YAKIMA, Wash.- Cowlitz kept game three against Yakima Valley close but a three run eighth inning sealed the Black Bears fate as they dropped the rubber match 6-3.
The Pippins struck first in the bottom of the second scoring a pair of runs. A two run double down the left field line gave Yakima Valley the only lead they would need.
Cowlitz did answer in the fourth. Jonathan Hodo (JR Benedictine) led off with a single. After he stole second base Austin Bell (R-JR Dallas Baptist) drove in his team leading 15th run of the season with a single to right field. Unfortunately Bell was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.
In the bottom of the inning the Pippins came close to getting the two run lead back. Another single down the left field line brought a runner around third but an excellent throw from Isaac Deveaux (SO Utah) got that batter out trying to stretch it to a double and the final out was recorded before the run scored.
The Black Bears (8-13) had a great chance to grab the lead in the seventh. They managed to load the bases but a ground out to second ended the rally.
Yakima Valley (10-11) did get the two run lead back in the bottom of the inning. After a double and a wild pitch an RBI sacrifice fly made it 3-1.
The flood gates opened in the eighth. The Pippins sent eight batters to the plate and scored on a wild pitch and another two run double to go up by five.
Tony Boetto (SO Santa Clara) didn't quit in the ninth though and hit an RBI triple to right center to make it 6-2. It was Boetto's first extra base hit of the season. Boetto then scored on a balk but it was too little too late.
Starter Jordan Martinson (SR Dallas Baptist) took the loss in his season debut. Martinson lasted three innings and gave up two runs on four hits with four strikeouts.
Cowlitz has now lost eight of their last nine games overall dropping their last three series. The Black Bears are now 1-2 in rubber matches this season.
The Port Angeles Lefties come to Longview Friday. Cowlitz swept Port Angeles a little over two weeks ago. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.