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One big inning

LONGVIEW, Wash.- The Portland Pickles used a four run fifth inning Monday night to win the first ever meeting against Cowlitz 7-2.

     The Pickles sent nine batters to the plate to take a commanding 4-0 lead. Portland scored one more in the seventh after a lead-off triple.

     The Black Bears answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Liam Ballance (SR Vancouver Island University) started the rally with a one out single. After a walk and a fielder's choice Dalton Mitchell (R-SR Alabama A&M) drove in a pair with the first triple of the season to right center.

     But Portland got those two runs back in the ninth. After their second triple an RBI single and an RBI foul out put the game out of reach.

     Starter Ryan Kaser (SO Lower Columbia College) took the hard luck loss after throwing a brilliant first four innings. Kaser had seven strikeouts and only allowed one baserunner until the Pickles got to him. Kaser ended his outing giving up four runs in 4.1 innings on five hits with eight strikeouts.

     Christian Peters (JR University of Portland) came in next and lasted 1.2 innings not giving up a run or a hit with two strikeouts. Zach Denney (R-SR Tennessee-Martin) pitched an inning and gave up one run on one hit. Finally Joe Solomon (SO University of the Pacific) pitched the final two innings and gave up two runs, one earned on four hits with three strikeouts.

     The Black Bears (1-3) have lost three in a row after winning the season opener against Bend.

     Portland (3-1) is in their first season in the West Coast League after moving over from the Great West League.

     Cowlitz will try to get back on the winning track Tuesday when Seth Rayburn (RHP R-SR Tennessee-Martin) takes the hill. First pitch is at 6:35 PM.