AppleSox Even Series With Big Rebound Win

Seven extra-base hits tie season high in losing effort

The Yakima Valley Pippins lost a back-and-forth contest Saturday evening in which they eventually fell 15-7 to the Wenatchee AppleSox.

Both starting pitchers as the Pippins tied a season high with seven extra-base hits, all against Wenatchee starter Trey Miller. Yakima Valley struck first when Austin Plante hit a two-run double to right field that scored Mason Marenco and Taylor holder.

Tyler Frieders also struggled early for the Pippins. Despite a 1-2-3 bottom of the first inning, Frieders allowed a double and three singles to start the second inning, cutting the Pippins lead in half and loading the bases.

Frieders threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up, tying the game, before loading the bases again with a walk. Jackson Van De Brake flew out to right field for the first out, allowing the runner from third to tag up and give the AppleSox a 3-2 lead.

Michael O’Hara would make it 4-2 with an RBI double, and Frieders hit Dakota Duffalo with a pitch to load the bases once again before he was lifted in place of Owen Wild.

Wild got two strikeouts to finally end the inning, and went three more scoreless, racking up six strikeouts after 3.1 innings of work.

The Pippins were able to tie the game back up in the third inning, led off by Chaz Myers singling to left field and taking advantage of a lazy throw back to the pitcher to take second base. Sam Olsson grounded out to move Myers to third base.

Michael Carpentier Jr. hit a soft line drive to center field that O’Hara went sliding for and missed, allowing the ball to roll out to near the warning track as Carpentier sprinted around for his second triple of the season and scored Myers.

Carpentier would score on a double by Mason Marenco to tie the game back up, 4-4, letting Frieders (3-2, 3.61 ERA) off the hook for the decision.

The Pippins capitalized on an error by shortstop Garrett Cutting to take a one-run lead in the fourth, and Austin Plante clobbered a two-run home run to right field in the fifth to give the Pippins a 7-4 lead. Plante’s double and home run were the first two extra-base hits of the season for him.

Miller was eventually lifted with two outs in the fifth inning after allowing his 12th hit, a single to Spencer Marenco. Despite the seven runs (six earned) against him and the hit total, he had not walked or struck out a batter in his 4.2 innings.

Skylar Hales entered and stymied the Pippins’ hitters, retiring the first eight batters he faced – including striking out six in a row at one point.

The Pippins would notch just two hits against Hales and one walk, failing to score for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, the AppleSox mounted a comeback in the sixth inning. Wild came back out for the sixth and immediately allowed just his second hit of the outing – a leadoff single to former Gig Harbor High School teammate Zach Toglia.

Toglia managed to steal second and move to third on a wild pitch while Wild got a flyout and his seventh strikeout, but he walked the next two batters to load the bases with two outs. Duffalo cleared the bases with a double, tying the game at 7-7.

Peysen Sweeney took over for Wild (2-0, 2.89 ERA), striking out pinch-hitter Tino Bethancourt to end the sixth.

In the seventh, Sweeney allowed a leadoff single to Collin Villegas, who moved to second on a wild pitch and tagged up to third when A.J. Guerrero flew out to right field for the first out. Toglia walked and stole his second base of the game, allowing both runners to score on a two-out single by Cutting, giving the AppleSox a 9-7 lead.

They would add four more runs on four hits and a pair of walks before Case Matter came in to relieve Sweeney (0-1, 7.20), who was tagged with the loss, with one out and runners on first and second base.

Matter (0-0, 8.59 ERA) allowed a single to Van De Brake that was misplayed in the outfield, allowing both runners to score and the AppleSox to take a 15-7 lead, before striking out the last two batters of the inning.

Taylor Holder singled in the ninth, but the Pippins offense remained quiet for the final frame, evening the series up at one win apiece.

The Pippins and AppleSox conclude their series Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 p.m. They will take Monday off before welcoming Cowlitz to Yakima Tuesday.

By Chris Rosato Jr.

July 25, 2021