YAKIMA, Wash.- The Pippins were in desperate need of a win in their first game back home, and a walk-off double did the job.
Game 1 of the 8-game home stand saw the Pippins take on the Cascade League Showcase team in a non-league matchup, and the league’s best started out strong.
An RBI triple from Jackson Lind would open up the scoring in the first and an error would set up 2 more to score in the 2nd.
Once again, the Pippins would have to play from behind and would rely on sloppy play to slowly chip away. Gaven Mattson scored on an error in the 3rd and another error saw Liam McCallum cross the plate.
The 3-2 score wouldn’t last long, as the Cascade League players would extend their lead in the 5th. After 2 quick outs from starter Quinten O’Connor, Jackson Lind’s solo blast would set off a spree of 6 straight batters to reach, and 3 would cross the plate.
They would push it to a 7-2 lead when a sacrifice fly brought home a run in the 6th.
Down by 5 entering the bottom of the 7th, the Pippins needed a spark. With 2 outs it would come in the form of an error. The throw to first on a routine ground ball would get away, allowing a run to score, and an RBI single and RBI double would follow to trim the lead.
The Showcase team would get one back in the 8th but the Pippins would answer immediately with some small ball. A bunt allowed a run to score on a wild pitch and then an RBI hit-by-pitch would add another.
With the bases loaded and one out, a strikeout and caught stealing at the plate would end the 8th with the Pippins trailing 8-7.
Jack O’Connor, a new addition to the Pippins roster, left the Showcase scoreless in the 9th, sending it to the bottom half.
Jaxon Sorenson would start it off with a bang, when he blasted the first home run at the Orchard this season over the right field fence to tie up the game.
All the momentum swung back to the Pippins, but they couldn’t capitalize as another strikeout and caught stealing at the plate would send us to extras.
O’Connor struck out the side in order in the 10th but again the bats couldn’t score in the bottom half and we would go to the 11th.
Again, O’Connor would retire the side in order. He finished his first Pippins appearance with 4 innings out of relief, allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts.
Hank Dunn pinch hit to start things off as he shot a leadoff base hit through the right side. A failed bunt put Tyler Griggs on first with one away and up came Sam Olsson.
Olsson’s last outing was game 2 against Corvallis, and he was robbed of 2 hits at the plate. He came off of the bench seeing the ball well and would face YVC’s Tyler Drisch.
After the count was worked full, a payoff was sent over the head of the right fielder and off of the wall, scoring Griggs from first and winning the game.
It was the first Pippins walkoff of the season and ended a 4 game losing streak.
Yakima Valley looks to carry the momentum back into league play, when they take on the Bend Elks with 4 games in 3 days.
Tickets are still available at pippinsbaseball.com/tickets.