Bend, Ore. --
The Portland Pickles racked up twenty base hits Tuesday night, slugging their way to a 14-1 series opening road win over the Bend Elks.
The Pickles (11-6 2nd half; 28-15 overall) remain a half-game ahead of Corvallis for the division lead, and two full games ahead of Walla Walla. The Pickles have already clinched a playoff spot thanks to winning the division's first half crown.
Carson Breshears (Gonzaga) led the way at the plate for Portland despite striking out his first two trips to the plate. Breshears went 3-for-5 with six runs batted in, including a bases-clearing triple in the 8th.
Portland scored in six of their nine at-bats on Tuesday, scoring a combined 9 runs in the seventh and eighth innings alone. Ten men came to the plate in the five-run seventh that included seven base hits. Joey Cooper (Cal St Northridge) rolled a one-out double down the right field line to get the ball rolling, and scored on a base hit by Davis Delorefice (Orange Coast). Gabe Skoro (Portland) and Brody Barnum (Washington State) both singled, and Daniel Edson (USC) brought home Delorefice and Skoro with a double to the right-center field warning track. Breshears singled home Edson, and Sam Novitske (Oregon) plated Mikey Perez (UCLA) with another base hit.
Four more runs scored in the eighth highlighted by the Breshears three-run triple and a Skoro single that scored Delorefice following the latter's one-out triple.
The Pickles out-hit Bend 20-4 in the contest. Alex Roth (Western Oregon) started on the bump, and faced one over the minimum through three innings before allowing his only run in the fourth.
Michael Newstrom (Washington State) blazed his way through four innings of relief, allowing just one hit without a run and striking out three on forty-six pitches. Newstrom's outing was highlighted by a five-pitch bottom of the eighth inning, inducing groundouts on two pitches before a three-pitch strikeout. Adam Davenport (Washington) pitched an unblemished ninth to finish the game.
The Pickles aim to keep the momentum going when they face Bend in game two of the series on Wednesday at 6:35pm. Tune in to the game on AM 860 The Answer, and be sure to follow them on instagram and twitter @PicklesBaseball.