Stumbo's gem, Carpentier's bomb put Pippins one win away from WCL title
The year of firsts continued Tuesday for the Yakima Valley Pippins, as they broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning and went on to defeat the Corvallis Knights in game one of the franchise’s first West Coast League Championship Series.
Peyton Stumbo started on the mound for the Pippins and turned in a gem, tossing seven scoreless innings while striking out four and walking two. He allowed just three hits to the Knights offense, and not more than one in a single inning.
Sam Stuhr started on the mound for Corvallis and was not as crisp, allowing a hit, two walks and hitting a batter over his first four innings. His defense also made an error in the third inning, but the Pippins failed to capitalize.
He gave way to Brett Gillis in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out, and Gillis was able to strand all three runners. He would add another scoreless inning, and the game sat at a scoreless tie heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
Taylor Holder led off the inning with a double to left-center that almost mirrored the ball he hit for a two-run double Monday night. Connor Coballes followed with a dribbler up the middle that he likely had beat out as Holder moved to third, but second baseman Travis Bazzana made a throw to first on the run that short-hopped Kiko Romero and flew into the air. Holder was able to score to give the Pippins a 1-0 lead.
Case Matter came on to record the final six outs to protect the one-run lead and started strong, striking out the first two batters of the inning. Things turned when Bazzana hit a sharp ball past Willie Lajoie at first and sprinted around for a double, and Briley Knight reached on a dropped third strike that moved Bazzana to third base.
Nick Vogt then singled through the right side of the infield to score Bazzana and tie the game. Matter induced a groundout to send his team back to the plate with the score tied at 1-1.
Michael Carpentier Jr. immediately put his team back on top with a bomb to right field on the first pitch out of the hand of new pitcher Chase Walter. Walter settled in for a strikeout and groundout, but Shanks doubled and Holder hit his second double of the night to add another run.
After Coballes walked, Chaz Myers singled into left field to score Holder and give the Pippins a 4-1 lead.
Matter returned for the ninth, now in line for the win after the blown save, and struck out two batters as he retired the side to slam the door.
With their win in game one, the Pippins are now one win away from the franchise’s first WCL Championship. Game two will be played in Corvallis on Thursday at 6:35 p.m.