NANAIMO, BC.- The Pippins picked up their 9th win of the second half in a dominant 8-0 win over Nanaimo.
The lefty tallied his 3rd win of the year in grand fashion, as the Pippins picked up their 2nd shutout of the season.
Grothues was coming off a tough outing against Kamloops, in which he didn’t record an out allowing 2 runs on 3 walks. The incoming freshman at UCLA bounced back with his best start of the campaign.
The first 3 innings Grothues only faced 9 batters, allowing 1 to reach on a walk but Jake Borst caught him stealing.
This allowed the Pippins to strike first in the 3rd, when a 2-out blast from Seth Ryberg sailed over the right field fence to make it 1-0.
Grothues and Nanaimo starter Garrett Goodall would match each other stride-for-stride after that. A scoreless 5th inning on both sides and a 1-2-3 top of the 6th set up an action-packed bottom half.
Grothues got into his first trouble all game when a 1-out single became the first hit against the lefty 5.1 innings in.
He struck out the next batter but a wild pitch escaped Jake Borst and allowed him to reach. A 2-out hit-by-pitch loaded the bases and the Night Owls were primed to strike.
He would face cleanup hitter Landon Frei out of the University of Utah with the bases loaded and leading 1-0. After a great at-bat, another nasty curveball from Grothues became his 4th strikeout of the inning, 8th of the game, and left the bases juiced.
The lefty was fired up coming off the mound, which prompted Frei to yell from the batters box, and after a few seconds of chirps, Frei was ejected from the game.
Grothues’ day would end with 6 scoreless innings allowing 1-hit and striking out 8. The Pippins would use that momentum of the 6th to tally 6 runs in the 7th inning.
With 2-outs Seth Ryberg would strike again with a 2-RBI single, his 3rd hit of the game. 2 more singles would follow including an RBI from Jackson Reed, setting up Jaxon Sorenson with a runner on.
On the first pitch following a long mound visit, Sorenson hit an absolute bomb 102 mph off the bat and a no-doubter for his 3rd WCL and his 4th overall home run of the campaign.
Peysen Sweeney replaced the Pippins starter in the 7th and finished with 3 scoreless and hitless innings to put game one on ice against the Night Owls.
Another Jackson Reed RBI single in the 9th made in 8-0 and that would be the last of the scoring as Yakima Valley took the victory, the 8th of their last 9.
With Portland ending a 10-game win streak, the Pippins move to 2 games back of the South Division second half leaders.
They look to win their 4th straight series in the second game in Nanaimo Tuesday at 6:35. Audio stream can be found at mixlr.com/pippinsbaseball.