It took another eighth inning rally, but the Pippins were able to pull out a 5-4 win over the AppleSox for their ninth straight victory.
Mason Wells took the ball for the Pippins and was coming off of two starts where he struggled. The AppleSox got on the board right away on a two out RBI single off the bat of Mason Marenco. Wells stranded runners at first and second in the inning which would be a theme throughout his start.
Curtis Bafus got the start for the AppleSox and was nearly unhittable. Through the first four innings the Pippins had only one baserunner, a leadoff single by Tyler Lasch in the second inning. He would be stranded at first base.
Wells matched zeros with Bafus after the first inning. Through his 6.2 innings, Wells pitched with runners aboard in six innings and stranded runners in scoring position in four of them.
In the fifth inning, the Pippins had their first opportunity to score. After back to back walks with two outs, Robert Ball hit a hard groundball that ate up Jacob Prater at second base. Sam Mitchell was able to score from second to tie the score at one.
The game would remain 1-1 until the eighth. Wells was relieved by Drew Hurst who finished off the seventh and came in for the eighth. An error by Lasch put the leadoff man aboard and three batters later, with runners at first and second, Dawson Day knocked a single to right to put the AppleSox back in front 2-1. Kaleb Strawn would finish off the eighth and strand runners at second and third.
Bafus continued to dominate the Pippins offense and would end up throwing seven innings of one run ball. The run was unearned.
With a 2-1 lead, the AppleSox turned to Jeremy Yelland out of the bullpen and for the second straight night, the Pippins needed a rally.
With two outs and a runner at first, it looked like the Pippins would end up needing a walkoff in the ninth. Jake Moberg was able to extend the inning with a walk and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Lasch followed with a groundball to shortstop that could have ended the inning. Marenco buried the throw to first and it got beyond Connor McCord which allowed both runs to score. For the first time in the game, the Pippins had a lead. After back to back walks loaded the bases, pinch hitter Chris Arpan got some insurance runs with a two run single.
Tanner Inouye came out of the bullpen to protect the 5-2 lead. The Pippins would end up needing those insurance runs as McCord cranked a two run shot over the right field wall with one out to bring the AppleSox within a run. Inouye regrouped and got the final two outs of the inning to seal a 5-4 win, the Pippins ninth straight.
The Pippins can take the series and extend their winning streak to double digits tomorrow in game two against the AppleSox. First pitch at 6:05.
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