Cowlitz

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By the skin of their teeth

LONGVIEW, Wash.- Yakima Valley had plenty of chances to tie or even take the lead in game two Saturday but Cowlitz stranded 14 Pippins base runners and held on for a 3-2 victory.

     Andrew Walling (IN-FR Oregon State) drove in the only runs the Black Bears would need in the bottom of the first inning. Austin Bell (R-JR Dallas Baptist) started the rally reaching on a fielding error by the third baseman. Andres Sosa (JR San Jacinto College) kept the inning going with a two out double. Then Walling hit a three run homer to right center field. Walling was 0-for-8 this season heading into that at bat and was making just his second start this season.

     Yakima Valley left the bases loaded in the second and stranded two runners in the second through sixth innings with two more in the ninth.

     The Pippins (12-5, 23-21) finally got into the game in the sixth. After they loaded the bases a wild pitch narrowed the gap to 3-1.

     Isaac Mullins (R-JR Washington State) came in for the save in the ninth. After a double and an infield single an RBI fielder's choice made it a one run game. A throwing error by the short stop and a passed ball moved the tying run 90 feet away and the go ahead run in scoring position but a ground out to second base preserved the win. Mullins earned his team leading sixth save.

     The Black Bears newest pitcher Kyler Bush (IN-FR Washington State) earned the victory in his season debut. Bush pitched one inning and gave up one run on one hit with two strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. Starter Seth Rayburn (R-SR Tennessee-Martin) lasted four innings and didn't give up a run on four hits and struck out one Pippin batter with three walks.

     Walling finished the night a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk.

     Cowlitz (7-10, 17-27) ended their three game losing streak.

     Jordan Martinson (LHP SR Dallas Baptist) starts the rubber match Sunday at 5:05 PM. The Black Bears will try to end their four series losing streak.

     Photo credit: 9 Inning Know It All