The Sweets lost to the Cowlitz Black Bears 4-2 at Story Field on Sunday afternoon.
Cowlitz starter RHP Davis Baillie (Washington State) was dynamite, holding the Sweets to one hit through six scoreless innings. LHP Taylor Graham (Central Washington) followed with two perfect innings out of the ‘pen.
LF Danny Sinatro (Washington State) led off the game with a clean single to right. It was the only hit the Sweets recorded until the ninth inning.
Meanwhile, Cowlitz went ahead in the second inning. LF Derek Scott (Abilene Christian) singled, stole second, and moved to third on an errant throw. Two batters later, he scored on a wild pitch to put the Black Bears up 1-0.
The Black Bears tacked on two more in the fourth. SS Mark Pearson (Abilene Christian) tripled into the right field corner to lead off. After Pearson scored on a passed ball, Scott ripped a pitch from LHP Isaac Esqueda (Southern Carolina) over the right field fence.
After Esqueda, LHP Scott Parker (San Francisco) emerged from the Sweets bullpen and tossed 4.2 innings of one-run baseball.
Cowlitz tacked on one more run in the eighth and went ahead 4-0. 3B Nyles Nygaard (Western Oregon) singled, moved to second on a fielding error, and scored on an RBI single from CF Kona Quiggle (Grand Canyon).
Still, the Sweets, who have not been shut out all year, rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth. With one out, Sinatro reached on a dropped third strike. He was plated on a booming triple from RF J.J. Hancock (Washington State), who then came in to score himself on an RBI hit from 3B Nick Nyquist (Gonzaga).
But RHP Kragen Kechely (Dallas Baptist) slammed the door on the Sweets in the ninth, clinching the game – and the series – for first-place Cowlitz.
The Sweets fall to 6-10 in the second half (21-22 overall). Cowlitz improves to a WCL South-best 11-3 (22-19 overall).
Baillie (3-1) wins. Esqueda (3-1) loses. Scott (2) homered for the second consecutive game.
The Sweets look to salvage the series with a win in the three-game finale tomorrow night. LHP Haydn King (San Francisco) will start opposite Cowlitz RHP Jimmy Fouse (Dallas Baptist).
by Ben Farber
Audio Highlights -- Mark Pearson Triple
Sweets Scoop -- Ripken Reyes