Gresham, Ore.- The Cowlitz bats came alive in the final game at Gresham Wednesday and the Black Bears hung on for a 7-5 win.
Cowlitz took their first lead of the series in the top of the third. Michael Forgione (JR, University of Portland) hit a lead-off single and Andy Armstrong (FR, Oregon State) followed by drawing a walk. Weston Hatten (SO, Washington State) drove them both in three batters later with a double. The next batter Toby Johnson (SO, Arkansas State) hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Lorin Archibald (SO, Oklahoma).
After Gresham made it 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth from a Ryan Smith RBI single, Cowlitz answered with a three run sixth to make it 6-1. Tim Jones (SO, Northwest Nazarene) scored Johnson with an RBI fielder's choice. The next batter Forgione hit an RBI double which brought Justin Wakem (FR, Western Oregon) home. Armstrong then hit an RBI sac fly to score Jones.
Gresham made things interesting late though. The Greywolves scored one in the bottom of the sixth when Will Matthiesson hit an RBI double to bring Drew Curtis around.
The bottom of the seventh was Gresham's big inning. Jeff Mitchell hit an RBI single to score Michael Breen. Curtis hit a ball to third and reached on a throwing error which scored Marc Mumper. Mitchell scored from third on a wild pitch by reliever Brandon Eisert (IN-FR, Aloha HS) to make it 6-5. It was Eisert's first appearance of the season.
Cowlitz would get an insurance run in the top of the ninth. After Colin Winn (SO, Santa Ana JC) hit a triple to deep right center field, Hatten drove in his third run of the game with a double.
Austin Dick (SO, Nevada) came in relief of Eisert and induced six straight groundouts to pick up his second save of the season.
Starter Damon Jones (SO, Washington State) improved his record to 2-0 pitching 5.2 innings giving up two runs and five hits. Jones also struck out his first six batters of the season.
The Black Bears will be back home for a four game homestand starting Friday against non-West Coast League opponent the Portland Dukes. Saturday through Monday the Bears will get back into WCL play when they host the Walla Walla Sweets. Every game, except Sunday at 5:05 PM, is a 6:35 PM first pitch start time.