LONGVIEW, Wash.- Zach Heaton has been absolutely dealing lately.
The right handed red-shirt freshman from Dallas Baptist has pitched 15 consecutive innings over his past two starts without giving up a run as Heaton lasted eight innings Friday in game one against Bend en route to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Elks.
Heaton now owns both of the Black Bears longest outings for a starting pitcher this season. He allowed just six hits this time while striking out four Elks to improve his record to 2-2.
Offensively Cowlitz got the only run they would need in the bottom of the sixth inning. Dalton Mitchell (R-SR Alabama A&M) hit his first home run of the season opposite field into the right corner to give the Black Bears the advantage.
An insurance run came in during the next inning. A two out full count walk to Ryan Kim (JR University of Portland) and a double by Blake Burton (JR Washington) led to an RBI single to left field by Andres Sosa (JR San Jacinto College). Kim scored but Burton was tagged out on the relay throw from the left fielder.
Closer JT Penick (SO Dallas Baptist) came on in the ninth and was literally unhittable as he struck out the side in order to earn his second save of the season.
Cowlitz (1-0, 11-17) is on their first winning streak since June 12-13. The Elks (3-1, 10-21) meanwhile suffered their first loss of the second half.
The Black Bears have shutouts in three of their past four victories and only gave up one run in the other game.
Friday's contest was the shortest game of the season at a brisk one hour and 55 minutes.
Mitch Stanley (RHP SO Lower Columbia College) tries to earn Cowlitz the series victory Saturday at 6:35 PM.