The Black Bears will head to Yakima Valley for their last road series of the regular season. These two teams have not played each other since the first week of the season. The apples won two games to one.
In game 1 in SE Portland, the Pickles took a 1-0 lead in the 5th inning. That was the only run given up by Kyle Ethridge who was very effective on the hill. 5⅓ IP, on four hits and four strikeouts. The Pickles starter, Murphy Gienger cruised through six innings without allowing a run. The Black Bears offense finally got to him in the 7th. Three consecutive hits to start the inning from Chris Brown, Seth Stroh and Titialii drove in Brown with a double to tie the game. Then Eli Lopez brought in a run on a fielder’s choice to ruin Gienger’s terrific outing. Gavin Guard and Jase Schueller combined for 2 ⅔ scoreless innings. In the top of the 9th, Griffen Sotomayor delivered an RBI single to give the Black Bears an insurance run. Jack Meek came in and closed the door on the Pickles to pick up his second save of the season.
The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead Saturday in the 2nd inning. In the 6th, the RBI leader, AJ Singer drove in a run to take a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Chris Brown delivered a two strike, two out, two run single and the Black Bears were up 4-0. Austin McQuilliams, Gavin Ludlow, Lyndon Glidewell and Matt Nelson combined for four strikeouts and 9 shutout innings. That was the 7th shutout of the season which tied the franchises best.
Game 3 was on Sunday evening with the Black Bears seeking their second sweep of the season. Brandon Larson had a two out RBI double to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead in the opening frame. Portland would tie the game in the bottom of the 3rd. It was 1-1 going into the 6th inning at Walker Stadium. Chris Brown struck a ball over the wall for his first long ball of the season. A couple batters later, Max Oretga went yard for the first time, too. Both home runs were two run shots. Cowlitz took a commanding 5-1 lead. The Black Bears pitching staff held Portland to just two runs the entire series. AJ Singer tacked on one more RBI this season with a sacrifice fly in the 9th. The Black Bears won 6-1. Cowlitz tied their franchise record for wins this season (28-20) and have won six consecutive games moving within 1.5 behind Corvallis for the 2nd half lead.
Yakima is 18-29 this season. The Pippins just took two out of three at home vs Walla Walla.
It is coming down to the wire to see who will be what seed going into the 2023 West Coast League playoffs. Only three more home games remain. Come cheer them on as they inch closer and closer to clinching a playoff spot and climbing in the standings. For more information about upcoming games and stats, follow us on social media: Twitter (@CowlitzBBears), Facebook and Instagram (@cowlitzblackbears).