Ninth-inning rallies on both sides of the Cascade Range on Saturday night eliminated the Bend Elks from the West Coast League playoff chase.
In Bend, Elks reliever Matthew Kirk gave up a tie-breaking solo home run to Cowlitz’s Marco Valenzuela to lead off the ninth inning, and the Elks failed to take advantage of two baserunners to start the bottom half of the inning in a 5-4 loss to the Black Bears on Saturday evening at Vince Genna Stadium.
In Corvallis, Steven Sordahl’s two-run double in the ninth inning gave Yakima Valley a 6-5 win over the Knights.
The Elks (14-12 second half, 26-27 overall) cannot catch the Pippins (15-11, 28-25) in the overall standings and cannot win the South Division second half.
Pinch-hitter Troy Viola, a Summit High product playing in just his fourth game this summer with the Elks, tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI single.
In the ninth, Zach Clayton opened with a single and Charlie Maxwell walked. But Rocco Ferrari lined out to first base, and the Black Bears (15-11, 26-27) turned a double play. George Mendazona, who was 1-for-5 with a run score to increase his streaks to 12 games with a hit and nine with a run, struck out on four pitches to end the game.
Derek Chapman hit his team-leading seventh home run in the first inning to give Bend a 1-0 lead.
The Elks finish the season Sunday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
— Bulletin staff report