Huge 9th Inning Highlights 18 Unanswered for Bend

YAKIMA, Wash.- The Pippins looked to take the momentum of their walkoff last night into league play against the Bend Elks.

It was a solid open for Yakima Valley, as Michael Rice shined through the first 3 innings of his 2nd start of the year.

He retired the first 7 batters of the game and struck out 3 without allowing a run, and the Pippins bats would pick him up.

With 2 outs in the 2nd, Luke Rohleder would plate 2 with an RBI single. The Pippins would explode for 5 more in the 3rd, capped with a Jaxon Sorenson 3-run home run, which was his 3rd of the year and 2nd in 2 days.

The 7-0 lead wouldn’t last long, as the Elks found success against Rice in the top of the 4th. 7 straight batters would reach with the only outs coming on a fielder’s choice and a caught stealing and 4 would score.

They would level the score the following inning with a pair of home runs from Elijah Jackson and Beau Sylvester. This would chase Rice and bring in the first reliever Daniel Charron.

After this both sides would quiet down offensively. Charron would use a double play and a strikeout to leave two stranded in the 6th, then the Pippins would retire 6 in a row.

3 separate pitchers for the Elks held the Pippins scoreless through 8 and we would enter the 9th tied at 7.

This is where things would go haywire. The ninth inning was not kind to the Pippins, and after it looked like new arm Peysen Sweeney would escape a leadoff double with a groundout, a borderline 2-2 pitch was a called a ball and everything would snowball.

Instead of 2 outs and the runner on third, the batter would walk, and 11 straight Elks batters would reach to explode out to a 18-7 lead.

The Pippins couldn’t do anything in the bottom half and the Elks took game one.

It was the 2nd time this season the Pippins have entered the 9th inning tied and lost before extra innings.

The good thing about baseball is that there is always the next at-bat. In this case, it will come at 6:35 tomorrow as the Pippins will try and take game 2 against the Elks.

By Zach McKinstry

June 22, 2022