Pippins Fall to Sweets in First Half Finale
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins entered their final home series of the first half against the Kelowna Falcons at 12-11 with their sights set on possibly catching the Corvallis Knights in the standings. Four games later, the Pippins are now a game under .500, after stranding ten runners in a 6-3 loss to the Walla Walla Sweets at Borleske Stadium on Thursday night.
The Sweets (16-12, 1-0) got started right away as they plated three runs in the bottom of the 1st inning off of Pippins’ starter, John Fuqua (Virginia Military Institute). The Pippins (13-14) answered with a run of their own in the top of the 2nd, as Dustin Yates (Washington State) brought in Lucas Denney (Seattle U), who had walked to begin the frame, on an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 3-1. The Sweets came right back in the bottom of the 3rd, however, tacking on two more runs off of Fuqua to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
The Pippins, who stranded two runners in the 3rd and one in the top of the 4th, finally came through with a run in each of the 5th and 6th innings. In the 5th, an RBI groundout from Bradlee Beesley (Cal Poly-SLO) brought in Jonny DeLuca (Oregon), who had singled and stole second to begin the frame. In the 6th, Steve Sordahl (St. Martin’s) knocked in Mitch Ellis (Western Illinois), who singled to leadoff the frame, with an RBI groundout, which cut the deficit to 5-3.
The Pippins threatened in the 8th as Ellis singled to begin the frame and reached third, but he was then cut down at home on a fielder’s choice. Walla Walla came right back in the home half of the frame and plated a run on a double steal with runners at first and third to regain a three run edge at 6-3 headed to the 9th.
In the top of the 9th inning, the Pippins mounted a rally, as Tyler Bosetti (Nevada) and Dillon Plew (Washington State) drew walks to bring up Beesley with one out, but he flew out to center before another flyout by Daniel Cope (Cal State Fullerton) ended the game.
Game Notes: The Pippins finished the first half at 13-14 and went just 4-8 on the road in the first half. By going hitless tonight, Beesley (11 games) and Plew (nine games) ended their respective hitting streaks. Walla Walla wins the season series 2-1 and now leads the all-time series 14-13, which began in the Pippins’ inaugural season of 2014.
What’s Next: The Sweets will travel to Corvallis to begin a three game set at Goss Stadium on Friday. The Pippins will play their fourth and final non-league game of the season on Friday when they take on the River City Athletics. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from 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.