The Banks Braves had no runs and just five hits through five innings Thursday night at Tapiola Park, where Astoria hosted the first meeting of the year between last year’s Cowapa League baseball co-champions.

In the final two innings, however, the Braves had nine runs on eight hits, on their way to a 9-3 victory over the Fishermen.

Astoria scored one run in the second inning, and Fishermen starter Will Reed managed to hold on to the 1-0 lead through five innings, despite just two Astoria hits.

The Braves finally broke through in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on five hits. Banks took advantage of two Astoria errors in the seventh to add five more runs, including the last two on a single wild pitch.

Astoria staged a brief rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring twice on three hits.

Banks pitcher Tyler Lilly got the win, striking out six with one walk. Andrew Nichols and Thomas Cook pitched the seventh for the fifth-ranked Braves, who improve to 9-2 overall, 2-0 in league.

Dylan Rush had an RBI double for Astoria, which plays next Tuesday at Tillamook, the first of six straight road games for the Fishermen.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Daily Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or ghenley@dailyastorian.com.

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