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Extra inning magic

PORT ANGELES, Wash.- Going into their third extra innings game of the season already Cowlitz was certainly due to be on the winning side for the first time.

     In Bend the Black Bears took the lead in each of the three extra innings but lost in the 12th. At home against Kelowna it was the opposite as they couldn't get a base runner in those three extra innings.

     But finally Cowlitz prevailed during free baseball Tuesday. Maybe twelve is an unlucky number as Cowlitz came back from a 5-1 deficit to beat Port Angeles 6-5 in the 11th inning and win the series.

     Mason De La Cruz (SO Washington State) led off the top of the11th with his fourth walk of the game. Ryan Kim (JR University of Washington) tried to sacrifice bunt De La Cruz over and ended up accomplishing more than he wanted. The bunt rolled in front of the plate and both the catcher and third baseman ran to the ball. While Kim was thrown out at first by the catcher no one covered third base and De La Cruz slid into the bag easily. The Lefties intentionally walked Andres Sosa (JR Dallas Baptist) to set up a possible inning ending double play. Port Angeles thought they did just that as Austin Bell (R-JR Dallas Baptist) drove a ground ball to second base. Instead of just quickly touching the bag and throwing to first the second baseman elected to flip to the short stop which he bobbled. Port Angeles did record the out at second but De La Cruz scored on the fielder's choice to make it 6-5.

     Closer Isaac Mullins (R-JR Washington State) came in and walked the lead-off batter. After a popout to short stop the next batter crushed the ball to the wall in right center. The Bears caught a big break as the runner didn't make it around third cleanly and was easily thrown out on a relay from Bell to De La Cruz to Zach Threlfall (SO Lower Columbia College) at the plate. Mullins then picked up his West Coast League leading fourth save with a strikeout.

     Christian Peters (JR University of Portland) earned his second victory of the season pitching three perfect innings with two strikeouts.

     For the second time in a row Kim led off the game reaching base then stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Bell drove him in with an RBI sac fly to center field. Port Angeles tied it with an RBI single in the second.

     The Lefties took a 5-1 lead in the fifth. They scored four times on five hits sending eight batters up.

     But Cowlitz chipped away first scoring two runs in the eighth. Pinch hitter Jonathan Hodo (JR Benedictine) drew an RBI walk. Then Sosa scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3.

     In the ninth pinch runner Kyle Sandstrom (JR Sacramento State) also came home on a wild pitch. Sosa drove in the tying run with an RBI single.

     The Black Bears go for their first sweep of the season Wednesday at 4:35 PM. Jay Edwards (RHP JR Cal State Bakersfield) gets the start.