Highline Bears split first two games

By Tim Clinton

Resiliency is a good quality to have for a baseball team, and the Highline Bears appear to have it.
After losing their season opener to the North Sound Emeralds by an 11-2 score Friday, the Bears returned to Mel Olson Stadium at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center the next night and proceeded to pound Laces Baseball Club, 9-1.

Saturday's game was knotted at 1-1 before the Bears exploded for five runs on five hits in the bottom of the third.
Sam Trend-Beacon blasted a three-run home run in the rally and Cole Chambers ripped a two-run single.
The Bears never relinquished the lead from there but gradually built on it instead.

It was a different story against the Emeralds the night before.

Alec Kisena and Henry Lin of the North Sound team combined to four-hit the Highline team and rack up a total of 14 strikeouts.
Kisena struck out 10, including the first three batters he faced in the bottom of the first inning.

Kisena is a former Detroit Tigers minor leaguer who was selected in the 16th round of the 2015 draft. He stands at 6-foot, 5-inches and 250 pounds and came out with dominating stuff.

He struck out five while retiring the first six batters he faced in order before Chandler Michalek got to him for a single up the middle to lead off the third.

Michalek -- a product of Lower Columbia Community College -- advanced on a Chris Hollabaugh walk, but was thrown out trying to score on a base hit to right by Marco Calderon.

Hollabaugh came around to score on grounders by Alex Bryner and Johnny Sage to cut the Emeralds' lead to 5-1.
Kisena struck out the next batter to get out of the inning, and struck out two more in the fourth before his team rallied for six runs in the top of the fifth to make it 11-1.

Michalek solved Kisena's pitching for a second single to lead off the bottom of the fifth and advanced to thrid on two wild pitches as the next two batters nevertheless struck out. An infield hit by Bryner brought in Michalek and chased Kisena from the mound in favor of Lin.

Lin -- a junior at Whitman University -- walked Johnny Sage of the Bears before getting out of the inning on a ground out.

Lin did not allow a hit the rest of the way and struck out four. Lin got the win since Kisena did not complete the required five innings for a starter to win a nine-inning game.

The Bears host the Everett Merchants for a 7:05 p.m. game Friday before entertaining the Kitsap Blue Jackets at the same time Saturday and at 7:35 p.m. Sunday. The Senators come to White Center to play Highline at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

Check them out on the web here: https://highlinebears.com/

About the Highline Bears

The Highline Bears are a summer collegiate baseball team in the Pacific International League. The Pacific International League (PIL) was founded in 1992, the league is considered by many to be the premier Summer Collegiate Baseball league in the Northwest. Sanctioned by the National Baseball Congress (NBC), most PIL players are NCAA eligible and are unpaid in order to maintain their eligibility.

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