Matt Driver’s Strong Start and Early Offense Help Pippins Avoid Sweep

By Kevin Vallene | Jun 07, 2018

The Pippins were able to avoid the sweep and take the final game of the three game series against the Victoria HarbourCats.

The Pippins got on the board quickly in the top of the first inning. Conor Allard (U of Nevada, Reno) lead off the game with a single and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Sam Mitchell (MSU Billings) followed with a double, scoring Allard from third and giving the Pippins a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless bottom of the first inning the Pippins would add another run in the second with an RBI single from Victor Cerny (Cal St Northridge) scoring Chris Arpan (U of Portland) from second base. The HarbourCats would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning with a two out double from Adam Imwalle (State College of Florida) and an RBI single by Ryan Green would pull the Harbourcats within a run, For Pippins starter Matt Driver (Lewis-Clark St), that was the only run he would allow.

In the first two games of this series, Pippins starters had a tough time going deep into the game throwing strikes. The story was different on Thursday as Driver threw six innings of one run ball without walking a batter. He struck out seven along the way.

The Pippins would continue to add on with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth with Mitch Dean (Spokane Falls CC) playing a part in both innings, doubling and scoring in the fourth and knocking an RBI single to score Grant DeLappe (WSU).

The five runs would be more than enough for the Pippins. Lucas Juarez (Cal Poly SLO) would take over for Driver in the seventh and went two innings giving up just a lone run on a blooping fly ball hit by Nick Plaia (California Baptist) that Jonathan Imperial (US Air Force Academy) couldn’t get to with a dive. On the throw to third as Plaia tried to take the extra base, the throw got away from Dean and Plaia came all the way around to score to make it 5-2.

That was where the score would stay as 2017 WCL All-Star Connor White (U of Portland) came in to close out the ninth and with the help of a double play, set down the HarbourCats to seal the Pippins 5-2 win. With the win, the Pippins go to 3-3 on the season and the Harbourcats fell to 3-3. The Pippins will return home to face the Bend Elks on Friday, first pitch at 6:35.

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