Portland, Ore. --
The Portland Pickles saw their 2018 season - their first as members of the West Coast League - come to an end Saturday night with a 4-1 loss in eleven innings to the Corvallis Knights in game two of the South Division Series.
Corvallis wins the best-of-three South Division Series two-games-to-none after winning game one Friday in ten innings, 3-2. They advance to the West Coast League Championship Series next week looking to three-peat as league champions against either Bellingham or Kelowna out of the North Division, who play a decisive game three on Sunday in Bellingham.
The Pickles finish the year with an overall record of 48-23, including a West Coast League best 37-17 regular season record. The WCL expansion squad won the South Division first half title to secure a playoff spot, adding marks of 7-4 in non-league and 0-2 in the postseason.
Portland had chances to win the game in both the ninth and tenth innings, but Corvallis reliever Abott Haffar (W 1-0) escaped both frames without a run. The Pickles loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but grounded into an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play. They had first and second with none out in the tenth, but a faile sac bunt was followed by a strikeout and flyout to end the threat.
Corvallis had one hit through ten innings of offense against Pickles pitchers Brad McVay (5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 6 K) and Connor Pellerin (5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 K), but rallied for three runs in the top of the eleventh inning to take the lead. Reliver Louis Crow (Sv 1), who got the win in relief in game one, earned the save with a scoreless bottom half.
The Pickles took an eary 1-0 lead off Corvallis starter Landen Bourassa (8 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K) when Jace McKinney doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and scored on a Mikey Perez RBI single up the middle. Bourassa locked in from that point, though, retiring the next fourteen Pickles hitters in a row.
Corvallis didn't get a hit off McVay until the fifth inning when Zak Taylor singled, went to second on a groundout, advanced to third on a flyout, and scored on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.
The Pickles finished with eight runners left on base, five of which came in the final three innings. Perez led the way offensively with his 2-for-5 night, while McKinney, Brody Barnum, Daniel Lopez, and Gabe Skoro each recorded hits of their own. Portland outhit Corvallis 6-4 in the game and 14-12 in the series.
Year one in the West Coast League was unforgettable thanks to the fans in Pickle Nation, who packed out Walker Stadium for another sellout of 2,477 on Saturday while totaling an overall attendance of 64,759 in home games this year, second most in the WCL behind Victoria.
Be sure to continue following the team on Facebook as well as twitter and instagram @PicklesBaseball, and visit PortlandPicklesBaseball.com for continued information on season-tickets and events for the summer of 2019.
We'll see you next year! #GetPickled