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Smashing Pippins

YAKIMA, Wash.- Cowlitz finally got back into the win column Wednesday ending their seven game losing streak and also earning their first shutout of the season beating Yakima Valley 2-0.

     It was the deepest scoreless ball game of the season for the Black Bears but they got the all important lead in the top of the sixth. Ryan Kim (JR University of Portland) led off the inning with a single. Jonathan Hodo (JR Benedictine) sacrifice bunted Kim into scoring position. After a strikeout Andres Sosa (JR San Jacinto College) hit an RBI single to left field which opened the scoring.

     In the seventh Cowlitz got a key insurance run. Isaac Deveaux (SO Utah) drew a lead off walk. He then got to third stealing second and advancing on the throwing error by the catcher. Two batters later Liam Ballance (SR Vancouver Island University) brought Deveaux home with an RBI sac fly to center field.

     JT Penick (SO Dallas Baptist) came in to pitch the ninth which was his first save opportunity of the season. Despite walking two batters to bring the winning run to the plate Penick induced a ground out to short stop to end the game.

     Starter Seth Rayburn (R-SR Tennessee-Martin) won his first game of the season to improve his record to 1-1. He became the first Cowlitz starter to win a game since June 11th when Travis Paynter (JR Hawaii Pacific) beat Port Angeles. Rayburn went five innings and gave up five hits with one strikeout.

     The Black Bears received solid relief outings from Isaac Mullins (R-JR Washington State) and Zach Denney (R-SR Tennessee-Martin) as well. Mullins pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout then Denney pitched a perfect eighth.

     The shutout was the first for Cowlitz since June 14, 2017 when the Black Bears blanked Kelowna also by a 2-0 score.

     Jordan Martinson (LHP SR Dallas Baptist) makes his season debut in the rubber match Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.