LONGVIEW, Wash.- Cowlitz turned the tables on the Portland Pickles in game three of the series Wednesday jumping out to an early lead and hanging on for a 3-1 victory.
The win ended the Black Bears four game losing streak just in time for an off-day Thursday.
In the bottom of the second inning Dutton Elske (JR University of Portland) drove a high fly ball to the warning track on the left side of the barn but the center fielder couldn't make the catch and Elske ended up at third base on the error. The next batter Jonathan Hodo (JR Benedictine) laid down a bunt to third base but the throw home was bobbled allowing Elske to score.
Cowlitz (2-4) got the winning run in the fifth. Hodo led off with an infield single to short stop. After a sacrifice bunt Hodo stole third. Jimmy McLaughlin (JR Benedictine) hit an RBI single to double the lead.
The Pickles (4-2) answered in the sixth. After two hit by pitches and a walk loaded the bases with no one out an RBI single cut the lead in half.
But the Black Bears kept pressing and got the run back in the eighth. It was Elske and Hodo leading the way again as they both singled. After another sacrifice bunt by Zack Threlfall (SO Lower Columbia College) Liam Ballance (SR Vancouver Island University) drove an RBI single to center field.
Closer Isaac Mullins (R-JR Washington State) picked up his second save of the season pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.
The Bears first reliever Marty Maves (SR Benedictine) got the win pitching three innings. Maves did not give up a run on only one hit and three strikeouts. Starter Jay Edwards (JR Cal State Bakersfield) lasted two innings and only gave up one hit with two strikeouts.
Cody Turner (SO Chapman) came in after Maves and did not retire a Pickle giving up one run on the two hit batters and walk. Zack Denney (R-SR Tennessee-Martin) went three innings as well. Denney gave up three hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Cowlitz remains home after the off day and plays their first North Division opponent of the season Friday the Kelowna Falcons. Time of first pitch is 6:35 PM.