Astoria 8, Banks 5BANKS - It took 14 innings of baseball to decide this one.

Astoria and Banks - the only two unbeaten teams in the Cowapa League, faced off Wednesday afternoon at Banks, and played and played and then played some more, before the Fishermen won 8-5.

The two teams were tied 4-4 through seven innings and battled through five more scoreless innings before each scored a run in the 13th.

Astoria rallied in the top of the 14th when Luke Ness, Henry Brause and Ryan Kelly had consecutive singles, with Ness scoring on Kelly's base hit.

A sacrifice fly from Mitchell Wirth brought in Brause, and Kelly raced home on a wild pitch.

The Braves rallied in the bottom of the 14th, putting runners at second and third with two outs before Brause struck out the final batter.

Kelly pitched the first nine innings for Astoria, and Brause got the win in relief, pitching the final five.

"It was a well-played game, from both sides," said Astoria coach Ralph Steinback. "There were times when both teams threatened, then somebody would make a play or turn a double play to get out of it.

"Our kids were mentally prepared, all 14 innings," he said. "Ryan did a fantastic job. He got himself into a little trouble at times, but worked his way out of it."

Banks loaded the bases in the fifth, but did not score.

The Fishermen had 16 hits to Banks' 13, with Ness and Kelly each going 3-for-6.

Astoria held a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but the Braves scored a fluke run to tie it.

After walking a batter, Kelly walked toward home plate with his head down, according to Steinback, and did not see the return throw to the mound from Steve Hess.

The ball got by Kelly, which allowed a Banks runner to advance from second to third. The throw to third to get the runner was errant, allowing the Braves to score the tying run.

The Fishermen turned a double play to get out of the inning.

In the top of the 13th, Wirth had a leadoff double, then scored on a double by Andrew MacLean.

Astoria improves to 4-0 in league, 12-2 overall. The Fishermen have won eight straight games, but will be tested today and Friday.

Astoria hosts a makeup game with Scappoose and hopefully a pair of umpires today (4 p.m.), followed by a home doubleheader Friday with Rainier.

Gearhart Hole-in-oneDr. Mitch Strauss of Gearhart had a hole-in-one Sunday at Gearhart Golf Links. Strauss aced the 207-yard fourth hole using a 4-iron.


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