Corvallis, Ore. --
The Portland Pickles fell 3-2 to the Corvallis Knights Friday night in ten innings in game one of the best-of-three West Coast League South Division playoff series. Game Two is Saturday at Walker Stadium at 7:05pm. Should the Pickles win, it would force a winner-take-all game three Sunday at 5:05pm in Portland.
With the game tied 2-2, Corvallis loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the tenth. The Knights couldn't execute a squeeze play, though, as Noah Cardenas chased down a charging baserunner from third for the second out of the inning. The other runners advanced to second and third, and one pitch later Knights' catcher Zak Taylor atoned for his missed squeeze bunt with a tapper to third base. Pickles third baseman Daniel Lopez attempted a bare-handed play but couldn't field it cleanly, and the winning run scored from third base.
Brody Barnum drove in both runs for Portland thanks to a 385-foot homer to left field in the sixth, a solo shot that tied the game at 1-1, followed by an RBI groundout in the eighth that scored Gio Diaz and tied the score at 2-2.
Chad Stevens scored two runs for Corvallis, each time drawing a leadoff walk to start an inning and being sacrificed to second base. He scored on a two-out two-strike passed ball in the bottom of the first and on an RBI sacrifice fly by Austin Feist in the sixth.
The Pickles put the first two hitters on base in the ninth inning but coudln't score, and had the lead off man reach in the tenth but couldn't score. The Pickles stranded eleven baserunners on the night, and Corvallis stranded nine.
Michael Newstrom went six innings in the start for Portland, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits, two walks, and six strikeouts in the no decision.
Alex Roth went 3-2/3 innings of relief, but was the hard-luck loser, striking out four and scattering five hits, allowing the lone run.
Saturday's game two will pit a couple of all stars on the hill as Corvallis sends right-hander Landen Bourassa (5-1, 1.95 ERA) to the mound while Portland counters with Brad McVay (5-0, 1.15 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05pm.
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