Corvallis, Ore.- The Corvallis Knights (10-5) saved their best performance for last Monday as they beat Cowlitz (6-9) 10-3 to salvage one game of the series.
The game started well for the Black Bears. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fifth Cowlitz scored three runs to take a 3-1 lead. Jace McKinney (JR University of Portland) drew a walk to lead off the inning. Then Dane Stankiewicz (SO Grand Canyon) doubled down the left field line to put both runners into scoring position. Ryan Kim (SO University of Portland) hit an RBI single to tie the game. Devlin Granberg (SR Dallas Baptist) gave Cowlitz the lead with a ground ball to second base which was bobbled allowing Stankiewicz to score. Two batters later Kona Quiggle (SO Grand Canyon) hit an RBI single to give the Black Bears some insurance.
But Corvallis struck back in a big way in the sixth and seventh innings. The Knights scored five runs in the sixth sending nine batters to the plate. The big play to give Corvallis the lead back for good at 6-3 was a bases clearing triple. The Knights sent eight batters up in the seventh scoring four more times. Another bases clearing double put the game out of reach.
The Black Bears first reliever Kevin West (SO UC Riverside) took the loss in his season debut. West gave up four runs while recording just one out and gave up one hit with two walks. Yancy Bird (SO Lower Columbia College) then came in and also gave up four runs recording two outs on three hits, one strkeout and two walks.
Nathan Bonck (SO Seattle University) made his season debut lasting an inning and gave up one run on one hit with one walk. Finally Harrison Goonewardene (SO Washington) became the last of the new arms to make his season debut and was perfect in the eighth inducing three groundouts.
Starter Austin Merrill (SO Chapman) had another solid outing pitching through the first five innings to qualify for the win at the time. Merrill gave up one run on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Corvallis won the season series 4-2 for the second consecutive year.
The Black Bears play two non-West Coast League games Wednesday and Thursday before welcoming the Port Angeles Lefties to Story Field for the first time ever Friday through Sunday. Cowlitz plays the Kitsap Bluejackets for the first time this season Wednesday at 6:35 PM.