Black Bears



The longest day

Kelowna, B.C.- The Cowlitz Black Bears played their longest game time-wise in franchise history Wednesday but Kelowna spoiled the occassion with a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 14th inning to win 6-5 and sweep the series.

   The game was officially four hours and twenty six minutes long edging out the previous longest game almost exactly three years to the day by just one minute. On June 29, 2014 the Black Bears played Victoria at home in what ended up being a four hour and twenty five minute game.

   After a lead-off double in the 14th Kelowna (15-9) brought in the winning run with a one out deep fly ball to right center field. Evan Williams (IN-FR Oregon) valiantly crashed into the wall but couldn't make the catch to ensure the run came in to score.

   Cowlitz (9-12) took a 5-3 lead in the 11th. Nyles Nygaard (SR Western Oregon) reached on an error by the short stop which scored Marco Valenzuela (SO Nevada). The Black Bears got some insurance when Cory Voss (SR Arizona) drew an RBI walk to bring home Jace McKinney (JR University of Portland). But in the bottom of the inning Taylor Wright, Kelowna's best hitter, drilled his second home run of the game to dead center field which tied the game at five.

   Kelowna jumped out to a 3-0 lead with runs in the first, third and fifth. Wright's first homer was a solo shot in the third.

   But the Black Bears answered with one run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Nygaard led off the sixth with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Voss drove him in with his first RBI on a ground out. Valenzuela doubled to lead off the seventh. He scored when McKinney grounded into a fielder's choice. Kona Quiggle (SO Grand Canyon) tied the game at three with a chopper over the first baseman's head. It ended up being an RBI double.

   Nick Strange (JR Tacoma College) blew the save in the 11th and then took the loss pitching the final 3.1 innings. It was Strange's first save opportunity and his record now stands at 1-1. Strange gave up three runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

   Despite the lengthy game only three pitchers played for Cowlitz. Starter Austin Merrill (SO Chapman) pitched the first five innings and gave up three runs on six hits and added five strikeouts with two free passes. Jimmy Fouse (JR Dallas Baptist) then pitched five innings of scoreless baseball giving up just four hits with eight strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.

   The Black Bears were swept in Kelowna for the second straight year. Victoria is up next Thursday with first pitch coming at 6:35 PM. Davis Baillie (RHP R-SO Washington State) makes his first start.