In weather only sled dog racers would appreciate, the Central Valley Bears overcame bone-chilling wind gusts of more than 40 mph Thursday afternoon to hold off two-time Greater Spokane League baseball champ University.
Cory Mack’s single drove in what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning as the unbeaten Bears stopped the visiting Titans 7-6.
In the seventh, CV’s 6-foot-8 senior right-hander Scott Simon hunkered down to strand a potential tying run at second base. Simon allowed eight hits and six walks but struck out 10 to lift his record to 3-0.
The steady wind coupled with the frequent wind gusts made it tough on the mound for Simon and U-Hi left-handed starter Jon Rapose (2-2).
“It was really tough trying to keep your balance out there,” said the Washington State University-bound Simon. “I maintained my composure and got it done. When I went to stride I got off-balance at times.”
Titans coach Scott Sutherland praised both pitchers.
“It was very tough conditions,” Sutherland said. “I thought both pitchers gutted it out. Any ball that went into the air was a mystery whether we were going to catch it or not.”
CV (9-0) opened a 3-0 lead in the second. Simon led off with a single, followed by a single from Joe Arlt and a run-scoring double by Coedy Cooley. Mack then had a sacrifice fly and Ryan Leone, the lone sophomore on the Bears’ roster, had an RBI single.
The Titans (5-4) bounced back to take a 4-3 lead in the third. The big hit – perhaps aided slightly by a right-to-left jet stream – was provided by Rapose, who hit a three-run homer over the fence in left-center field that was believed to have carried close to 500 feet.
The Bears regained the lead for good with three runs in the fourth. Dane Berg hit a high popup just over first base that Thomas Wakem couldn’t track down, knocking in two runs. But a third Bear scored on the play when David Borgman, who had reached on an intentional walk, caught the Titans sleeping.
“They stole a run there and we need to learn from it,” Sutherland said.
CV coach Barry Poffenroth was sending Borgman the whole time.
“Sometimes we’re a little overaggressive base running, but that’s the way I used to play so I just keep doing it the same way with the kids,” Poffenroth said.
The teams turn around this afternoon and face off at U-Hi, beginning at 4.
•In other GSL games, Jake King pitched a one-hitter and went 2 for 4, including an inside-the-park home run, for three RBIs to lead host Rogers past East Valley 10-0 in a five-inning game for the Pirates’ first victory after six losses. Matt Durant also added an inside-the-park homer and Jimmy Wasem was 4 for 4. The Knights are 2-5. … Mt. Spokane (8-1) stopped visiting Ferris (5-4) 2-0 in a pitchers’ duel. Wildcats pitcher Carson Blumenthal (3-0) had a no-hitter through five innings before allowing a hit. He finished with seven strikeouts. Preston Van Doren, who led off the fourth with a double, scored and Matt Benner, who went 2 for 3, had an RBI single in the sixth. Ferris pitcher Spencer Ansett allowed just four hits and struck out six. … At Lewis and Clark, Kyle Courtney and Jake Schrader each had two hits, three RBIs and three runs and Brandon Costello had a grand slam as Mead (6-1) handled the Tigers (5-4) 16-6. Costello’s grand slam came in the decisive fifth when the Panthers opened a 10-4 lead. … Ben Shoemaker slugged a grand slam while Danny Rowton with 3 for 5, including a double, with two RBIs as Shadle Park (2-7) took a 13-5 decision over host Gonzaga Prep (0-7). Shadle Park was leading 8-3 when Shoemaker hit his slam.
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