Bend, Ore.- Bend put Cowlitz on the brink of post season elimination in game one Friday with an 8-0 shut out victory.
The Elks (14-11, 26-26) scored one run in the first inning, two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, and two more in the eighth.
Meanwhile the Elks ace pitched seven strong innings only allowing seven hits and struck out six Black Bears hitters.
Cowlitz (14-11, 25-27) had chances to get into the game. The Black Bears stranded two runners in scoring position in the fourth when the game was only 4-0. In ths sixth two more were left aboard when it was 6-0. Lastly the Black Bears left the bases loaded in the eighth.
Starter Nico Tellache (SO Oregon) took the loss dropping his record to 0-4. Tellache gave up four runs in just two innings of work allowing five hits with two strikeouts and one hit batter.
Cole Henderson (SO Nevada) pitched the next two innings giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Taylor Graham (JR Central Washington) had the best outing pitching three perfect innings with two strikeouts. Rance Pittman (IN-FR Lower Columbia College) lasted the next two thirds of an inning and gave up the final two runs on three hits with two strikeouts. Lastly KJ Strickland (JR College of Idaho) retired one batter with a flyout to right field.
Corvallis beat Yakima Valley to save the Black Bears season. The only way Cowlitz can make the playoffs is if they win their final two games and Yakima Valley loses their final two games. Corvallis would then win both halves. The first tie-breaker is best overall record and both Cowlitz and Yakima Valley would be 27-27. Bend would be 26-28 and therefore eliminated. The next tie-breaker is head-to-head record and both teams won three games against the other.
It would come down to best record against the South Division during the second half. The Black Bears would be 7-5 and the Pippins would be 5-10 meaning Cowlitz clinches the final playoff spot.
Davis Baillie (RHP R-SO Washington State) gets the ball in the biggest game of the season Saturday at 6:35 PM. Grant Larson (LHP SO Chico State) opposes him.