Pippins fail to close gap, drop penultimate regular-season game
The Wenatchee AppleSox won a close second game in Yakima, evening up the series ahead of the regular season finale Thursday.
The Pippins held a momentary lead after scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning on two consecutive Wenatchee errors.
Connor Wilson started on the mound for the Pippins and retired the first eight batters he faced, but the streak was snapped when Garrett Cutting singled with two outs in the third inning. Wilson (0-0, 3.00 ERA) then walked the next two batters to load the bases, and Collin Villegas cleared them with a double to give Wenatchee a 3-1 lead.
The Pippins loaded the bases to start the bottom half of the third – in part, thanks to another error by the AppleSox. Mason Marenco brought in a run with a sacrifice fly and Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek drove in Blake Dickman from second base with a single to tie the game.
The tie didn’t hold long, though, as relief pitcher Peysen Sweeney walked and hit a batter in the fourth inning, and Cutting knocked his fourth triple of the season to give the AppleSox a 5-3 lead.
Sweeney (0-2, 5.82 ERA) would settle in after that and turn in a scoreless fifth inning, but wound up eating the loss.
Dylan Bishop (6-1, 3.88 ERA) struck out three batters over two innings of relief for the Pippins to follow up Sweeney’s performance. Landon Schirer took over in the eighth, hitting the first batter before a strikeout and fielder’s choice left Jackson Van De Brake on first base with two outs. Schirer (0-1, 2.57 ERA) picked him off to end the inning.
Martin-Grudzielanek’s bat again helped the Pippins in the bottom of the eighth, dropping a bloop single into right field to bring in Dickman and make it a one-run game, but the Pippins could not close the gap.
Owen Wild (3-0, 3.28 ERA) struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning. In the bottom half, Spencer Marenco started the inning with a pinch-hit walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but he was ultimately stranded there to end the game.
The Pippins and AppleSox will wrap up their regular seasons Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. as the Pippins celebrate Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Valley Mall, with fireworks after the game and the first 1,000 fans receiving a souvenir Scott T. Pippin bobblehead.