Bears Win 5-4 To Start Playoffs
The Yakima Bears defeated the Boise Hawks 5-4 in game one of the Northwest League East Division Series at Memorial Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The Bears now lead the best two out of three series 1-0 with the series going to Yakima to finish up.
The Bears got the scoring started in the first inning. With two outs, Joe Loftus reached on a walk and then came in to score when a fielder’s choice ground ball to short was thrown away. After a triple and two walks, a two-out Rock Shoulders grand slam home run in the fourth inning put the Hawks up 4-1. The Bears tied the game in the sixth inning, starting with a Loftus’ double that plated Kevin Medrano, who had reached on a single. The Bears then used two walks to load the bases with two outs in the sixth. The second Bears run in the sixth scored when Josh Parr was hit by a pitch and the third came home on a passed ball to tie the game. Neither team would score again until the ninth, when the Bears got a lead-off single from Danny Poma, moved the runner with a sacrifice bunt from Yogey Perez-Ramos, and Kevin Medrano hit a double over the left fielder to give the Bears a 5-4 lead.
The Bears pitching staff was impressive, with 15 strikeouts on the night, more than any regular season game. Blake Perry fanned seven in only three and two thirds innings. Perry also gave up the grand slam for all of the Hawks runs. Kyle Owings K’d two batters in two and a third scoreless innings and RJ Hively had three strikeouts in two shutout innings for the win. Enrique Burgos allowed the lead-off hitter to reach in the ninth, but eventually stranded the runner at third base with three-straight strikeouts for the save.
The Bears outhit the Hawks 8-5, hitting lead-off singles in six different innings and getting the lead-off man aboard in seven of the ninth innings. Yogey Perez-Ramos went 2-for-4 with a key sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning. Kevin Medrano went 2-for-5 with a double and a run batted in. Joe Loftus finished 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run batted in, and two runs scored.
The Bears showed veteran status in a big game, committing three less errors than the Hawks and getting clutch production in the ninth inning.
The Bears and Hawks meet Tuesday night at Yakima County Stadium in game two of the East Division series. Game time is scheduled for 7:05. Left-handed pitcher Daniel Watts of the Bears will oppose right-handed pitcher Tayler Scott of the Hawks.