PORT ANGELES — Lefties alum Dutton Elske returned to Civic Field, this time as a member of the Cowlitz Black Bears, and had a big game at his former home field, hitting a solo home run and a two-run single to help Cowlitz win 7-5 and sweep the three-game series against Port Angeles.
The Lefties played the Black Bears tough, but had three close losses against the Black Bears. They lost 4-3, 5-4 in 11 innings and 7-5.
The good news is every team in the West Coast League’s North Division but last-place Kelowna got beat Wednesday night, so the Lefties didn’t lose any ground to anyone. They sit at 6-6 in league play, one-half game behind first place Bellingham and Yakima Valley (6-5).
Elske, who played catcher for the Lefties in their inaugural season, had a solo home run in the second inning and a two-run base hit in the third to give the Black Bears a 4-0 lead.
The Lefties fought back with four runs in the third and fourth to tie it 4-4. David Bedgood and Trey Morgan had RBI singles in the third, while Issac Wersland hit a two-run home run, his second home run this week, in the fourth.
The game remained tied until the sixth, when the Black Bears blew up for three runs thanks to a wild pitch that allowed a run to score, followed by a two-run double by Andres Sosa.
Ron Brown had an RBI double in the eighth to pull the Lefties to within 7-5. The Lefties threatened in the ninth, as Bedgood hit a single and Dalton Harum walked to put two runners on with one out. But, Black Bears closer Cody Turner got Austin Earl to fly out and David Langer to ground out to end the game with no damage.
Bedgood finished the game 2 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI, while Drew Minter was 2 for 3 with a run scored. Matthew Dunaway took the loss while pitching 3 2/3 innings of relief. Minter and Triston Busse combined for three innings of scoreless relief to end the game.
The Lefties had Thursday off as they travel to Victoria to begin a three-game series. Port Angeles plays the HarbourCats at 6:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Royal Athletic Park.
Note: Bedgood is batting .429 for the Lefties after 21 at-bats. Minter is batting .417 (5 for 12). Wersland is 3 for 8 with two home runs. With his inning of scoreless relief, Busse lowered his ERA to 0.75 in 12 innings. He has also struck out 13 batters.
Cowlitz 7, Port Angeles 5
Bears 0 2 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 — 7 10 1
Lefties 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 — 5 9 3
WP: Joey Morris LP: Matthew Dunaway
Black Bears — Edwards 4IP 5H, 2ER, BB, 2K; Morris 4IP, Turner 1IP, H, BB.
Lefties — Reynolds 2.1IP, 5H, 3ER, BB; Dunaway 3.2IP, 4H, 3ER, 3BB, 3K; Minter 1IP, H, 3K; Busse 1IP, 0H, 0BB, K.
Black Bears — Sosa 2-5, 2B, R, 2RBI; Elske 2-5, HR, R, 3RBI; Hodo; Ballance 1-3, R, RBI, BB; McLaughlin 1-2, R, BB; Kim 1-5, 2B.
Lefties — Bedgood 2-5, R, RBI, SB; Minter 2-3, R, BB; Werslund 1-4, HR, R, 2RBI; Heid 1-3, R, Morgan 1-3, R; Rosenberg 1-4, R; Brown 1-1, 2B, RBI.