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Shooting down the falcons

Longview, Wash.- Cowlitz (3-7) got strong pitching and timely hitting in game one against Kelowna (5-5) and bested the Falcons 6-4.

   Kelowna struck first early with an RBI double. But the Black Bears took the lead immediately in the bottom half of the inning. Austin Ingraham (SR TCU) in his season debut reached base on catcher's interference then later scored from third on a high and tight wild pitch to Evan Williams (IN-FR Oregon). After Kona Quiggle (SO Grand Canyon) doubled and advanced to third on the wild pitch he was brought home on an RBI sacrifice fly from Williams.

   The Black Bears made it 4-1 in the third. Quiggle drove in both runs with a double.

   Kelowna narrowed the gap in the fifth with a two out solo home run to right field.

   But Cowlitz answered with two more in the eighth. Marco Valenzuela (SO Nevada) hit an RBI sacrifice fly followed by an RBI single two batters later from Jace McKinney (JR University of Portland).

   With Joey Morris (SO University of Portland) out in the ninth to try and nail down a nine out save Kelowna made things interesting. The lead-off batter hit a ground rule double to left field. Another batter drew a full count walk. The next batter drove in the pair with a double to make it 6-4. But Morris induced a flyout to left field to end the game. It was Morris' second save of the season.

   Austin Merrill (SO Chapman) had a good night on the mound. Merrill lasted six innings improving his record to 1-0. Merrill allowed two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Morris allowed the other two runs on two hits with two strikeouts.

   Quiggle went 3-for-4 on the night with two doubles, two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Kyle Sandstrom (SO Lower Columbia College) kept his batting average and on base percentage perfect as a Black Bear going 2-for-2 with two walks. Sandstrom is now 5-for-5 with three walks in two starts.

   The Black Bears will try and win their first series of the season Wednesday at 6:35 PM. Yancy Bird (SO RHP Lower Columbia College) gets the start against Niall Windeler (SO LHP University of British Columbia).

Photo credit: Pat Jordan