Pippins Use Nine Pitchers to Win Non-League Finale
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins have been a notoriously slow starting group, and for the second night in a row, they fell behind 3-0 after the 1st inning. On Friday, however, they were able to fight their way back and then pull away, to the tune of a 9-4 win over the River City Athletics in their fourth and final non-league game of 2017.
After River City pushed across three runs in the top of the 1st inning against Pippins’ starter, Chris Dalto (Central Washington), the Pippins (13-14) answered via a Tyler Bosetti (Nevada) two-run home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the 2nd, to get back within one. The Pippins then took their first lead with a pair of runs in the 3rd, first on a Chase Wells (Seattle U) groundout to plate Mitch Ellis (Western Illinois), and then via a Connor White (Columbia Basin College) RBI double to plate Dalto, who had doubled earlier in the frame.
After River City answered with a run in the top of the 4th to briefly tie the game at 4, the Pippins scored the final five runs of the game. The Pippins took the lead for good on a Dillon Plew (Washington State) RBI single to plate Tora Otsuka (San Diego) in the bottom of the 4th, and then they got four more in the 6th inning, which included four walks, and a Wells RBI single.
The Pippins, who used nine relievers, (one in each inning), did not allow a run after the 4th inning and cruised to a 9-4 victory to go 4-0 in non-league play on the season.
Game Notes: Dalto started the game and allowed three runs on four hits in his inning of work, but did contribute a double offensively in the 3rd. A.J. Landis (Colorado Mesa), Josh Tedeschi (Utah), Anthony Alvarado (Columbia Basin), Kyle Nicol (Cal State Northridge), Dustin Yates (Washington State), Pete Minella (Western Illinois) and Connor White (Columbia Basin) all threw scoreless innings for the Pippins. Nicol struck out the side in the 6th, while Yates fanned walked two and fanned a pair in the 7th, before Minella and White each retired the side while allowing only a hit between them in the 8th and 9th. Kade Woods (Spokane Falls) also pitched an inning and allowed a run in the 4th.
Bosetti’s home run was his first of the season, and was the ninth home run the Pippins have hit at home this season. While the non-league long ball does not go down as an official West Coast League home run, the Pippins have already hit eight home runs before tonight at home this season in WCL games, surpassing their previous high of the seven home runs they hit at home in their inaugural season of 2014. The Pippins also hit a franchise record 24 home runs in 2014, a number that the Pippins are on track to pass as they hit 16 in the first half of the season.
With the win, the Pippins finish their non-league slate at 4-0. They previously beat the Northwest Honkers, 9-1 on June 10 and 6-4 on June 23, and the Highline Bears, 11-4 on June 30.
What’s Next: The Pippins begin the second half of their WCL season with a three game series at home against the Cowlitz Black Bears on Saturday night. Right-hander Taylor Dollard (Cal Poly-SLO) will get the starting nod for the Pippins against Cowlitz left-hander, Nico Tellache (Oregon) with first pitch 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.