Despite a two run home run by Sam Mitchell, the Pippins five game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday as they lost to the Portland Pickles 7-4.
Sean Mullen got the start for the Pippins and it was his first appearance on the mound this season. After the Pippins stranded runners at first and third in the first inning, Mullen came out in the bottom half of the inning and plunked Gio Diaz. A single by Carson Breshears would move Diaz to second. Sam Novitske would follow with fly ball to deep left field that glanced off of Mitchell’s glove, scoring two runs. Later in the inning, Brody Barnum would double in another run, increasing the Pickles lead to 3-0. Mullen would get out of the inning by getting Davis Delorefice to fly out.
The Pippins would answer in the second inning. Two walks would put runners on first and second with one out. Bryce Wooldridge would then hit a bloop single to right that shattered his bat and scored two runs. The Pickles would grab another run in the bottom half of the inning, with a Diaz double that scored a run. Luckily for the Pippins, Diaz was thrown out trying to get to third. Mullen would be pulled later in the inning and Tanner Inouye would record the final out of the inning.
In the third inning, the Pippins would even the score. After a leadoff single by Elijah Greene, Sam Mitchell smashed a ball over the right field fence and into the Pippins bullpen, knotting the score at four. After the home run, the Pippins offense would go silent, only having one base runner the rest of the game.
Inouye would cruise until the sixth where two walks and a run scoring single put the Pickles back in front 5-4. Jack Gonzales came in and recorded the final two outs of the inning.
Michael Bovee Jr. would come in in the seventh inning after Gonzales gave up a leadoff walk. Bovee Jr. would get some help from a sacrifice bunt attempt that turned into a 2-6-3 double play. With two outs and no one on, Bovee Jr. ran into control problems, walking two batters and hitting another, setting up a bases loaded opportunity for the Pickles. A Delorefice single would put two more runs up, pushing the score to 7-4.
On offense, the Pippins were completely outmatched by Michael Newstrom. Over four innings, Newstrom struck out 10 batters and did not allow a base runner. Only two balls were put in play.
Brad Bonnefant would finish off the Pippins with a 1-2-3 ninth, sending the Pippins to their first loss in nearly a week.
The Pippins will look to get even in the series in game 2 on Wednesday. First pitch at 7:05.