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Bells outlast Bears

LONGVIEW, Wash.- Bellingham and Cowlitz battled back and forth in game one Tuesday but it was the Bells that kept the upper hand winning 6-4.

     The Black Bears opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded and no one out. Liam Ballance (SR Vancouver Island University) hit into a 4-6-3 double play to bring home Tony Boetto (SO Santa Clara).

     But the Bells answered right away in the third scoring three runs. An RBI double and a two run single gave Bellingham the lead for good.

     Cowlitz trimmed the lead in the bottom of the inning. Austin Bell (R-JR Dallas Baptist) started a double steal by taking second base then Ryan Kim (JR University of Portland) stole home to make it 3-2.

     The Bells then started to get clutch hits to keep the Black Bears away. In the fifth Bellingham kept the inning going with a batter reaching on a throwing error by the short stop. A two out two run double made it 5-2.

     Cowlitz got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning. Blake Burton (JR Washington) and Boetto hit back-to-back two out RBI singles.

     But the Bells had the last laugh scoring once more in the eighth on another two out RBI single.

     Bellingham's closer did give up a two out double to Andres Sosa (JR San Jacinto College) but a fly out ended the game.

     Starter Matt Gannon (JR Northwestern) took the loss in his season debut. Gannon gave up three runs in three innings on three hits with five strikeouts.

     Cowlitz (7-9) is now on their second four game losing streak of the season. Meanwhile Bellingham (11-5) still has the best record in the league and has won six straight.

     Seth Rayburn (RHP R-SR Tennessee-Martin) will try to turn the Black Bears fortunes around in game two. First pitch is scheduled again for 6:35 PM.