LONGVIEW, Wash.- Cowlitz opened their ninth season in franchise history scoring their first six runs with two outs and beat the Northwest Honkers 9-0.
Dutton Elske (JR University of Portland) drove in the only three runs the Black Bears would need in the bottom of the first inning with a bases clearing double to deep left field.
Dalton Mitchell (R-SR Alabama A&M) made it 4-0 in the second with an RBI infield single to short stop. After going down in order in the third Mitchell brought home another run in the fourth with a clean single.
In the fifth inning Jonathan Hodo (JR Benedictine) made it 6-0 with another RBI infield single to third base.
Jimmy McLaughlin (JR Benedictine) dealt the knock out blow in the eighth with the Black Bears second bases clearing double of the game. This time McLaughlin hit it to right field.
The first reliever for Cowlitz Ryan Kaser (SO Lower Columbia College) picked up the win pitching three innings. Kaser only gave up three hits and struck out two Honkers. Starter Seth Rayburn (R-SR Tennessee-Martin) looked good in his return to the Black Bears also pitching three innings giving up three hits with five strikeouts including striking out the side in the first. Rayburn pitched for Cowlitz two summers ago. Joe Solomon (SO University of the Pacific) came in after Kaser and lasted two innings only giving up one hit with a pair of strikeouts. Finally potential closer Marty Maves (SR Benedictine) only allowed one base runner in the ninth with a walk while picking up two strikeouts.
Mitchell led the way on offense going 4-for-5 while returner Kyle Sandstrom (JR Sacramento State) went 3-for-5. Both of Elske's hits were doubles. Every starter for Cowlitz ended up with at least one hit.
The Black Bears begin West Coast League play Friday at Bend. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.