The Black Bears begin their first six games in six days of the season, beginning with a series against the Kamloops NorthPaws. The Black Bears went 3-2 last week, and 1-2 on the road against the NightOwls before taking both games from the Nighthawks.

The Black Bears took major strides last week in all three phases of the game (pitching, hitting, and defense.) Cowlitz started league play 0-3 with losses to the Knights two weeks ago, but even in the series-opening loss to the NightOwls, the Black Bears took steps forward. The bats heated up seven hits but left twelve runners on base in the 5-1 loss. In game two, Black Bears scored first for the first time this season, with two runs in the top of the second inning, and nearly their first comeback win with three runs on three hits in the eighth to take a 5-4 lead late. Nanaimo stormed back to stun Cowlitz in the bottom of the ninth with three runs to take the series. 

“The biggest thing I tell the guys is to have a short memory,”  Cowlitz head coach Kelly Stinnett said, “No matter what position you play.”

To Stinnett’s delight, the team bounced back in the series finale to pick up the first West Coast League win. Rising senior at Portland and Black Bears returner Ryan Rembisz set the tone early for the Black Bears, striking out eleven NightOwls in five scoreless innings. Brody Sexton’s (Iowa Western) arrival has provided an instant jolt to the Black Bears’ offense with two RBIs in the 5-2 win over Nanaimo on Thursday night. Sexton drove in three runs in the Nanaimo series and has three consecutive multi-hit games to start the summer.

The Black Bears welcome the Kamloops NorthPaws into the United States for the first time this season. Kamloops comes into this series at the .500 mark (3-3) after taking two of three games from the Bellingham Bells last week. The NorthPaws split a two-game series with the Coquitlam Angels this past weekend in some non-league action over the weekend. 

NorthPaws’ head coach, Jose Bautista, is in his first season at the helm of the team. Bautista was promoted last October after serving as the team’s pitching for its first two seasons. Bautista played in the major leagues for nine seasons with five teams: the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, and St. Louis Cardinals. 

The NorthPaws-Black Bears series will begin on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at David Story Field. Game 2 on Wednesday is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., then the series finale will start at 6:35 on Thursday. For more information about upcoming games, stats, or tickets, follow us on social media: X (Twitter) (@CowlitzBBears), Facebook, and Instagram (@cowlitzblackbears). To watch, listen live, or view the 2024 promotional schedule, go to our website