The Black Bears head south to play the Portland Pickles for a big three-game weekend series. The Pickles won the series 2-1 in Longview in late June.
The Black Bears are wrapping up their 4-game series with the Ridgefield Raptors today (7/27) before heading to Portland. In game 1 against Ridgefield, the bats were quiet for the Black Bears. Blake Hommond threw 5 scoreless, recording 5 K’s for the Raptors. 3-0 final/7.
In game 2 of the Double Header, the Black Bears came out hot. The offense sent 8 men to the plate in the first inning. It was Chris Brown and Seth Stroh who swatted consecutive doubles to drive in a pair of runs to take an early 4-0 lead. In the second inning, Ian Riley and AJ Singer blasted back to back homeruns in back to back pitches to take a 6-0 lead. Ridgefield responded right away in the top of the third, bringing 12 guys to the plate and banking 6 runs to tie the game. The game would remain scoreless after that into the 8th inning. Brandon Larson delivered a walk-off double after LeTrey McCollum was intentionally walked. Larson hit the first walk-off for Cowlitz during the regular season to split the double header and tie the series 1-1.
Game 3 was a traditional nine inning game. Ridgefield took a 2-0 lead in the 3rd inning. Then both offenses were quiet for the next few frames. In the bottom of the 8th inning, AJ Singer had a two out, two run double to tie the game late. The next batter, Brandon Larson who walked-off the Raptors with a double the previous night delivered once again with an RBI single to give Cowlitz the lead going into the 9th inning. Jackson Nicklaus tied the game for the Raptors in the top of the 9th. 3-3 with an RBI single in the top of the 9th. With the game tied 3-3 and a runner on second base with one out, Ian Riley hit a walk-off single to left field to secure the win. It was the second walk-off during the regular season in consecutive days. The Black Bears are now 18-9 in their last 27 games.
Portland is 24-19 overall this season. In the second half, the Pickles have struggled a little bit going 7-11. They have won just 3 games in their last 10 contests. They are coming off a series against Springfield. The Drifters took game one, 5-4. Springfield won the series in game two, 9-4.
It is coming down to the wire to see who is going to make the 2023 West Coast League playoffs. Every game is important from here on out, so buckle up! Only three more home games remain. Come cheer them on as they inch closer and closer to clinching a playoff spot. For more information about upcoming games and stats, follow us on social media: Twitter (@CowlitzBBears), Facebook and Instagram (@cowlitzblackbears). You can find the livestream for this game on the West Coast League website. Radio will not be available for these three games in Edmonton.