Connor White Nearly Perfect in Three Inning Spot Start but Pippins Fall to Bells
On a day where Pippins closer Connor White got the start and went three innings of hitless ball, a bloop base hit in the ninth sent the Pippins to their second straight loss.
Over the last two seasons with the Pippins, White had appeared in 29 games, all out of the bullpen and picking up 14 saves along the way. On Saturday, he wouldn’t end the game, but start it.
White was strong right away, retiring the Bells in order in the first inning. White wouldn’t allow a baserunner until the third inning.
In the second, the Pippins would get on the board without a hit. With starter Grant Holman on the mound, Kyle Dean lead off the inning with a walk and stole second. A deep fly ball by Andrew Schleusner would allow Dean to tag and get into third. Sam Mitchell followed with a groundball to second, scoring Dean and giving the Pippins a 1-0 lead.
In the third, White would allow his first baserunner, a one out walk to Cody Pasic. He would not move beyond first and White posted another zero in the third before the Pippins went to the bullpen.
Lucas Juarez relieved White in the fourth and posted another zero with two strikeouts. In the bottom half of the inning, the Pippins grabbed another run courtesy of a solo home run by Cole Pofek leading off the inning. The home run was the first hit of the game.
The Pippins and Bells would trade zeros until the seventh inning. With Juarez still on the mound, the first two batters of the inning reached on walks. Cole Joy dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. After a walk to Landen Kimbro, Cody Pasic hit a line drive off of Bryce Wooldridge’s glove at first allowing a run to score. Jack Machtolf followed with an RBI single to tie the game at two. The Pippins were able to get out of the inning with a double play to keep the score tied.
The game would stay tied until the ninth inning. With Jake Moberg on the mound, Cole Joy lead off the inning with a single. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second and a fly ball to the wall in right field put Joy at third. With two outs and on a 1-2 pitch, Jordan Stoner hit a bloop fly ball down the right field line just staying fair. The single gave the Bells a 3-2 lead.
The Pippins tried to fight back in the bottom of the ninth with Cody Jefferis leading of the inning with a walk, then stole second. With two outs and Jefferis still and second, Schleusner hit a groundball up the middle but second baseman Kimbro was able to range over and make the throw to first for the final out.
With the loss the Pippins dropped 10-13 while the Bells moved to 17-6. The series finale is on Sunday with first pitch at 6:05.