The Black Bears and Raptors begin a 4-game set starting Tuesday, July 25 with a 7-inning double header beginning at 4:00 and the second game 30 mins after the conclusion of game one. This series will decide who takes home the Columbia River Cup (CRC). Ridgefield currently holds a 3-0 advantage in the CRC entering the series. Cowlitz will need to sweep the four game set to take the trophy back.
The CRC trophy was introduced in 2021. The Black Bears won the trophy in its inaugural season. Ridgefield claimed it last season and threatens to keep it for the second consecutive season only needing one more win in four tries. It won’t be an easy victory for the Raptors as the Black Bears have been one of the hottest teams in the West Coast League since the start of the second half having won 7 of their last 8 series.
In game 1 on Friday in Edmonton, the Black Bears were trailing 2-0 in the 9th inning. After a slow offensive night, Patrick Stark in his second start for the club delivered a clutch, two out, two run single to tie the game and force extra innings. The Black Bears added on a run in the 10th to secure a 3-2 win. The first extra inning game for the Black Bears kept their winning ways going. After game one, Cowlitz was 15-7 in their last 22 games.
In game 2, Kyle Etheridge pitched 5 innings only allowing 2 hits and one unearned run. The offense scored three early runs in the 3rd inning and Edmonton wasn’t able to catch up. Cowlitz took game 2, 5-2.
In the series finale, Edmonton scored two runs in the 2nd, 5th and the 8th inning. The Black Bears offense was quiet in game 3 being held to just three hits. The Black Bears get the off day Monday to travel back to the states for four more regular season series.
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 seven more home games remain. Come cheer on your hometown Black Bears as they inch closer to clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 2012! 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.