Longview, Wash.- The West Coast Guns stuck around all game but Cowlitz was able to hang on and win their final exhibition game of the season 8-7.
The Black Bears opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Austin Ingraham (SR TCU) led off the inning with a triple. Dane Stankiewicz (SO Grand Canyon) drove him in with an RBI ground out. Cowlitz tripled their lead in the fourth. RBI singles from Jace McKinney (JR University of Portland) and Andy Armstrong (SO Oregon State) made it 3-0.
The Guns got in the game with RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth. But the Black Bears answered with a three run bottom of the inning. Ingraham hit an RBI single followed by an RBI fielder's choice from Stankiewicz and an RBI single from Zak Schueller (JR Ventura College) to increase the lead to 6-1.
Each team scored once in the sixth and seventh. The Guns scored on a wild pitch while Nick Roberts (SO Washington) hit an RBI triple to make it 7-2. An RBI sac fly from the Guns made it a four run ball game. Ingraham scored the eighth Cowlitz run all by himself. He led off the inning drawing a walk. Ingraham then stolen second, stole third and scored on a throwing error from the catcher.
The Guns made a furious comeback late. An RBI ground out in the eighth narrowed the gap to 8-4. The Guns then scored on an RBI fielder's choice, a wild pitch and an error by the second baseman to make it 8-7. Kragen Kechely (SO Dallas Baptist) came in to pitch with the tying run in scoring position and induced a ground out to short stop and a strikeout, with the runner now at third, to earn the save.
Starter CJ Blowers (JR Edmonds College) picked up the win pitching five innings giving up one run on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Joey Morris (SO University of Portland) pitched the next two innings and Kevin West (SO UC Riverside) lasted 1.1 innings.
The Black Bears went 4-1 in exhibition games this season sweeping the Guns in two games, beating the Kitsap BlueJackets once and splitting with the Thurston County Senators.
The second half of the season begins Saturday. Cowlitz opens it up with a six game road trip to Yakima Valley and Wenatchee. First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:05 PM. Nico Tellache (LHP SO Oregon) gets the start.
Photo credit: Robert Hilson