (U of Nevada).
Black Bears starter Zebastian Valenzula (Grand Canyon) held Victoria at bay, exiting after pitching four shutout innings.
An Iriart double to left field in the bottom of the fifth drove home Joey Greco (Missouri Baptist University), who had led off the inning with his second hit of the night.
The Harbour Cats put a run on the board in the top of the fifth, but the Bears responded with three in the bottom of the sixth, starting with a Jonathan Serven (Long Beach St.) sacrifice fly to the right fielder to drive in VanDomelen, and concluding with Iriart's two-run blast.
After Victoria scored two more runs in the top of the seventh to cut the Black Bears' lead to 5-3, the Black Bears again responded, this time with two runs in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of doubles by Iriart and Orr.
Reza Aleaziz (Oregon State) walked away with the win, pitching one and two-thirds innings, allowing only one run and striking out three; Henry Omana (Cal State Fullerton) recorded a perfect inning on the mound at the top of the eighth, and Kyle Rossman (Lower Columbia) finished the game in his fourth appearance for the Black Bears.
Five Black Bears had multi-hit nights, including Orr and Iriart with three each, and Van Domelen, Salgado and Greco with two each.
Join us at Story Field Saturday for the second game of this home series against the Victoria Harbour Cats on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm.