COWLITZ - The Walla Walla Sweets posted another shutout loss here Tuesday, falling to Cowlitz, 6-0.
The loss moves them to 16-27 on the season and 10 games behind division-leading Wenatchee, and one step farther from playoff contention.
Cowlitz is last in the West Division, at 15-28 and 13 games behind Corvallis.
It was the Sweets' second consecutive shutout after a 7-0 home finale loss to Corvallis Monday.
Walla Walla pitcher Ryan Richardson gave up five runs on eight hits in seven innings en route to the loss, including two walks.
Ronnie Johnson relieved Richardson, allowing one run, three hits and one walk.
The Black Bears opened scoring in the second inning, posting two runs.
Braxton Miller came home with the bases loaded and no outs, and two batters later, Zack Tanida arrived to move it to 2-0.
The Sweets got their first hit of the game by Adrian Williams in the top of the third inning - but with two outs already, they were unable to convert it to a score.
In the bottom of the fourth, Corvallis posted two more runs on two Sweets errors and three hits for a 4-0 lead.
They posted one more apiece in the sixth and eighth.
By now, Walla Walla bats were moving - Elliot Stewart and Andy Matthews both made contact in the top of the seventh.
Cowlitz substituted in pitcher Jason Westerberg in the eighth, when Williams and Denver Chavez both connected.
The hits were too little, too late - and Westerberg sat down three in a row in the top of the ninth to secure the Cowlitz shutout.
Winning pitcher Mark Garcia allowed three hits in seven innings. Westerberg allowed two hits.
The Sweets and Black Bears play the second of their three games at 6:35 p.m. today.
Walla Walla 000 000 000 - 0 5 3
Cowlitz 020 201 01x - 6 11 0
Richardson, Johnson (8) and Daniel. Garcia, Westerberg (7) and Tanida.
HR - Cowlitz: Tanida.
Hits - WW: Chavez, Stewart, Matthews, Williams 2. Cow: Fox, Sheeks 2, Miller 2, Tanida 3, Hoo, Rowe 2.
W L PCT GB
Wenatchee 26 17 .605 -
Moses Lake 20 23 .465 6
Kelowna 20 26 .435 7.5
Walla Walla 16 27 .372 10
W L PCT GB
Corvallis 29 16 .644 -
Bend Elks 26 19 .578 3
Kitsap 23 21 .523 5.5
Bellingham 24 22 .522 5.5
Cowlitz 15 28 .349 13
Cowlitz 6, Walla Walla 0
Wenatchee 3, Kitsap 2
Moses Lake 6, Kelowna 3
Walla Walla at Cowlitz, 6:35 p.m.
Wenatchee at Kitsap, 7:05 p.m.
Moses Lake at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.