After dropping a 7-3 decision to the Bucks on Sunday and enjoying an off day on Monday, the Sweets begin a six-game road trip against Cowlitz on Tuesday. It is the first of three with the Black Bears this week.
Now for some notes from around the ballpark:
- Tuesday's series opener will be the first game of the year between the Sweets and the Black Bears. The two teams met in the first week of the season last year.
- Last season, the two teams met nine times, with the Black Bears earning the series victory, 5-4. The Black Bears won the first two series of the season before the Sweets took 2-of-3 on their final road trip of the season.
- Tuesday also begins a stretch of 12-straight games against the same two teams. After facing the Black Bears, the Sweets head to Klamath Falls for three. The Sweets then host the same two teams next week before the All-Star break.
- On the season, the Sweets are 5-10 on the road. They lost nine of their first 10 but have rebounded to win four of their last five.
- Spencer O'Neil will be making his return to Cowlitz for the first time since playing for the Black Bears last season. He was an All-Star and won All-Star game MVP honors with Cowlitz.
- O'Neil will also be looking to extend his on-base streak to 17 games. He reached base in every league game since June 14 in Corvallis.
- Leading or trailing after the fifth inning has been a big determining factor for the Sweets this season. When leading after five, the Sweets are 9-2, but are just 1-13 when trailing after five.
- The Sweets will face two left-handers in their series with Cowlitz. On the year, the Sweets are hitting just .234 against lefties as opposed to .282 against righties.
- Surprisingly, Ryan Cooper (a left-hander) is hitting a team-best .417 against southpaws. Marc Garza is hitting .381 in 21 at-bats against lefties.
- Both teams enter the series with 12-16 records. The Sweets are eight games out of first place, however, while the Black Bears are just five back.
- Hunter Virant will start for the Sweets on Tuesday, his third of the summer. He is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three appearances. He has struck out 12 in 13 innings and has allowed just six hits.
- The Sweets will have a new face in the dugout on Tuesday as the signing of Beau Fraser was officially announced. Fraser started the season as a 10-day contract player for Corvallis. He is going to be a senior at Portland this season and will help the Sweets behind the plate and at the plate.