Victoria, B.C.- For the fourth consecutive game Cowlitz dropped a one-run decision on their Canadian road trip.
This time it was a low scoring, pitchers dual Sunday but Victoria (1-0, 15-13) had just enough offense to win 2-1 and sweep the Black Bears (9-15).
Devlin Granberg (SR Dallas Baptist) put Cowlitz on top first in the third inning with a one out solo home run over the left field wall. It was Granberg's second home run of the series and he became the first Black Bear to have multiple home runs this season.
But the HarbourCats fought back in the fifth. The lead-off batter was hit by a pitch from starter Nico Tellache (SO Oregon). The runner then advanced to third on an error by the Black Bears short stop. The next Victoria batter tied the game with an RBI sacrifice fly. The fly ball wasn't deep enough but the throw from the Cowlitz left fielder back to the infield went way wide to the right side of the plate allowing the run to score. Two batters later Victoria took the lead on an RBI single.
The Black Bears best chance to score came in the seventh. They had runners at the corners but a flyout to left field ended the inning. Cowlitz was retired in order on two strikeouts in the ninth as Victoria closer Travis Kuhn picked up his West Coast League leading sixth save.
The Black Bears were swept in Canada for the second consecutive season. The game was Victoria's first of the second half.
Tellache took the loss pitching six innings. It was Tellache's first decision of the season. Nico gave up both runs, one earned, on six hits with four strkeouts, one walk and one hit batter. Nick Strange (JR Tacoma College) pitched the final two innings and gave up just one hit.
Cowlitz finishes the first half of the season back at home against Wenatchee Monday-Wednesday. They also play their final two non-league games before heading out on their second six game road trip to Yakima Valley and Wenatchee. First pitch Monday is at 7:05 PM and there will be fireworks afterward to celebrate the 4th of July.
Photo credit: Pat Jordan