Pippins Explode Late for Non-League Win
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins managed just one hit and were held scoreless in the first three innings on Friday night. The 4th inning on, however, was a whole different story, as the Pippins jumped out to a 5-0 lead after five innings, led 11-1 after a four-run 8th, and cruised to a 11-4 non-league victory over the Highline Bears.
After being held in check through the first three innings by Highline starter, Trey Siegel the Pippins (12-11, West Coast League), went to work in the bottom of the 4th, as after consecutive hits from Bradlee Beesley (Cal Poly-SLO) and Dillon Plew (Washington State), Beesley came home with the game’s first run on a throwing error by the catcher trying to catch him stealing third base. Plew then came around to score on a Tyler Bosetti (Nevada) sacrifice fly. Dustin Yates (Washington State) capped a three-run frame with an RBI single to plate Lucas Denney (Seattle U), who had walked earlier in the frame, which gave the Pippins a 3-0 lead. In the 5th, the Pippins plated another pair, as after Tyler Sandoval (Colorado Mesa) was hit by a pitch, and Tora Otsuka (San Diego) singled, Plew delivered a two-out RBI single into right field to stretch the lead to 5-0.
After Highline cut into the deficit with a run in the top of the 6th, the Pippins manufactured an answer in the home half, as Yates singled and ultimately came around to score on a Jonny DeLuca (Oregon) groundout, making the score 6-1. In the bottom of the 7th, Plew drove in his third run of the night, a sacrifice fly to plate Otsuka, who was hit by a pitch to begin the frame. Leading 7-1 in the bottom of the 8th, the Pippins loaded up the bases on a single from Yates, a double from Chase Wells (Seattle U) and a walk to Otsuka. Mitch Ellis (Western Illinois) was then hit by a pitch, bring home a run. With the bases loaded and just two outs, Plew delivered again, this time clearing the bases with a double into the right-center gap to give the Pippins a commanding 11-1 lead.
Highline mustered up a late rally in the 9th as they got three runs off Yates, who pitched the final two frames, but it was ultimately too little too late, as the Pippins won 11-4.
Game Notes: Anthony Alvarado (Columbia Basin) came on in relief of Taylor Dollard (Cal Poly-SLO) and threw two scoreless innings of relief in the 4th and 5th to earn the win, while striking out three. Dollard allowed just two hits over three scoreless frames while striking out just one batter. Left-hander, Pete Minella (Western Illinois), made his Pippins debut and allowed an unearned run in the 6th. Chris Dalto (Central Washington) pitched a scoreless 7th with a strikeout before Yates came on for the 8th and 9th, and allowed three runs on five hits, before he was ultimately able to shut the door.
With the win, the Pippins are now 3-0 against non-league opponents this season, with their two prior wins coming against the Northwest Honkers, a 9-1 victory on June 10 and a 6-4 win on June 23. The Pippins have one non-league game remaining on July 7 at home against River City Athletics.
What’s Next: The Pippins’ seven-game homestand rolls on Saturday night as they start a three game set with the Kelowna Falcons. Kelowna swept the Pippins at Elks Stadium in their prior meeting from June 17 to June 19, which included a win on a walkoff home run in the series opener. The Pippins hit just .198 in the three game set against Kelowna (20 for 101) but they have been a different kind of machine offensively of late, hitting .342 with a West Coast League high eight home runs in their past five games.
A.J. Landis (Colorado Mesa) will get the start for the Pippins in the series opener on Saturday. Landis faced Kelowna as the Pippins tried to salvage the final game of the series on June 19 and was hit hard to the tune of 17 hits, the most ever allowed by a Pippins starter. Landis was hurt by three Pippins errors, however, as of the eight runs he allowed over six innings, only five were earned. Landis will face fellow right-hander, Kade Mechals (Western Oregon), who was brilliant in a win against the Pippins on June 18, as he went eight innings and scattered just four hits while striking out five and walking one.
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Yakima County Stadium.
ABOUT THE PIPPINS: The Yakima Valley Pippins compete in the West Coast League, one of the nation’s premier summer collegiate wood bat leagues. The Pippins play their home games at Yakima County Stadium (“The Orchard”) in Yakima, Washington. After winning 96 games during their first three seasons in the WCL, the Pippins set the mark as the winningest WCL expansion team after three years. Yakima County Stadium will play host to the 2017 West Coast League All-Star Game, along with an extensive 31-game home season for Year No. 4 of Pippins' Baseball in 2017. Read more online at PippinsBaseball.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube with #ThatWasAwesome.