Lajoie, Kuykendall earn second-team honors; Bishop, Carpentier Jr., Johnson, Wild receive honorable mention
YAKIMA, Wash. – Noah Williamson, the upstart outfielder who came out of relative obscurity earlier this year to be drafted and sign professionally midway through the summer, has been named to the All-West Coast League first team for the 2021 season.
Williamson, who signed in late July with the Miami Marlins organization after being drafted in the 19th round, was one of seven Yakima Valley Pippins to earn all-league honors this year, but the only first-team selection.
First baseman Willie Lajoie (Chico State, senior) and starting pitcher Seth Kuykendall (Western Oregon, senior) were named to the second team. Pitchers Dylan Bishop (Whitworth), Kenny Johnson (Cal State Bakersfield) and Owen Wild (Gonzaga), and catcher Michael Carpentier Jr. (Cal Baptist) all earned honorable mention recognition.
Williamson hit .279 (34 for 122) with 10 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 28 RBI for the Pippins in 31 WCL games, capping his amateur career with a 2-for-5 effort against Cowlitz on July 27 before turning pro.
Lajoie hit .253 (44-for-39) with 26 RBI and four home runs in 45 games, highlighted by a 3-for-5, four-RBI effort against Portland on Aug. 6 that included a home run.
The right-handed Kuykendall compiled a 4-4 record during the regular season and the Pippins’ historic playoff run, finishing with a 3.75 ERA in 61.3 innings that included 43 strikeouts and just 13 walks in his 11 starts. His longest effort was an eight-inning gem in Wenatchee on July 25, in which he struck out five and walked non while facing 27 batters.
Bishop was 6-1 for the Pippins during the regular season and playoffs, starting eight games over his 12 appearances. In 48 innings, he struck out 38 and walked 17 while compiling a 4.88 ERA.
In 11 starts, Johnson finished with a 5-5 record, striking out 62 and walking 29 in 55.3 innings for a 4.88 ERA.
Wild was 3-0 with five saves for the Pippins, striking out 64 and walking 27 in 42.6 innings for a 3.38 ERA.
Carpentier Jr. batted .257 (26 for 101) in 27 games, with four doubles, two triples and three home runs, including a home run against Corvallis in the WCL championship series opening game that helped propel the Pippins to their first-even championship series victory, 4-1, at Yakima County Stadium on Aug. 17.
Since the team’s inception in 2014, 14 Pippins players have earned All-WCL first-team honors.
The Pippins’ eighth West Coast League season will begin in June 2022.
The complete All-WCL teams:
All-WCL First Team
C – Colin Wetterau (St. John’s, junior), Walla Walla Sweets
1B – Coby Morales (Cypress College, frosh), Ridgefield Raptors
2B – Travis Bazzana (Oregon State, frosh), Corvallis Knights
3B – Leo Mosby (UC Santa Barbara, soph), Portland Pickles
SS – John Peck (Pepperdine, frosh), Ridgefield Raptors
OF – Nick Vogt (UC Santa Barbara, soph), Corvallis Knights
OF – Noah Williamson (Everett CC, soph), Yakima Valley Pippins
OF – Sam Linscott (Lewis-Clark State, senior), Bend Elks
UTL – Adam Grob (South Carolina Upstate, junior), Wenatchee AppleSox
DH – Will Chambers (College of the Canyons, freshman), Ridgefield Raptors
SP – Eric Chavarria (Lewis-Clark State, senior), Bellingham Bells
SP – Kelly Austin (UCLA, frosh), Cowlitz Black Bears
SP – Alex Giroux (Clark College, soph), Portland Pickles
SP – Jaren Hunter (Oregon State, frosh), Ridgefield Raptors
SP – Ty Uber (Stanford, frosh), Corvallis Knights
RP – Josh Mollerus (San Francisco, junior), Portland Pickles
RP – Caden Kaelber (Washington State, junior), Walla Walla Sweets
All-WCL Second Team
C – Gavin Logan (Oregon State, junior), Bend Elks
1B – Willie Lajoie (Chico State, senior), Yakima Valley Pippins
2B – Rikuu Nishida (Mt. Hood CC, soph), Cowlitz Black Bears
3B – Julian Kodama (Seattle U, senior), Bend Elks
SS – Nick Oakley (UC Santa Barbara, soph), Port Angeles Lefties
OF – Caden Connor (Cal State Fullerton, soph), Ridgefield Raptors
OF – Robert Guardino (Wofford, junior), Portland Pickles
OF – Daniel Gernon (Lower Columbia College, senior), Bellingham Bells
UTL – Bennett Thompson (Oregon, freshman), Bend Elks
SP – Brad McVay (Portland, junior), Portland Pickles
SP – Travis Craven (Whitman, senior), Walla Walla Sweets
SP – Seth Kuykendall (Western Oregon, senior), Yakima Valley Pippins
SP – Ryan Harvey (UC Santa Barbara, soph), Ridgefield Raptors
SP – Ethan Ross (San Jose State, soph), Corvallis Knights
RP – Keegan Wright (San Diego Christian, frosh), Cowlitz Black Bears
RP – Nathaniel Mendoza (Cal State San Bernadino, soph), Corvallis Knights
All-WCL Honorable Mention
Bellingham: Hunter Alberini (Umpqua CC), Ryan Beitel (British Columbia), Emilio Corona (Washington), Malakhi Knight (UCLA), Bennett Lee (Tulane), Ty Saunders (Portland)
Bend: Greg Fuchs (Oregon State), Daniel Garcia (Grand Canyon), Dillon Holliday (Dixie State), Chase Matheny (South Carolina Upstate), Collin Montez (Washington State), Gavin Rork (Seattle U), Aidan Welch (Seattle U),
Corvallis: Kiko Romero (Central Arizona College), Tanner Smith (Oregon State)
Cowlitz: Carson Angeroth (Umpqua CC), Brock Bozett (Spokane Falls CC), Broc Mortensen (UC Santa Barbara)
Port Angeles: Zach Thomas (Dixie State)
Portland: Jacob Jablonski (Chico State), Matt Jew (Santa Clara), Jared Villalobos (Cuesta College)
Ridgefield: Kody Darcy (Nicholls State), Reece Hernandez (San Jose State), Nick Nygard (Portland)
Walla Walla: Paul Myro (Oregon State), Parker Price (Northwest Nazarene)
Wenatchee: Enzo Apodaca (Gonzaga), Skylar Hales (Santa Clara)
Yakima Valley: Dylan Bishop (Whitworth), Michael Carpentier Jr. (Cal Baptist), Kenny Johnson (Cal State Bakersfield), Owen Wild (Gonzaga)Read Less
In a season of firsts for the Yakima Valley Pippins, the team grinded out a season in which they won their division in both halves of the regular season, as well as the West Coast League North Divisional Series.
They came one win away from securing the franchise’s first league title.
It was a long season, so let’s look back at how the summer unfolded as West Coast League baseball returned to The Orchard for the first time since 2019.
The Pippins had a dominant start to their season, winning eight out of their first 10 West Coast League games. That included defeating the four-time defending champion Corvallis Knights on opening day on June 4, 10-1, and splitting the next two games to win the series.
A great story from Chase Graves about a young fan at last night’s season opener. That’s what summer baseball is all about!
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) June 5, 2021
The Pippins then traveled to Bellingham, dropping game one before winning the next two games to kick off a franchise-record 12-game win streak.
The Pippins returned home June 11-13 to host the Ridgefield Raptors, walking things off in a 12-inning thriller on a base hit by Taylor Holder that scored Noah Williamson in the series opener. Williamson had also hit two triples in that game, becoming the first Pippins player to accomplish the feat.
Wanting to avoid another drawn-out win, the Pippins exploded for 17 runs to take down the Raptors in the middle game. The weather was not very cooperative in the finale, forcing a rain delay, but the Pippins outlasted the Raptors for an 8-4 win and their first sweep of the season.
Williamson was named the West Coast League’s Player of the Week, having raised his batting average to .400 with an 11-for-26 week.
The team then took a six-game break from WCL play to welcome in the NW Star Nighthawks for two games, Redmond Dudes on June 17 and the CCL’s Showcase Team June 19-21.
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) June 20, 2021
The Pippins won all six games handily, scoring 10 or more runs in four out of the six games. That included a 22-3 win over the CCL Showcase Team on June 20.
The Pippins returned to WCL play with another series against the Raptors, this time in Ridgefield June 22-24. After a 10-1 Pippins victory in the opener, the Raptors pounced early in the next two games to win the series.
The Pippins returned home to host the Walla Walla Sweets June 25-27. In the opener, Kirby Robertson turned in a great start and gave way to the bullpen in the eighth inning with a 7-3 lead, but they coughed up the lead and the Sweets took game one.
The Sweets scored another four runs in the final two innings of game two, but the Pippins held on for a 9-5 victory to even the series. The rubber match wound up taking 16 innings to decide, with Michael Carpentier Jr. erasing a two-run Sweets lead in the 15th inning with a two-run bomb to right field, and tying the game again with an RBI single in the 16th inning. Sweets reliever Nick Irwin was called for a balk with runners on the corners to bring in the winning run and give the Pippins the series.
Chaz Myers was named the WCL Player of the Week for the week of June 21-27 after posting an 11-for-21 week at the plate. He also hit three doubles in the finale against Walla Walla, tying the Pippins franchise record.
Chaz Myers hit three doubles in a game last night, tying a franchise record. He now has nine on the season, and six of them came in the last week. For that, he was named the @WCLBaseball Moss Adams Player of the Week.
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) June 28, 2021
The Port Angeles Lefties came to town June 29-July 1, taking advantage of four errors in the first inning to get out to a lead they would not return. The Pippins played a cleaner game defensively in game two, but still fell 6-3 as the Lefties won the series.
Facing their first sweep of the season, Chase Graves’ two-run home run gave the Pippins a 4-2 lead in the finale. The Lefties would bring themselves to within one run, but could not close the gap.
The team then departed on a six-game road trip to finish out their first half, sitting on top of the North Division with a three-game lead.
Their first stop was in Bend July 2-4, but the Elks greeted them with a 12-3 defeat in the series opener. The Pippins scored two runs in the first inning of game two and would not score again until the ninth, but the Elks scratched out just one run against Landon Schirer after Tyler Frieders held them off for seven innings and the Pippins tied the series.
The Pippins narrowly edged out a 5-4 win in the finale, leaving just the Sweets with a chance to win the first half title away from the Pippins. That set up an exciting series in Walla Walla July 5-7.
The Pippins needed to win just one game, and got it out of the way early. After Walla got out to an early 2-1 lead, Alex Shanks hit a two-run home run to left field to give the Pippins a 3-2 lead.
The Sweets were able to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth, and the game remained tied until the top of the eighth inning, when Blake Dickman launched a two-run home run down the left field line to give the Pippins the lead. They would add another insurance run in the ninth to win 6-3 and secure the franchise’s first first-half title.
ICYMI: The Pippins are going to the playoffs with the franchise’s first first-half championship!
Watch the moment Blake Dickman gave the Pippins their lead for the final time of the night
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) July 6, 2021
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) July 6, 2021
The Pippins welcomed in the Bellingham Bells to help kick off their second half of the season, and started the half with a 3-2 victory on July 9. Noah Williamson’s solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning turned out to be the difference.
Sorry, we’ll have to catch up after drooling over Noah Williamson’s 429-foot moonshot to lead off the bottom of the 5th. It was 109 mph off the bat.
Payton Robertson on in relief in the 6th and sets the Bells down in order. 3-1 Pippins in the bottom of the 6th
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) July 10, 2021
The Bells dealt the Pippins their first shutout loss of the season in game two, but the Pippins rallied for a win in the finale. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Blake Dickman launched a three-run home run to left field to tie the game. Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double, and Chaz Myers drove him in to give the Pippins a 4-3 lead.
In the 2021 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins selected Pippins outfielder Noah Williamson in the 19th round. Williamson had been leading the Pippins in runs scored, RBI and home runs, among other offensive categories.
The Pippins then played another three-game non-league series, this time hosting the Highline Bears. The Pippins swept the series handily, scoring 10 or more runs in each game. The series was capped off by Brock Molenda and Austin Plante hitting back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning of the finale.
After scoring 38 runs against the Bears, the Pippins were shutout in their next two games as they went on the road to Cowlitz. In game two, Cowlitz pitcher Myles Davis took a perfect game into the seventh inning before allowing his first runner on a walk. He kept the no-hitter alive into the eighth inning, when Alex Shanks singled to end his day.
The Black Bears turned to the bullpen and retired the next six straight for a 3-0, one-hit victory.
Willie Lajoie’s two-run home run in the first inning helped the Pippins squeak out a win in the finale to avoid the sweep.
The Pippins returned home and earned their third series sweep of the season as they downed the Bend Elks July 20-22. The Elks made the middle game interesting, tying the game in the sixth inning. Austin Plante brought Taylor Holder home on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to edge out the Elks, 6-5.
Riding high, the Pippins traveled to Wenatchee to face the AppleSox, the team that head coach Kyle Krustangel coached until 2019.
In his first game back, Krustangel led his team to a 15-5 victory against the AppleSox. Chaz Myers hit a solo home run in the first inning, and Spencer Marenco hit two home runs in the rout.
The Pippins were again out in front in game two, but Wenatchee turned to Skylar Hales in relief, who limited the Pippins to one hit over the last four-plus innings. The AppleSox offense also mounted a comeback and went on to win 15-7.
The series finale was much lower-scoring, and the Pippins pulled off the series win with a 5-1 victory.
Cowlitz took the trip to Yakima July 27-29, and the Pippins nearly swept them after a 12-8 win in the opener and 7-4 victory in the middle game.
After the second game of the series, Williamson agreed to terms with the Miami Marlins to join the professional baseball ranks. He left the team and signed his first professional contract a few days later.
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) July 31, 2021
The Black Bears took advantage of Landon Schirer loading the bases to start the ninth inning of the finale, scoring two runs to break a tie and going on to win 3-1 and avoid the sweep.
The Pippins celebrated Players’ Weekend July 30-31, with special jerseys featuring nicknames on the backs of the teams’ jerseys that were chosen by the players themselves.
the poets the poem pic.twitter.com/nZl2dyiktj
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) August 1, 2021
The festivities began with a 9-5 victory over the Highline Bears and ended with a 22-2 drubbing of the Bears in game two. The climax of the night was Kenny Johnson’s pinch-hit, RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth inning. He would tag up and score on a sacrifice fly to score the final run of the weekend.
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) August 1, 2021
What has been the key to success for the Pippins this summer?
“The fans are incredible, and you have the people who are there every night supporting us and then the families that come for a good time. It’s such a good atmosphere.” – Chase Graves
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) August 2, 2021
After a two-day break, the Pippins set out on the road for a six-game road trip, with drastically different results awaiting them at each end of the trip.
The Pippins traveled down to Corvallis for the first three games. Despite getting out to an early lead in all three games, the Knights came back and won all three to deal the Pippins their first sweep of the season.
Yakima Valley bounced back as they traveled north to Port Angeles and swept the Lefties. After Dylan Bishop completed six shutout innings in the opener, he allowed a two-run home run in the seventh inning and the Pippins turned to Case Matter. Matter would face nine batters to get through the final three innings, striking out all nine of them.
After a 10-1 win in game two, the Pippins found themselves locked up with the Lefties in the afternoon series finale as the game went into the 11th inning. The Pippins scored four runs to take an 11-7 lead, and Owen Wild allowed a pair of runs in his fourth inning of relief to finish off the 11-9 win.
The Pippins ended their regular season with a home set against the Wenatchee AppleSox August 10-12. The Pippins walked things off in the bottom of the ninth in game one after Blake Dickman hit a grounder up the middle that was muffed, allowing Sam Olsson to score the winning run.
After the Pippins won, and a corresponding Bellingham loss, the Pippins secured a second half championship in the North Division. This is the first season in which the Pippins won both halves of the regular season.
Even MORE history: With this walkoff tonight against Wenatchee, and Bellingham getting walked off in Cowlitz, the Pippins have secured first place in the North Division for both halves for the first time in franchise history!#yvpippins #morefunin21 #RollPipps pic.twitter.com/CS8YAQLLEc
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) August 11, 2021
With the Pippins needing to rest some pitchers ahead of the playoffs, the AppleSox were able to end their season on a high note with a pair of wins to take the series win.
The Pippins’ 2021 playoff run got off to a rough start, as the Pippins used four pitchers – neither of whom lasted three innings – and the Bells pounced for a 14-1 win in Bellingham.
Game two returned to Yakima, and the Pippins combined great pitching with a six-run third inning to even the series. Seth Kuykendall allowed three runs (none earned) over 5.2 innings, but he left with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. Owen Wild came on in relief, striking out four over 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to give the Pippins a 6-3 win.
Kirby Robertson took the mound in the decisive game three, and after allowing a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, the Pippins offense scored four in the bottom half to take the lead. Both teams would score a run in the second inning, and the Pippins led 5-3 into the fifth inning.
In the fifth, the Pippins took four walks – two of them with the bases loaded – and added a two-run single by Sam Olsson as well as Willie Lajoie scoring on a wild pitch to take a 10-3 lead.
They would add a run in the eighth inning as Peysen Sweeney and Landon Schirer combined to finish the game and send the Pippins to their first-ever WCL Championship Series with an 11-5 win.
Trying to unseat the four-time defending WCL Champion Corvallis Knights, the Pippins shocked everyone with a 4-1 victory at home on August 17.
Peyton Stumbo took the ball in game one and over-delivered, turning in seven shutout innings against one of the best offenses in the WCL. He struck out four while allowing just three hits, and benefited from terrific defense behind him as well.
Taylor Holder led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double, and he scored when Connor Coballes’ infield single was thrown away at first base to break the scoreless tie.
Case Matter entered in relief in the top of the eighth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced before Travis Bazzana smoked a ball into right field for a double. Matter earned his third strikeout of the inning against Briley Knight, but the ball skipped past catcher Michael Carpentier Jr., allowing Knight to reach and Bazzana to move to third base. Nick Vogt then singled through the right side of the infield to tie the game.
Carpentier Jr. led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run to right field to give the Pippins back the lead. They would add two more runs with two outs on back-to-back doubles by Alex Shanks and Holder, as well as a single by Chaz Myers.
Before game two tonight in Corvallis, relive the Pippins’ first @WCLBaseball Championship Series game, an exciting win in the series opener in Yakima!
— Yakima Valley Pippins (@PippinsBaseball) August 19, 2021
Kenny Johnson turned in a great start in game two, allowing just two runs in five innings while striking out nine. But the Pippins offense was uncharacteristically quiet, scoring just one run against Corvallis starter Ty Uber.
Julian Taudin-Chabot, Payton Robertson and Dylan Bishop combined to keep Corvallis from adding to their lead, but the damage was done and the Knights evened the series with a 2-1 win.
The series concluded in Corvallis on August 20, with the Knights’ offense exploding for 13 runs and the Pippins struggling to generate sustained offense.
The Pippins fell 13-2 in the finale, and the Pippins’ historic run came to an end just short of their first WCL title.Read Less
Franchise's first trip to the WCL Finals ends with loss in game three
A historic 2021 season for the Yakima Valley Pippins came to an end Friday as they fell short in game three of the West Coast League Championship Series against the Corvallis Knights.
After dealing the Pippins a 2-1 loss in game two to force a decisive game three, the Knights exploded for a 13-2 win in the finale to capture their eighth league title, and fifth consecutive dating back to 2016 (the WCL did not hold a season in 2020).
Seth Kuykendall started on the mound for the Pippins and received some tough luck. After retiring the first two Knights in the bottom of the first inning, Nick Vogt singled to continue the inning. Kiko Romero hit a shallow line drive to right field that would have dropped in for a single, but Austin Plante went diving for the ball and missed and the ball rolled to the wall. Vogt scored from first, but Romero was thrown out trying to turn it into an inside-the-park home run when Taylor Holder relayed the ball home through Connor Coballes.
Kuykendall allowed a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the second inning before Travis Bazzana singled home a pair of runs, leaving runners on the corners. Bazzana stole second base, and scored on a tough play in the infield. Briley Knight hit a slow roller to shortstop Coballes, whose throw pulled Willie Lajoie off the bag. The runner from third scored on the initial play, and Bazzana scored as Lajoie was distracted by the play at first.
The Pippins argued that Lajoie’s foot stayed on the bag when he made the catch, but the ruling was upheld.
Vogt followed with an RBI triple, and the Knights were out to a 6-0 lead.
The Pippins were finally able to score against Corvallis starter Ethan Ross in the third inning. Spencer Marenco walked to start the inning, moved to second base on a passed ball and scored on a pair of groundouts to cut the lead to 6-1.
Owen Wild came on in relief in the third inning and struck out six Knights over three scoreless innings while the Pippins offense remained unable to generate offense against Ross.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Wild was ahead of Tanner Smith 0-2 when he got Smith to swing at a breaking ball that got past Sam Olsson. Smith took off for first base, but Olsson collected the ball and threw to first base to retire him.
However, the home plate umpire had not ruled on the swing, and when asked to check with the first base umpire, it was ruled that Smith did not go around. Pippins Head Coach Kyle Krustangel, who had been battling the first base umpire throughout the game on calls, went out to argue and was ejected from the game.
Wild wound up striking out Smith and, after allowing a single to Kyler Stancato, finished the scoreless inning with a third strikeout.
Wild came back out for the sixth inning and allowed a pair of one-out singles to Riley Way and Bazzana. Briley Knight hit a grounder up the middle that Coballes flipped to second base for the second out of the inning, leaving runners on the corners.
Wild then worked Vogt into a 2-2 count, but Vogt was also saved by a check swing that appeared to go around that the umpires ruled he held back on. He followed that call with a two-run double, and Romero singled him home to give the Knights a 9-1 lead.
The Pippins turned to Case Matter with a runner on and two outs, and he induced a flyout by Smith to end the inning.
In the seventh inning, the Knights turned to Drew Dowd, who struck out two and allowed one hit in a scoreless inning. Matter returned for the bottom of the seventh and also struck out two in a perfect inning.
Right-hander Grant Taylor pitched the eighth inning for the Knights, striking out a pair in a 1-2-3 inning to hold the lead.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Pippins handed the ball to Kirby Robertson. Robertson walked the first two batters of the inning before Knight drove them in with a double. After getting pinch-hitter Ethan Loveless to fly out for the first out, Romero launched a two-run home run to left field to give the Knights a 13-1 lead.
Peysen Sweeney was then asked to end the inning, and he got the final two outs with a strikeout and lineout.
The Pippins got some offense going against new Corvallis pitcher Colton Meyer in the ninth inning – Blake Dickman singled to start the inning and scored on a double by Alex Shanks – but the lead proved insurmountable, and the Pippins fell 13-2.
After winning the franchise’s first WCL Championship Series game at home Tuesday, the Pippins were unable to overcome the Knights in two chances in Corvallis, bringing their season to an anti-climactic end.
With the Pippins coaching staff and a number of players returning for the 2022 season, the team stands poised to repeat its historic success next summer. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for announcements about next summer’s roster.Read Less
Following a summer without West Coast League baseball in 2020, the 2021 season will finally reach an exciting conclusion Friday night after the Corvallis Knights avoided being swept in the WCL Championship Series by edging out the Pippins Thursday, 2-1.
Both starting pitchers turned in terrific outings. Ty Uber started for the Knights, allowing just one run over six innings while limiting the Pippins to three hits. He also struck out three without issuing a walk.
His lone blemish came in the top of the third inning, when Alex Shanks led off with a double that bounced over the wall in left field, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor Coballes.
That was all the offense the Pippins would be able to post against Uber despite a leadoff double in the fourth by Sam Olsson.
Kenny Johnson started for the Pippins, and was solid with the exception of the third inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Spencer Scott, walked Riley Way and Travis Bazzana laid down a bunt single to load the bases with no outs.
After Johnson struck out Briley Knight, Nick Vogt hit a weak bouncing ball to shortstop that was cutoff by Chaz Myers from third, but he threw the ball away at first, and two runs scored on the play.
After taking their 2-1 lead, Vogt stole second base and Johnson walked Kiko Romero before striking out Tanner Smith and Kyler Stancato to get out of the inning. Johnson finished with nine strikeouts in five innings and walked two to go with six hits.
Julian Taudin-Chabot pitched a scoreless sixth inning despite allowing a two-out walk and single, striking out Way to escape the jam.
Payton Robertson came out for the seventh and struck out Bazzana, but he hit Knight and walked Vogt, and the Pippins turned to Dylan Bishop.
Bishop got out of the inning with a strikeout and lineout, then pitched a scoreless eighth inning to hold the Knights to a one-run lead, but the Pippins offense struggled.
Sean Wiese and Connor Redmond split the final three innings for the Knights. Wiese allowed a walk and hit in 1.2 innings, and Redmond recorded the final four outs for the save. He struck out the last two batters he faced to slam the door.
The West Coast League season will finally come to an end Friday, with game three being played in Corvallis at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
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.Read Less
Pippins to host Corvallis in game one Tuesday
With an 11-5 victory over the Bellingham Bells in their West Coast League North Divisional Series, the Yakima Valley Pippins have advanced to the WCL Championship Series for the first time in franchise history.
The Pippins will host the Corvallis Knights for game one Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m., and the two teams will meet in Corvallis for games two and, if necessary, three Thursday and Friday.
The Pippins benefited from a six-inning quality start by Kirby Robertson, who allowed just three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out three. He hit a speedbump in the first inning, giving up a two-run home run to Luis Aviles, his second of the series, to give the Bells a 2-0 lead.
Bells starter Joey Dixon had worse luck, walking Connor Coballes and Chaz Myers to start the game before Sam Olsson scored Coballes with a single. Dixon then walked Willie Lajoie to load the bases without an out.
Dixon settled in after a mound visit from pitching coach Jim Clem, but inducing a groundout from Michael Carpentier Jr. allowed Myers to score from third base to tie the game. After Blake Dickman lined out to the second baseman, Taylor Holder ripped a double to left field to give the Pippins a 4-2 lead.
Robertson allowed a leadoff double to AJ Davis in the second inning, and he would score on a base hit by Emilio Corona to cut the lead to just one run. In the bottom half of the inning, the Pippins got their run back after Spencer Marenco reached on an error to start the inning and scored on a double by Connor Coballes.
Robertson allowed just one more hit and recorded all three of his strikeouts after the second inning.
Lajoie singled to start the bottom of the fifth inning against new Bells pitcher Will Armbruester, and Armbruester would load the bases with one out before allowing Lajoie to score on a wild pitch. He walked the next three batters to load the bases again and force home a pair of runs before he gave way to Greg Blackman.
Blackman struck out Myers for the second out of the inning, but Olsson produced a two-run single to cap off the five-run fifth and give the Pippins a 10-3 lead.
Blackman would finish the game for Bellingham, tossing two scoreless innings before Lajoie doubled in the eighth and scored on a single by Corey Jarrell.
Peysen Sweeney took over on the mound for the Pippins in the seventh inning. He walked the leadoff batter before retiring the next three for a scoreless frame.
Landon Schirer pitched the eighth and ninth innings. After a scoreless eighth inning, he entered the ninth with an eight-run lead. He allowed two runs on three hits and one walk in the inning before sealing the win with his first strikeout of the night.
The Pippins have met the Knights twice in the playoffs previously and have one win against them, but had never won a playoff series before this season. Tuesday will be the first time the two teams meet in the WCL Championship Series.Read Less
Pippins force decisive game three to be played Monday at The Orchard
The Yakima Valley Pippins evened the West Coast League North Divisional Series with the Bellingham Bells, riding a six-run third inning and two great pitching performances.
The win was a first for the franchise against the Bellingham Bells in the playoffs and just their second playoff win overall. The Pippins are now one win away from their first-ever WCL Championship Series.
Seth Kuykendall started on the mound for the Pippins, turning in 5.2 innings without allowing an earned run. His lone blemished inning came when Connor Coballes overthrew first base on a ground ball that could have been the third out.
Instead, the inning continued and Malakhi Knight singled home a pair of runs. After Emilio Corona moved him to third base with a single, putting runners on the corners with two outs, Corona was intentionally caught stealing second base after getting into a pickle that allowed Knight to score.
The three runs were all for the Bells, but they came close to adding to their total in the sixth inning, when Kuykendall walked two and allowed the singles to load the bases with two outs.
The Pippins then turned to Owen Wild, who needed just one pitch to induce a groundout and escape the jam.
The Pippins put together five hits and took advantage of an error in the bottom of the third inning to chase Bells starter Zack Simon and take the lead away from Bellingham.
After Alex Shanks singled to lead off the inning, Taylor Holder hit a ground ball to third baseman AJ Davis, whose throw to start a double play skipped away from second baseman Ty Saunders and everyone was safe. Connor Coballes singled to load the bases with no outs.
Chaz Myers dropped a bloop single into center field to bring home the first Pippins run of the game, and Sam Olsson was hit by a pitch to force home a second run. The Bells then turned to Ryan Beitel.
Beitel started by striking Willi Lajoie out with a full count for the first out, but Michael Carpentier Jr. softly lined a ball over the head of Davis into left field, scoring Coballes and Myers to give the Pippins a 4-3 lead. Blake Dickman singled home Olsson, and Carpentier Jr. scored from third when Mason Marenco beat out the second half of a double play to put Yakima Valley ahead 6-3.
Wild continued his outing in the seventh, allowing a two-out single and double but stranding both runners with his second strikeout. After a scoreless eighth, he struck out the first two batters of the ninth inning and worked around a single to finish off the save.
Kuykendall earned the win and was one out shy of recording a quality start.
With Bellingham’s win Saturday, the series will be decided Monday night at The Orchard, and the winner will take on the Corvallis Knights in the WCL Championship Series beginning Tuesday. Monday night’s game will start at 7:05 p.m., and tickets are available at PippinsTickets.com.Read Less
The Bellingham Bells roughed up the Yakima Valley Pippins in the first game of the WCL North Divisional Round, winning 14-1 at home to open the series.
Connor Coballes started the game with an eight-pitch walk, and Chaz Myers followed by reaching on catcher’s interference. Both runners moved up on a groundout by Sam Olsson, and Willie Lajoie drove in Coballes with a single to give the Pippins an early 1-0 lead.
The Bells responded in the bottom of the first inning against Kenny Johnson, with Bennett Lee starting the inning with a double. He would score on a single to tie the game.
From that point on, the momentum was decidedly with the Bells, who scored at least two runs in every other inning except for the sixth and eighth innings.
Johnson was lifted after two complete innings in favor of Dylan Bishop. Johnson had allowed four runs on six hits and took the loss. Bishop also struggled, allowing four runs over the next two innings. He went out for the fifth, but allowed back-to-back home runs to Luis Aviles and Cole Hinkleman before the Pippins turned to Payton Robertson. Robertson also allowed a run in the inning, but held the Bells off by stranding the bases loaded in the sixth.
He allowed two more runs in the seventh inning before giving way to Julian Taudin-Chabot in the eighth. Taudin-Chabot allowed a two-out walk in an otherwise uneventful eighth inning.
For the Bells, Tommy O’Rourke started on the mound. He gave up the lone run in four innings of work, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Looking to preserve his arm for a future playoff game, the Bells turned to Trevin Hope, who entered with an 8-1 lead, in the fifth.
Hope retired the first six batters he faced before finally allowing a hit to Taylor Holder to leadoff the seventh inning. Holder advanced to third base but was ultimately left there as Hope retired the next nine batters to finish off the game.
Hope was credited with the win because O’Rourke did not pitch deep enough into the game.
The Pippins and Bells will travel back to Yakima for game two of the best-of-three series Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and fireworks to follow the game. Tickets can be purchased at PippinsTickets.com.Read Less
Coaching staff, voice of the Pippins expected to return next summer
The 2021 season isn’t quite over for the Yakima Valley Pippins, but some familiar faces are already expected to return for the 2022 season.
Head Coach Kyle Krustangel and his coaching staff — assistant coach Cash Ulrich and pitching coaches Kelly Fitzpatrick and Jordan Cameron — are scheduled to return to the team next summer after leading the Pippins to the playoffs in their first season at the helm.
Off the field, Chris Rosato Jr. will be returning as the play-by-play voice of the Pippins next summer as well.
In their first year of play with the Pippins, the Pippins coaching staff — who also coach together at Yakima Valley College — led the team to win both halves of the regular season in the North Division for the first time in franchise history. The team also put together the longest win streak (12) and home win streak (10) in franchise history.
“We’ve had a remarkable run this year after coming off a very difficult offseason with COVID,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “The coaching staff has been tremendous this season building a culture that will endure from year to year, and Chris has taken our streaming broadcasts to a new level as well.”
Rosato Jr. provided audio coverage of all Pippins games this season, including the audio for all home video broadcasts. He also developed in-game video content and produced pre- and post-game shows to bring fans closer to the players and coaches.
“I really feel like we made big strides with the content we were able to put out through various channels, but I know there’s still more progress to make,” Rosato Jr. said. “My wife has been so great and supportive of me traveling to Yakima for the summer, but I’m excited to head back home and spend the off-season with my family before getting rolling again next summer.”
Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, Rosato Jr. is wrapping up his first season broadcasting summer collegiate baseball. In addition to his broadcasting duties, he helps coordinate local media coverage and publishes game recaps and team news on the Pippins website.
“Any time we can maintain continuity within the organization, it’s a positive thing,” Garretson said. “We’re already looking forward to next season even as we prepare for the playoffs this weekend.”Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins ended their regular season in rough fashion, dropping the finale 9-2 to the visiting Wenatchee AppleSox.
The AppleSox jumped on Pippins newcomer Payton Childers, recording five singles to start the game and scoring four runs in the first inning. He would allow another run in the second inning and wound up with the loss.
Jack Lee started on the mound for Wenatchee, allowing three hits in the first two innings and no more after that as he finished six innings on the mound. He struck out nine batters and walked just one to earn the win.
Rustin Edmiston and Gaven Mattson made their debuts with the Pippins, tasked with eating innings to save the bullpen for the playoffs. They each turned in two innings of relief.
Edmiston was first out of the bullpen, hitting and walking the first two batters he faced before a two-run single by Ethan Stacy. He stranded a runner on third base for a scoreless fourth inning.
Mattson allowed a run in the fifth inning before a scoreless sixth inning.
Brock Molenda pitched the seventh inning, allowing a leadoff triple before Stacy again drove in a run to give Wenatchee a 9-0 lead.
Case Matter and Payton Robertson finished off the final two innings without a run, as Matter struck out two of the four batters he faced and Robertson retired the side in order with a groundout and two flyouts.
The Pippins bats finally came alive in the ninth, with Chaz Myers reaching on an error to start the home half and Michael Carpentier Jr. singling to put runners on the corners with one out. After a strikeout, Blake Dickman hit a two-run double to end the combined shutout bid, but the offense ended there and the Pippins lost 9-2.
The Pippins end their season with a 40-19 overall record, 29-19 in West Coast League play. They begin their hunt for the West Coast League championship Saturday in Bellingham before returning home for game two on Sunday night.Read Less
Pippins fail to close gap, drop penultimate regular-season game
The Wenatchee AppleSox won a close second game in Yakima, evening up the series ahead of the regular season finale Thursday.
The Pippins held a momentary lead after scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning on two consecutive Wenatchee errors.
Connor Wilson started on the mound for the Pippins and retired the first eight batters he faced, but the streak was snapped when Garrett Cutting singled with two outs in the third inning. Wilson (0-0, 3.00 ERA) then walked the next two batters to load the bases, and Collin Villegas cleared them with a double to give Wenatchee a 3-1 lead.
The Pippins loaded the bases to start the bottom half of the third – in part, thanks to another error by the AppleSox. Mason Marenco brought in a run with a sacrifice fly and Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek drove in Blake Dickman from second base with a single to tie the game.
The tie didn’t hold long, though, as relief pitcher Peysen Sweeney walked and hit a batter in the fourth inning, and Cutting knocked his fourth triple of the season to give the AppleSox a 5-3 lead.
Sweeney (0-2, 5.82 ERA) would settle in after that and turn in a scoreless fifth inning, but wound up eating the loss.
Dylan Bishop (6-1, 3.88 ERA) struck out three batters over two innings of relief for the Pippins to follow up Sweeney’s performance. Landon Schirer took over in the eighth, hitting the first batter before a strikeout and fielder’s choice left Jackson Van De Brake on first base with two outs. Schirer (0-1, 2.57 ERA) picked him off to end the inning.
Martin-Grudzielanek’s bat again helped the Pippins in the bottom of the eighth, dropping a bloop single into right field to bring in Dickman and make it a one-run game, but the Pippins could not close the gap.
Owen Wild (3-0, 3.28 ERA) struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning. In the bottom half, Spencer Marenco started the inning with a pinch-hit walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but he was ultimately stranded there to end the game.
The Pippins and AppleSox will wrap up their regular seasons Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. as the Pippins celebrate Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Valley Mall, with fireworks after the game and the first 1,000 fans receiving a souvenir Scott T. Pippin bobblehead.Read Less
Wenatchee errors help Pippins open series with win, clinch second half title
The Yakima Valley Pippins are North Division champions in both halves of the 2021 West Coast League regular season, the first time they have accomplished the feat in franchise history.
The Pippins secured the second half title with a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning against the visiting Wenatchee AppleSox, benefiting from the Bellingham Bells getting walked off in the bottom of the 11th inning in Cowlitz.
After the AppleSox tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Pippins put runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom half after Sam Olsson walked and went to third on a single by Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek.
Martin-Grudzielanek took a large lead at first and took off for second base, drawing second baseman Jackson Van De Brake up the middle. Blake Dickman put a fastball from Wenatchee reliever Tyler Chipman on the ground to the left of Van De Brake, forcing him to reverse momentum, but he muffed the ball and Olsson scored as the ball rolled into right field.
Wenatchee had scored the first run of the game after Michael O’Hara led off the game with a double, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout.
The Pippins answered in the bottom half, as Willie Lajoie tied the game with an RBI double off the right field wall.
The Pippins took advantage of two Wenatchee errors and three walks from starter Cameron Liss to add four more runs and take a 5-1 lead in the third inning. They would add a run in the fifth while Wenatchee cut into the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth and one in the sixth inning.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for the Pippins and allowed three runs in five innings. He kept the AppleSox to five hits but walked three to just one strikeout, and did not receive a decision.
Julian Taudin-Chabot was the first reliever out of the bullpen for Yakima Valley. He allowed the fourth Wenatchee run in the sixth inning after allowing a single to Luc Stuka, who stole second base and scored on a base hit by Enzo Apodaca.
Olsson caught Apodaca stealing second base to end the threat in the sixth, and Taudin-Chabot worked around a single in the seventh for a scoreless inning.
Peyton Stumbo was called upon to pitch the final two innings in what would have been a save situation, trying to protect a 6-4 lead. He worked around a double in the eighth to keep Wenatchee off the scoreboard.
After the Pippins scored their sixth run in the fifth inning, Wenatchee turned to Chipman, who went on to retire the first 13 batters he faced, nine of them via strikeouts.
In the top of the ninth inning, Collin Villegas reached on a throwing error by Connor Coballes and Stumbo walked Tino Bethancourt and A.J. Guerrero to load the bases with one out. Van De Brake drove in Villegas with a sacrifice fly to left field to make it a one-run game, and Bethancourt scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Olsson was the first batter to reach against Chipman after he had struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning. Martin-Grudzielanek’s single bounced up the middle and took an awkward hop, continuing into centerfield past the shortstop without disruption.
The Pippins and AppleSox will continue their series Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. on the final Baseball Bingo Winning Wednesday of the season, presented by St. Joe’s Bingo. Tickets are available for Wednesday’s game and Fan Appreciation Night Thursday at PippinsTickets.com.Read Less
Pippins complete sweep on road for first time since 2018
The Yakima Valley Pippins played into extra innings, but put together a four-run 11th inning to put away the Port Angeles Lefties for the third time in their series.
The win completed the Pippins’ fifth sweep of the season, but was their first road series sweep and came on the heels of getting swept by Corvallis in the first half of their six-game road trip.
Playing an afternoon game for just the second time this season, fly balls rising into the light-blue sky made things difficult for outfielders. The first instance came on Connor Coballes’ first hit of the day, a fly ball that should have been caught but fell untouched in center field as Coballes raced around for a double to start the game.
Michael Carpentier Jr. singled him home to put the Pippins ahead early 1-0. With that run, the Pippins scored the first run in each game of their road trip.
This time, the Lefties had an answer in the bottom of the first inning against Pippins starter Payton Robertson. Jaden Matthews and Nick Oakley started the inning with singles, and both would race around to score on a double by Bryce Matthews to give the Lefties the lead. Luke Saunders drove Bryce Matthews home with a single, and Port Angeles found themselves ahead 3-1.
After the Lefties added another run in the third inning, the Pippins began mounting a comeback in the fourth. Blake Dickman led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and to third ona single by Chase Graves. With runners on the corners, Corey Jarrell knocked a double to left field that scored Dickman easily, cutting the Lefties’ lead in half.
Alex Fernandes worked a full-count walk to start the fifth inning, then used his speed to take two bases when Port Angeles starter Zach Ediger’s pickoff attempt got past first baseman Nathan Chong. That allowed him to score on a Sam Olsson sacrifice fly to right field.
With the bases clear and one out, Carpentier Jr. doubled to keep the inning going. He would score on a double by Dickman to tie the game, 4-4.
Graves walked and Jarrell singled to start the sixth inning, and Coballes loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice gone awry. Fernandes hit a pop-up down the left field line that dropped untouched and fair after the third baseman and shortstop ran into each other, allowing everyone to move up a base and the Pippins to re-take the lead. Another sacrifice fly from Olsson gave the Pippins a 6-4 lead.
Robertson (2-2, 6.13 ERA) turned in a five-inning start for the Pippins, allowing four total runs (three earned) on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. He left with a 6-4 lead and gave way to Julian Taudin-Chabot in the sixth inning.
Taudin-Chabot held the line until the seventh inning, when Ethan Flodstrom doubled with one out and scored on a single by Anthony Kodama to cut the lead to just one run. Taudin-Chabot struck out the next batter and induced a flyout to end the inning without any further damage. Those were the only hits and run allowed by Taudin-Chabot (1-1, 7.44 ERA) in his two innings of relief. He did not issue a walk and struck out one.
Owen Wild came on in the eighth to try to secure a six-out save, but Coleman Schmidt doubled to start the inning and Chong came through with a two-run home run to right field to take a 7-6 lead.
Zach Thomas came on for a save in the ninth for the Lefties, but he also blew his save opportunity when Willie Lajoie, who was 0-for-4 coming into the top of the ninth, bailed Wild out with a solo home run to left field to start the inning and tie the game back up, 7-7.
The next three Pippins were retired, and Wild struck out three of the four batters he faced in the bottom half to send the game into extras.
Both Thomas and Wild shut their opposing offenses down in order in the 10th inning, setting up a shootout in the 11th.
Thomas, in his third inning of relief, allowed a single to Sam Olsson to start the inning. The Pippins decided to pinch-run Spencer Marenco for him, but Marenco was caught stealing for the first time this season to clear the bases with one out.
Carpentier Jr. walked to get the momentum rolling again, and Lajoie hit a hard bouncer to third base that went off Schmidt’s glove and into left field, allowing Carpentier Jr. to get to third base and putting runners on the corners.
Dickman was called upon to lay down a squeeze bunt and executed beautifully, bunting it soft enough to avoid a throw to first, but far enough away from home that catcher Jack Holman did not have enough time to collect it and return to tag Carpentier Jr. scoring.
An awkward-looking bunt on a pitch that almost bounced, Lefties head coach Matt Acker went out to argue that the bunt had actually hit Dickman’s bat twice and should have been a foul ball, but home plate umpire Eric Swift and field umpire Jordan Smart disagreed. Acker refused to give up his argument and had to be ejected by Swift and escorted away from Swift by Smart.
The Pippins would add to their lead with an RBI double by Mason Marenco on the next pitch to take a 9-7 lead before the Lefties made a pitching change.
New pitcher Evan Canfield struck out Taylor Holder, but Jarrell worked a full-count walk to load the bases before Coballes drove in another two runs with a single. The four-run inning gave Owen Wild an 11-7 lead to defend in the bottom half.
Visibly beginning to tire in his fourth inning of relief, Wild pushed through a leadoff single and double to induce a ground ball that scored a run but got the first out. Tensions mounted when Kodama doubled home another run, cutting the lead to 11-9, but Wild dug down deep to strikeout Jaden Matthews swinging and get Javy Espinoza to fly out to right field to end the game.
Wild (3-0, 3.37 ERA) vampired a win with his four innings of relief in which he struck out five and walked just one. He allowed four runs on four hits.
The Pippins (28-17, 13-8 in the second half) boosted their lead in the second half North Division standings to two games over Bellingham, but Bellingham has locked up a playoff spot regardless by virtue of having the second-best winning percentage in the North behind the Pippins.
Yakima Valley will take Monday off before welcoming in the Wenatchee AppleSox for their final home series of the regular season. They kick off the series with another Toyota Tuesday Family Night Out, starting at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins continued their tear in Port Angeles with a 10-1 win in game two to win the series.
For the second night in a row, a Pippins starter turned in a great start, as Kenny Johnson struck out eight over five scoreless innings. He struck out the first four batters of the game.
Michael Carpentier Jr. doubled to lead off the second inning and wound up on third base with Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek on first base and two outs. Martin-Grudzielanek took off for second and got caught up in a rundown, allowing Carpentier Jr. to score the first run of the game.
In the third inning, two batters walked before Blake Dickman singled up the middle to drive in a run. Two more walks forced home a third run.
Dickman walked to start the fifth inning and moved to second base on a passed ball. Carpentier Jr. moved him over to third base with a ground ball and reached when the first baseman’s foot came off the base.
When another ball got past catcher Nathan Chong, Dickman scored and Carpentier Jr. capitalized on the distraction to take off for third base. Chong’s throw to third sailed into left field, allowing him to score as well.
Mason Marenco, who was at the plate for the excitement, then walked, stole second and third bases, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Martin-Grudzielanek.
The Pippins added their final four runs in the sixth inning after Alex Fernandes led off with a double and Spencer Marenco walked. Taylor Holder drove both of them in with a single, then scored on a single by Blake Dickman when the Lefties threw the ball around the infield. Dickman wound up on third after the play and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Shanks.
Johnson was credited with the win, and gave way to Peysen Sweeney in the sixth inning. Sweeney did not allow a hit in his first two innings of work, striking out three.
In the eighth, Nick Oakley managed a hit to start the inning and moved to third base on two wild pitches. Coleman Schmidt hit a fly ball into left field that was dropped by Alex Fernandes, allowing Oakley to score.
Connor Coballes pitched the ninth, making his first appearance on the mound this summer. He allowed one hit and struck out one while facing just four batters in a scoreless inning to finish off the win.
The Pippins (38-17, 12-8 in the second half) improved their North Division lead in the second half to 1.5 games over the Bellingham Bells, while the Port Angeles Lefties fell to 19-34 and 5-15 in the second half.
The Pippins and Lefties will conclude their series Sunday at 1:35 p.m. before the Pippins return home for their final regular season home series Tuesday-Thursday against Wenatchee.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins rebounded for a 7-2 win to kick off their series in Port Angeles, combining masterful pitching and a booming offense to take down the Lefties.
Dylan Bishop made his first road start in over a month, but looked just as comfortable on a new mound. He kept a shutout going into the seventh inning, allowing just three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in the first six innings.
Offensively, the Pippins jumped on Port Angeles starter Steven Brooks early. Willie Lajoie blasted a two-run home run to left-center in the top of the first to give the Pippins a 2-0 lead.
They added four more in the fourth after loading the bases to start the inning. Taylor Holder hit a soft ground ball to the shortstop who failed to record an out, scoring a run as each runner moved up a base. Sam Olsson then walked to force home another run.
Lajoie then added another two RBI with a two-run single to give the Pippins a 6-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout by Corey Jarrell and scored on a single through the middle of the infield by Connor Coballes.
Bishop’s shutout bid ended in the seventh after a leadoff double and a two-run home run by Nathan Chong. From there, Bishop was replaced by Case Matter. Matter balanced his high-velocity fastball with a looping curveball to strike out the next nine straight batters – six swinging and three looking.
Bishop (6-1, 4.07 ERA) was credited with the win while Matter (0-0, 5.10 ERA) earned his first save of the season.
The Pippins (37-17, 11-8 in the second half) increased their lead to one game over the Bellingham Bells in the North Division for the second half. With their loss, the Lefties (19-33, 5-14) fell to six games back.
The two teams will continue their series Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins were swept for the first time this season as the Corvallis Knights broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the series finale Thursday.
The Pippins will head to Port Angeles Friday hoping for some better results in the second half of their six-game road trip.
The Pippins started the scoring for the third-straight game when Blake Dickman singled to score Spencer Marenco from second base. The throw went to the plate, allowing Dickman to move to second after Chaz Myers went first-to-third on the hit.
With two outs, Willie Lajoie hit a bouncer near the mound that Corvallis starter Grant Taylor mishandled, allowing Myers to score. Dickman tried to capitalize by scoring from second, but instead was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Peyton Stumbo started on the mound for the Pippins and delivered two scoreless innings without allowing a hit to start the game. In the third inning, the Knights recorded their first three hits to score a run and cut the Pippins’ lead in half.
Stumbo would strike out two in a perfect fourth inning, but the Knights would tie the game and subsequently take the lead in the fifth inning.
Jake Hoskins led off the bottom of the fifth with a double and was driven in to tie the game by Travis Bazzana. Briley Knight, making his first appearance with the Knights since June 9, launched a two-run home run to right field to give Corvallis a 4-2 lead.
The Pippins answered in the next half-inning after Blake Dickman walked on four pitches to start the sixth. Willie Lajoie would knock a double off the left field wall to put runners on second and third with one out, and end Taylor’s day.
Sidearm pitcher Chase Walter took over, allowing a base hit to right that scored Dickman and left runners on the corners with one out. Walter got a strikeout, then Mason Marenco intentionally got himself into a rundown between first and second base, allowing Lajoie to score from third and tie the game.
Walter would strike out five more batters over two scoreless innings after that, and Julian Taudin-Chabot delivered a pair of scoreless innings in relief for the Pippins.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Taudin-Chabot walked and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt to start the inning. From there, the Pippins turned to Owen Wild to try to escape the inning.
Wild got Nate Nankil to hit a soft line drive to right field, but it was too soft, dropping in for a base hit that scored Knight from second. After a groundout, a walk and a strikeout forced the Knights to settle for a one-run lead.
Sean Wiese entered in the ninth for the Knights in a save situation and retired the side in order, striking out one, to complete the sweep.
The Pippins will kick off their series in Port Angeles Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins dropped their second straight game in their return to West Coast League play in Corvallis Wednesday, losing 6-2 to the Knights.
Seth Kuykendall started on the mound for the Pippins, and he looked to be on the way to repeating his last start in Wenatchee in which he allowed one run in eight innings. Through five on Wednesday, Kuykendall had needed just 51 pitches and had kept the Knights off the scoreboard with just five hits.
The Pippins took the lead when Taylor Holder launched a solo home run onto the bullpens beyond the left field wall in the top of the second inning.
In the top of the fifth, Sam Olsson stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. He hit a sharp grounder to Spencer Scott at shortstop, who tagged out the runner from second and through home, but Chase Graves slid around the tag at home to give the Pippins a 2-0 lead. They would not score again in the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kuykendall walked his only batter of the game to start the inning, then allowed a single to Nick Vogt. One mistake pitch later, Kiko Romero drove a three-run home run over the scoreboard in right field to give the Knights their first lead of the game. Kuykendall settled back in and got out of the sixth without any further damage.
In the seventh, the Knights loaded the bases with a leadoff single and two bunt singles for Vogt. Vogt ripped a grounder to Blake Dickman, whose throw bounced and Sam Olsson could only block, not catch, the ball as the runner slid in safely. With the bases still loaded, Romero drove in two with a double to the left field corner, ending Kuykendall’s day.
Peysen Sweeney (0-1, 6.00 ERA) inherited two runners and added one of his own with a walk, but a double play got him out of the situation without another run. Case Matter (0-0, 6.75 ERA) pitched the eighth, setting the Knights down in order with two flyouts and a strikeout. Kuykendall (3-3, 3.29 ERA) was charged with the loss.
Knights reliever Bradley Mullan was the pitcher of record when Corvallis took the lead, so he was credited with the win. He lasted four innings without allowing a hit or getting charged with a run (he had inherited two runners before loading the bases and Olsson’s RBI fielder’s choice).
Hard-throwing lefty Ethan Ross finished off the ninth, walking one before retiring the next three batters in a non-save situation.
The Pippins look to avoid their first sweep of the season as they finish the first leg of their six-game road trip Thursday at 6:35 p.m. On Friday, the team will continue on to Port Angeles for their final three road games of the regular season.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins had a tough start to their six-game road trip Tuesday, dropping their series opener in Corvallis 7-1.
The Pippins (25-15, 10-6 in the second half) are now just 1.5 games ahead of Bellingham in the North Division, while the Knights (31-9, 13-3) increased their lead in the South to three games over Cowlitz and Ridgefield.
The Pippins loaded the bases to start the game with Spencer Marenco and Connor Coballes walking and Sam Olsson singling. All three runners would advance on a wild pitch, scoring Marenco and giving the Pippins a 1-0 lead to start the game.
The Knights answered in the bottom of the first inning, as Travis Bazzana singled and went to third ona base hit by Ethan Loveless. Nick Vogt grounded into a double play up the middle that allowed Bazzana to score and tie the game.
The Knights took the lead in the second when Riley Way laid a bunt down the first base line with runners on the corners. Pippins starter Tyler Frieders came off the mound to field it but couldn’t in time, and the runner scored from third base. They would add three more runs in the fifth on four hits.
Frieders (3-3, 4.22 ERA) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on 10 hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out one.
A pitch-to-contact pitcher, Frieders induced a lot of weak contact that would drop into the shallow parts of the outfield or bounce between infielders. Of the 10 hits against him, none went for extra bases.
Payton Robertson (2-2, 6.28 ERA) pitched the final two innings for the Pippins, loading the bases but ultimately stranding all three runners in the seventh. In the eighth, Jake Hoskins hit the only extra-base hit of the night – a double – to drive in Way. Hoskins moved to third base on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Meanwhile, Corvallis starter Ty Uber settled in after the first inning. Over the next four innings, he walked two and allowed just one hit. Jake Vargas and Brett Gillis combined to allow just one other hit over the next four innings, walking two and striking out six.
The Pippins and Knights will play game two of the series Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
More than wins and losses, Pippins are playing better at home
When the Yakima Valley Pippins entered their locker room ahead of their July 1 series finale against the Port Angeles Lefties, they were greeted by a new message on the white board: “DEFEND THE ORCHARD.”
Chase Graves had written the message on the board before leaving the night before, after the Lefties had defeated the Pippins for the second night in a row to open their series. It was the first time this season that the Pippins had failed to earn a win in either of the first two games, and they were in danger of getting swept.
In the finale, the Lefties got out to a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the first inning, but the Pippins tied it up in the third and took the lead in the fourth inning with a two-run home run of their own.
It was none other than Graves himself who gave the Pippins the lead. Landon Schirer would make his first appearance and record his first six-out save of the season to secure the win and prevent the sweep.
“We all love playing at The Orchard,” Graves said. “The fans are incredible, and you have the people who are there every night supporting us and then the families that come for a good time. It’s such a good atmosphere.”
The Pippins have indeed defended The Orchard well. While maintaining a 36-14 record overall, the Pippins are 26-6 at home. Against West Coast League opponents, they are 15-6.
But the differences run deeper than wins and losses.
“There’s nothing better than [playing at home]. It’s crazy,” Pippins starting pitcher Dylan Bishop said. “It’s crazy how large of an impact I have on these people, and how much these people back me up. It’s a truly amazing feeling”
Bishop has made seven appearances at home between West Coast League and non-league appearances, and has a 6-0 record. He made one relief outing in which he did not receive a decision.
In league play, he owns a 2.16 ERA in 25 innings, with a 20:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio at home. On the road, his ERA is 8.00 with a 9:7 K:BB ratio in 11 innings.
Beyond the hometown kid Bishop, the difference shows itself in overall team statistics. The Pippins pitching staff boasts a 3.62 ERA at home compared to a 5.33 ERA when on the road. On the other side of the ball, the Pippins offense is batting .239 with a .363 on-base percentage at The Orchard, with a slightly lower .228 average and .321 OBP when away.
Home field advantage played a large role in the team’s franchise-best 12-game win streak, as 10 of those games were won at home. That also became the longest home win streak in team history.
The Pippins just wrapped up their final non-league game of the season. They played all 11 games at home and finished 11-0.
The Pippins embark on a six-game road trip Tuesday, and they have one more home series left in the regular season. They will host the Wenatchee AppleSox August 10-12 to close the season.
The Pippins will also host at least one playoff game, as they host the second game of the first round of playoffs on August 15. Tickets for all of those games are available at PippinsTickets.com.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins finished their last non-league game of the season with a bang, winning 22-2 against the Highline Bears Saturday.
In the bottom of the eighth with the game well in hand, pitcher Kenny Johnson pinch-hit for Alex Shanks against Highline two-way player Trey Hunt. With Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek on first base, Johnson worked himself to a 2-2 count and fouled a pitch off before pounding a line drive over right fielder Tyler Black’s head. Johnson raced around and dove head-first into third base for a triple after the relay throw hit him between the shoulder blades on his way to the bag.
Johnson’s hit was the last of 15 for the Pippins, and the 10th extra-base hit of the night.
The Pippins put together four hits, including three consecutive RBI doubles, to get out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for the Pippins and was perfect through the first eight batters of the game. In the third inning, the Bears strung together three singles to bring home a run.
Austin Plante answered for the Pippins in the bottom of the third by launching a two-run home run to right field to give the Pippins a 7-1 lead.
The Bears scored their final run of the game in the fourth, capitalizing on an error by Connor Coballes on a hard-hit grounder to shortstop. A walk forced the runner to second, and he scored on a single by Kellen Harding.
Robertson would earn the win with five solid innings, allowing just the two runs (one earned) while striking out four.
The Pippins offense continued to pile on with a four-run fifth inning. Keegan Adams, who had just pitched a scoreless fourth inning, walked Austin Plante to start the inning before striking out the next two hitters. He would then walk Coballes, and Taylor Holder brought in both runners with a double. After Sam Olsson was hit by a pitch, Willie Lajoie blasted a three-run home run to left-center to give the Pippins a 12-2 lead.
The Pippins added six more in the sixth despite recording just two hits. Plante doubled to left field to start the inning. After a groundout, Alex Fernandes hit a fly ball to center field that was dropped, allowing Fernandes to reach second and Plante to move up to third base. Highline pitcher Skyler Manelski then hit Chaz Myers – pinch-hitting for Coballes – to load the bases and balked home a run.
A second consecutive hit batter loaded the bases again before a walk to Sam Olsson forced home the second run of the inning. Blake Dickman – hitting for Lajoie – hit a chopper to the shortstop that was misplayed up the middle, scoring a run while everyone was safe and the bases remained loaded.
Manelski was able to get a strikeout for the second out, but the defense again came up short as Alex Shanks dropped a bloop single into center field that scored one easily. The Bears tried to throw out Olsson attempting to score from second base, but the ball skipped off the catcher’s glove. Dickman seized the opportunity to score from third base, and Manelski had trouble retrieving the ball before he slid in to give the Pippins an 18-2 lead.
Julian Taudin-Chabot pitched the sixth and seventh innings, striking out three while not allowing a hit in two scoreless innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, Corey Jarrell and Fernandes both walked, moved up a bag on a groundout and scored on two wild pitches to give the Pippins a 20-2 lead.
Dylan Bishop took over in the eighth, striking out the side to preserve the lead.
After his triple brought the Pippins dugout to its feet, Johnson would later score on a sacrifice fly for the final Pippins run of the game.
Peyton Stumbo closed down the ninth inning, striking out the last two batters in a 1-2-3 inning to secure the win.
The Pippins will take Sunday and Monday off before kicking off a six-game road trip with a visit to Corvallis Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Live audio-only coverage of the games will be provided by Chris Rosato Jr. at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
Williamson becomes second Pippin to be drafted and signed in-season
Continuing on a journey to become a Major League Baseball player since he was 5, Yakima Valley Pippins slugger Noah Williamson has decided to go pro.
Williamson agreed to terms with the Miami Marlins late Wednesday night to begin his professional baseball career following his selection as their 19th-round pick in the 2021 MLB amateur draft. He officially signed late Saturday morning, Pacific Time.
“I still can’t believe it. This is something that we’ve been working for since I was five years old and I started playing this game,” Williamson said Wednesday night. “Everybody always wants to be a professional baseball player, and now having that opportunity to do it, it’s clear to me that I have to do it for my past self, my future self and for myself now. This is the right time.”
He becomes just the second player to be drafted and signed while actively playing for the Pippins. Reed Garrett was drafted in 2014 after starting in the first game in franchise history for the team, and was signed by the Texas Rangers after his second start.
Williamson’s rise to becoming a professional player is more remarkable because he received limited playing time at Everett Community College and was signed by the Pippins to a 10-day contract at the beginning of the summer.
It didn’t take long for Pippins coach Kyle Krustangel to offer Williamson, who left Yakima for Florida early Thursday morning, the chance to stay with the team for the rest of the summer.
“I think his first round of BP, watching him go foul pole to foul pole, and then in his second round he takes one dead center over the 406 sign, and you just don’t see that a lot,” Krustangel said. “Then he got a couple games under his belt, and instantly after about the second game the coaching staff all knew we were dealing with someone special and this guy needs to be on our team the whole summer.”
In the first year of Trackman data analytics in use at Yakima County Stadium, Williamson took full advantage and posted some impressive numbers.
On July 9, he led off the bottom of the fifth inning by launching a solo home run 429 feet to left field that left the bat at 109 miles per hour. That remains the third-longest hit of the season, according to data published by the West Coast League on July 28.
He also has two of the five hardest-hit balls of the season. He is second on that list with an exit velocity of 112.6 mph and fifth with 110.8 mph with hits on June 25 and June 22, respectively. Both of them were home runs.
“It’s easy to watch and see how impressive Noah’s power has been this summer, but having the hard numbers to quantify it is a real game-changer,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “Making that kind of data available to players, coaches and scouts is one of the many ways the West Coast League has taken player development seriously.”
Despite not being able to finish a full summer, Williamson has already made quite an impact on the Pippins record book.
He became the first Pippin to record two triples in the same game when he did so on June 11 against Ridgefield. He also broke the team record for triples in a season with his fifth on July 20 against Bend.
He departs this summer with the current team lead in home runs with six, which is also tied for second in the West Coast League. He also leaves as the current team leader in runs scored (30, tied for second in the WCL) and RBI (28).
Williamson’s season slugging percentage of .590 is the second-highest mark for a Pippin hitter all-time, and he will enter the team record book in the top 10 for runs scored, RBI, doubles, and home runs in a season as well.
“Noah is just a complete character package. High GPA, raised right. I’ll remember more about his character and as a person – how he handles himself day-in, day-out – than just a big exit velo and a big-time player,” Krustangel added. “I think the Marlins got someone who is a whole package, and I think that’s rare these days to see someone who’s raised that correctly. Just because he’s having the best success of his life, he’s still sticking to his core.”
Wilson's longest appearance of the year complements potent offense
The Yakima Valley Pippins remain undefeated in non-league play with one game left after defeating the visiting Highline Bears 9-5 Friday night.
The Pippins exploded out of the gate, scoring eight of their runs in the first four innings. Meanwhile, Connor Wilson allowed four runs (two earned) over six innings while striking out four and walking four as well.
Highline’s Dylan Anders started the game with a walk, followed by Noah Pawlowski hitting a line drive over the head of center fielder Chase Graves, who chased it to the wall while Pawlowski pulled in with a triple. He would score when Ronnie Moss reached on an error by Alex Fernandes, who made his first start of the year at third base.
The Pippins would even the score in the bottom of the first, also started by an error by Anders at third base that allowed Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek to reach with one out. Taylor Holder doubled to put both players in scoring position, and Michael Carpentier Jr. knocked them both in with a double of his own.
The Pippins took the lead in the second inning after Peyton Stumbo walked and Chase Graves doubled to bring him home. Spencer Marenco reached on another error by Anders, and Taylor Holder sent Marenco to third with a single that scored Graves.
With runners on the corners, Holder attempted a delayed steal that drew a throw from the catcher. Holder got himself into a rundown long enough for Marenco to score before getting tagged out, and the Pippins took a 5-2 lead.
In the third inning, Corey Jarrell was on second base and Austin Plante was on first when the Pippins attempted a double steal. Highline catcher Kyle Casperson had trouble getting the ball from his glove to his hand and decided to try to get Plante at second base, but his throw sailed to center field, allowing Jarrell to score and Plante headed for third base. When center fielder Jaren Larson got to the ball, he threw to third base, but his throw was wide and got away from Anders, allowing Plante to score.
The Pippins held onto an 8-4 lead until the eighth inning. Ryan Arredondo had pitched the seventh without allowing a run, but in the eighth managed to record just one out while loading the bases with walks.
Case Matter was brought in to escape the jam, but he forced home a run with a walk to the first batter before striking out the next two to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Taylor Holder reached on the Bears’ sixth error of the game, then stole his second base of the night. Carpentier Jr. followed with a line drive in the gap in right-center that scored Holder as Carpentier Jr. pulled into third base with a triple.
Matter finished off the ninth inning, hitting one batter but striking out three to keep Highline from narrowing the lead.
Wilson earned the win for his efforts while Matter was credited with a five-out save.
The Pippins and Bears play Saturday night at 7:05 p.m., with fans receiving official team posters and players signing autographs after the games.Read Less
Offense scores just one run to back up Johnson's 10 K's
The Cowlitz Black Bears prevented a sweep with a two-run ninth inning to defeat the Yakima Valley Pippins 3-1 Thursday night.
The Black Bears loaded the bases to start the ninth after two walks issued by Landon Schirer and a well-placed attempted sacrifice bunt by Matthew Schwarz that turned into a single.
Schirer then walked and hit the next two batters, giving Cowlitz a 3-1 lead and ending Schirer’s outing without recording an out.
Case Matter relieved him, striking out Jacob Stinson to start his appearance. Sam Brown then flew out to shallow left field, appearing to score Schwarz on a sacrifice fly, but the Pippins appealed to third base and the umpires ruled that Schwarz left early.
That decision ended the inning with just a two-run lead for Cowlitz, but it proved all they would need as former Pippin Mark Woinarowicz earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Kenny Johnson (4-3, 4.98 ERA) started on the mound and turned in a terrific start, with one run against him in the third inning his only blemish. He walked just one over six innings while striking out a season-high 10 batters.
His offense scored just one run in the seventh inning after scoring 19 runs in the first and second games of the series. Chaz Myers led off the ninth with a walk and moved to second base when James Bradwell’s pickoff attempt was thrown wild. Myers moved to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Carpentier Jr.
Peysen Sweeney (0-1, 6.54 ERA) pitched a scoreless seventh inning, striking out three with a single sandwiched in the middle.
In the eighth with the game tied 1-1, the Pippins wanted to turn to Seth Kuykendall. Kuykendall emerged from the bullpen and started warming up, but the umpires discovered that Kuykendall had been left off the lineup card and he was not permitted to enter the game.
Instead, Owen Wild (2-0, 2.70 ERA) was forced to get warm in a hurry to enter the game. Still, he preserved the tie despite walking a batter in the inning.
Schirer (0-1, 2.76 ERA) wound up with his first loss of the season while Matter (0-0, 7.56 ERA) did not receive a decision.
The Pippins conclude their homestand with a two-game set against the Highline Bears Friday and Saturday. Both games will get started at 7:05 p.m. with players signing autographs after the games.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins earned a series win in their second game against the Cowlitz Black Bears as they won Wednesday’s game, 7-4.
Alex Shanks broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning by bouncing a 388-foot line drive off the scoreboard in left field for a two-run home run. Later in the inning, Taylor Holder walked and stole second base after escaping a rundown. He would move to third base and score on two wild pitches to give the Pippins a 5-2 lead.
Dylan Bishop started on the mound and delivered a quality start, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings of work. He walked three and struck out five.
Connor Coballes led off the bottom of the fifth inning with his first double of the season. He moved to third on a single by Blake Dickman and scored when Michael Carpentier Jr. beat out a double play ball that saw Dickman put out at second base.
Julian Taudin-Chabot came on in relief for the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run in each inning. He allowed two hits and struck out two while walking a pair.
The Pippins scored their final run in the seventh inning, when Spencer Marenco singled and Coballes hit his second double of the game to put runners on second and third base. With the infield playing in, Carpentier Jr. hit a bouncer back to the mound, but the throw home was high and Marenco was able to slide under the tag to give the Pippins a 7-3 lead at the time.
Taudin-Chabot (1-0, 10.12 ERA) gave way to Owen Wild in the ninth in a save situation. Wild struck out the first two batters he faced before hitting a batter and getting a groundout to end the game.
Wild (2-0, 2.79 ERA) received his fourth save of the season while Bishop (5-1, 4.25 ERA) was credited with his team-high fifth win of the season for his efforts.
The Pippins (25-13, 10-4 in the second half) and Black Bears (16-19, 6-5) conclude their series Thursday night on Essential Workers Night, with fireworks to follow the game. It is also a Thirsty Thursday, and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.Read Less
Pippins now hold 23-5 overall record at home, 14-5 in WCL play
The Yakima Valley Pippins went on an offensive tear Tuesday in their series opener against the Cowlitz Black Bears to open a five-game homestand.
The Pippins (24-13, 9-4 in the second half) boosted their lead in the North Division and are now two games ahead of Bellingham after the 12-8 victory over the Black Bears, while Cowlitz (16-18, 6-4) lost a game in their chase and are now two games behind Corvallis.
Peyton Stumbo started on the mound for the Pippins and turned in a serviceable start despite not having his best stuff. He allowed a triple to Rikuu Nishida to start the game, and Nishida scored on a groundout to put Cowlitz up 1-0.
Cowlitz starter Carson Angeroth put together a 1-2-3 first inning, but the Pippins got to him in the second after Noah Williamson led off with a single to right field.
Willie Lajoie hit a sharp grounder to third base that could have been turned into a double play had Nishida not thrown it away while making the turn to first base. Lajoie reached while Williamson was out at second for the first out. Blake Dickman then singled to put runners on the corners, and Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek hit a double to score Lajoie and tie the game.
Dickman would score on a wild pitch to give the Pippins the lead they would never relinquish, but the Pippins weren’t done. After Austin Plante walked, Corey Jarrell hit a line drive to the center field fence and raced around for his first triple of the season, scoring both runners.
Spencer Marenco walked on a full count to put runners on the corners with one out, and Nishida again botched a potential double play to bring home Jarrell and give the Pippins a 5-1 lead.
Stumbo kept the Black Bears from scoring again until the fourth inning, when he walked two, allowed a run to score on a single by Sean Mulcare and the other scored on a wild pitch. He was lifted after walking his sixth batter of the game.
Stumbo (1-1, 5.47 ERA) finished having struck out just one, allowing two hits over 3.1 innings, and was not eligible for the win. Payton Robertson entered with runners on first and second with one out.
Nishida laid down a well-placed sacrifice bunt, and the runners were able to advance while Sam Olsson threw him out at first base. Robertson got a groundout to end the threat.
The Pippins added to their lead with a three-run fifth inning, started by Sam Olsson walking, moving to second on a wild pitch and scoring on a single by Lajoie against Cowlitz reliever Jake Dent. The Black Bears then turned to Keegan Wright.
Wright immediately allowed a double to Blake Dickman that scored Lajoie. Martin-Grudzielanek followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and the Pippins got tricky with their baserunning. Martin-Grudzielanek executed a delayed steal to second base, allowing Dickman to swipe home when Cowlitz tried to make the play at second. Both runners wound up safe, and the Pippins took an 8-3 lead.
After Cowlitz got a run back in the top of the sixth, the Pippins executed an almost identical play to add a run. This time, Chaz Myers was actually caught stealing second base while Spencer Marenco scored.
Robertson (2-2, 6.04 ERA) allowed a run in the seventh and two unearned in the eighth innings. He was credited with the win for his relief efforts.
The Pippins added three more runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 12-7 lead, and Landon Schirer was called upon for the ninth inning.
Schirer loaded the bases with no outs to start the inning, but got a flyout – which scored a run – and two swinging strikeouts to end the game. This was just the second non-save appearance for Schirer (0-0, 1.38 ERA) this season.
With the win, the Pippins are now 23-5 at home overall, and 14-5 in West Coast League play. They’ll look to improve those numbers in game two against the Black Bears Wednesday. Another Baseball Bingo Winning Wednesday kicks off at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
Kyle Krustangel takes two out of three in return to Wenatchee
Pippins Head Coach Kyle Krustangel was given a series win in his first trip back to Wenatchee as an opposing coach when his Pippins downed the AppleSox 5-1 Sunday.
Krustangel, who coached the AppleSox from 2017-19, led the Pippins to victory Sunday after opening the series Friday with a 15-5 win and falling Saturday, 15-7.
Seth Kuykendall turned in his fifth quality start of the season, throwing a season-high eight innings of one-run ball. He struck out five and did not allow a walk, earning the win.
The Pippins were handed an early lead when Connor Coballes was hit by the first pitch of the game from Wenatchee starter Cameron Liss. Liss would go on to walk three more batters to load the bases and force home a run.
The lone run against Kuykendall came in the second inning, when Tino Bethancourt led off with a double. He would move to third on a groundout and score on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Wyeth to tie the game.
The Pippins broke the tie in the fourth inning, starting with Blake Dickman doubling to start the inning. Alex Shanks followed with a double of his own to put the Pippins ahead, and Shanks would score on a base hit by Chase Graves for a 3-1 lead.
Michael Carpentier Jr. hit a one-out single in the fifth inning, advancing to second on an error by the shortstop when Mason Marenco grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Carpentier Jr. moved to third and scored on a pair of wild pitches for a 4-1 lead. He also threw out Garrett Cutting trying to steal second base in the fifth inning, his 11th runner caught stealing this summer.
Blake Dickman walked, moving Marenco to second base. After a lineout, Taylor Holder lined a pitch straight back up the middle, scoring Marenco before Dickman was thrown out trying to go first-to-third to end the inning.
Kuykendall (3-2, 2.77 ERA) gave way to Landon Schirer in the ninth in a non-save situation. Schirer (0-0, 0.75 ERA) walked the first batter he faced before striking out the next two and inducing a groundout to end the game.
The Pippins take Monday off before hosting the Cowlitz Black Bears Tuesday-Thursday. Tuesday is another Toyota Tuesday Family Night Out, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins lost a back-and-forth contest Saturday evening in which they eventually fell 15-7 to the Wenatchee AppleSox.
Both starting pitchers as the Pippins tied a season high with seven extra-base hits, all against Wenatchee starter Trey Miller. Yakima Valley struck first when Austin Plante hit a two-run double to right field that scored Mason Marenco and Taylor holder.
Tyler Frieders also struggled early for the Pippins. Despite a 1-2-3 bottom of the first inning, Frieders allowed a double and three singles to start the second inning, cutting the Pippins lead in half and loading the bases.
Frieders threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up, tying the game, before loading the bases again with a walk. Jackson Van De Brake flew out to right field for the first out, allowing the runner from third to tag up and give the AppleSox a 3-2 lead.
Michael O’Hara would make it 4-2 with an RBI double, and Frieders hit Dakota Duffalo with a pitch to load the bases once again before he was lifted in place of Owen Wild.
Wild got two strikeouts to finally end the inning, and went three more scoreless, racking up six strikeouts after 3.1 innings of work.
The Pippins were able to tie the game back up in the third inning, led off by Chaz Myers singling to left field and taking advantage of a lazy throw back to the pitcher to take second base. Sam Olsson grounded out to move Myers to third base.
Michael Carpentier Jr. hit a soft line drive to center field that O’Hara went sliding for and missed, allowing the ball to roll out to near the warning track as Carpentier sprinted around for his second triple of the season and scored Myers.
Carpentier would score on a double by Mason Marenco to tie the game back up, 4-4, letting Frieders (3-2, 3.61 ERA) off the hook for the decision.
The Pippins capitalized on an error by shortstop Garrett Cutting to take a one-run lead in the fourth, and Austin Plante clobbered a two-run home run to right field in the fifth to give the Pippins a 7-4 lead. Plante’s double and home run were the first two extra-base hits of the season for him.
Miller was eventually lifted with two outs in the fifth inning after allowing his 12th hit, a single to Spencer Marenco. Despite the seven runs (six earned) against him and the hit total, he had not walked or struck out a batter in his 4.2 innings.
Skylar Hales entered and stymied the Pippins’ hitters, retiring the first eight batters he faced – including striking out six in a row at one point.
The Pippins would notch just two hits against Hales and one walk, failing to score for the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, the AppleSox mounted a comeback in the sixth inning. Wild came back out for the sixth and immediately allowed just his second hit of the outing – a leadoff single to former Gig Harbor High School teammate Zach Toglia.
Toglia managed to steal second and move to third on a wild pitch while Wild got a flyout and his seventh strikeout, but he walked the next two batters to load the bases with two outs. Duffalo cleared the bases with a double, tying the game at 7-7.
Peysen Sweeney took over for Wild (2-0, 2.89 ERA), striking out pinch-hitter Tino Bethancourt to end the sixth.
In the seventh, Sweeney allowed a leadoff single to Collin Villegas, who moved to second on a wild pitch and tagged up to third when A.J. Guerrero flew out to right field for the first out. Toglia walked and stole his second base of the game, allowing both runners to score on a two-out single by Cutting, giving the AppleSox a 9-7 lead.
They would add four more runs on four hits and a pair of walks before Case Matter came in to relieve Sweeney (0-1, 7.20), who was tagged with the loss, with one out and runners on first and second base.
Matter (0-0, 8.59 ERA) allowed a single to Van De Brake that was misplayed in the outfield, allowing both runners to score and the AppleSox to take a 15-7 lead, before striking out the last two batters of the inning.
Taylor Holder singled in the ninth, but the Pippins offense remained quiet for the final frame, evening the series up at one win apiece.
The Pippins and AppleSox conclude their series Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 p.m. They will take Monday off before welcoming Cowlitz to Yakima Tuesday.Read Less
Spencer Marenco’s two home runs helped power the Yakima Valley Pippins to their fifth-straight victory, opening their series in Wenatchee against the AppleSox.
Pippins Head Coach Kyle Krustangel returned to the summer stadium he called home from 2017-19 with a splash as his new team downed the AppleSox, 15-5.
Chaz Myers started the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning. Wenatchee starter Jack Lee then had trouble throwing strikes, loading the bases and forcing home two runs with a combination of walks and hit batters. A fourth run scored due to a throwing error by catcher John Newman Jr. when he attempted a pickoff.
Spencer Marenco’s first home run came in the second inning, when he launched the first pitch of the inning to right field to give the Pippins a 5-0 lead.
Wenatchee put one run on the board against Pippins starter Kenny Johnson in the bottom of the second inning, with Newman working a full-count walk to start the inning. He moved to second when Luc Stuka grounded out and scored on a base hit by Tino Bethancourt.
Connor Coballes, making his return to the Pippins lineup for the first time since July 11, walked to start the fourth inning and stole his team-leading eighth base of the season. He moved to third base when Corey Jarrell grounded out and scored when Marenco doubled, giving the Pippins a 6-1 lead.
Chase Graves, who replaced Noah Williamson after Williamson was hit on the foot in the first inning, reached on a fielding error by Bethancourt at third base to start the fifth inning. Graves stole second base and scored on a double by Michael Carpentier Jr.
Willie Lajoie walked and Alex Shanks singled to load the bases with no outs. Coballes hit a grounder up the middle but was able to beat out the double play, scoring Carpentier Jr. from third and moving Lajoie up to third on the play.
Jarrell hit a hard grounder to the second baseman, whose only play was to retire Jarrell, scoring another run and moving Coballes to second base. Marenco then blasted another home run for two more runs, giving the Pippins an 11-1 lead.
Shanks had a two-run double in the sixth inning and a one-run double in the seventh, and Coballes notched an RBI base hit in the sixth to give the Pippins their 15 runs.
The AppleSox racked up five hits against Kenny Johnson in the sixth inning, scoring four runs before he was replaced by Payton Robertson with runners on the corners and two outs. Johnson (4-3, 5.54 ERA) left with a 14-5 lead and was credited with the win.
Robertson (1-2, 6.62 ERA) would go on to retire seven straight before Connor Wilson took over in the ninth. Wilson (0-0, 1.00 ERA) worked around a double in the inning, striking out two to finish the game without another run.
Krustangel looks for a series win against his old team Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins broke out the brooms for their fourth sweep of the season, second of a West Coast League opponent, as they defeated the visiting Bend Elks 8-4 Thursday.
The Pippins (21-12, 6-3 in the second half) have now won four straight and remain on top of the North Division in the second half, while the Elks (12-18, 2-4) find themselves at the bottom of the South Division after getting swept.
For the third straight game, the Elks got out to an early lead, putting four runs up against Pippins starter Dylan Bishop in the first inning.
Gavin Rork started the game with a triple to right field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Collin Montez. Bishop then walked Chase Matheny and Gavin Logan before Matt Dallas launched a three-run home run to left field to give Bend a 4-0 lead before the Pippins even stepped to the plate.
Bishop settled in after the first inning, pitching another four innings without allowing another run and retiring the last eight consecutive batters before he exited.
Meanwhile, his offense mounted their comeback over two innings.
In the bottom of the second inning, Alex Shanks reached on a throwing error by the third baseman Dallas and Taylor Holder walked. Austin Plante notched his first WCL hit since June 22, driving in Shanks for the first Pippins run of the game. Alex Fernandes hit a hard grounder to the second baseman Austin Hauck who could only get Plante out at second, allowing Holder to score and cut the Elks lead in half.
Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek led off the bottom of the third inning with a single, followed by Sam Olsson walking. Elks starter Jack Slominski then struck out a pair of Pippins hitters and looked like he might get out of the inning unscathed.
Instead, Shanks doubled to left field to score Martin-Grudzielanek and move Olsson to third base. Olsson tied the game when he was able to score on a wild pitch that went between the legs of the catcher Logan.
Holder followed with another double to score Shanks and give the Pippins a lead they would not relinquish. Plante added an insurance run with a single to center field that was misplayed by Gavin Rork, allowing Holder to score, but Plante was thrown out at second trying to capitalize on the play to end the inning.
Blake Dickman was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth and moved to third base on two separate wild pitches from Slominski, who walked Mason Marenco to put runners on the corners. The Elks then turned to Cameron Smith, who got Shanks to fly out to center, but Dickman was able to tag up to give the Pippins a 7-4 lead.
Smith would remain in the game and was able to pitch scoreless sixth and seventh innings.
Case Matter entered in the sixth inning and needed just seven pitches in a 1-2-3 inning. He returned for the seventh and struck out the side to hold the lead.
Peysen Sweeney relieved Matter (0-0, 8.59 ERA) pitched the final two innings for the Pippins, striking out the first two batters of the eighth inning to extend the stretch to 16 consecutive Elks batters retired before he allowed a single to Matheny.
The Pippins added an eighth run in the eighth inning after loading the bases on singles by Shanks and Holder and a walk by Plante. Fernandes walked to force home the final run of the game.
Sweeney (0-0, 1.12 ERA) finished off a scoreless ninth inning, locking up his first save of the season. The Pippins have had a pitcher record a save in each of their four-straight wins. Bishop (4-1, 4.50 ERA) took the win after gutting it out past the first inning.
The Pippins head on the road for a weekend series against the Wenatchee AppleSox that kicks off Friday at 6:35 p.m., with live audio-only coverage provided by Chris Rosato Jr. at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins earned their 20th West Coast League victory in a 6-5 nail-biter in game two of a home series against the Bend Elks.
The Pippins (20-12, 5-3 in the second half) remain on top of the North Division in the second half while the Elks (12-17, 2-3) sank further in the South, now 3.5 games behind the Ridgefield Raptors.
Austin Plante was the hero Wednesday, lifting a sacrifice fly to the right field corner to score Taylor Holder and give the Pippins a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Peyton Stumbo started on the mound for the Pippins and ran into some early trouble. He walked Gavin Rork to start the game, and Bryce Boettcher moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Greg Fuchs doubled to score Rork and Fuchs scored on a base hit by Collin Montez to give the Elks a 2-0 lead.
Turner Thompson started for Bend and struck out two in a 1-2-3 first inning, but the Pippins got to him in the second inning.
Noah Williamson and Michael Carpentier Jr. led off the inning with singles, and Mason Marenco hit a grounder up the middle that got through the infield and scored the two runs to tie the game.
In the third inning, Spencer Marenco led off with a single and Chaz Myers walked to put runners on first and second. Williamson ripped a hard grounder down the third base line and into the left field corner for a double, scoring Marenco.
Carpentier Jr. broke his bat on what ended up being a slow roller to the shortstop Boettcher, who rushed his throw and short-hopped the first baseman, who wasn’t able to catch it. The ball went to the fence, and both Myers and Williamson scored on the play to give the Pippins a 5-2 lead.
Thompson lasted four innings for the Elks, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking two. He gave way in the fifth to Charlie Adamson, who allowed a single to Mason Marenco but otherwise kept the Pippins off the scoreboard.
Stumbo finished his day after five innings having struck out a season-high eight batters and allowing just the two runs. He left with a 5-2 lead.
Payton Robertson came on to pitch the sixth inning and immediately fell into trouble after a leadoff walk and double put runners on second and third base with no outs. Gavin Rork singled to drive in the first run of the inning. Robertson got Boettcher to fly out to Willie Lajoie for the first out, but another walk loaded the bases.
Chase Matheny tied the game with a two-run single that scored Sam Linscott and Rork.
Adamson came back out for the sixth, but was removed after walking Austin Plante and Corey Jarrell to start the inning. Gabe Smith entered and got the Elks out of the jam.
Julian Taudin-Chabot pitched the seventh and eighth innings for the Pippins, facing the minimum while striking out three to preserve the tie.
Ben Ferrer pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning for the Elks before the Pippins got to him in the eighth. Holder led off the inning with a single to right. He tried to steal second, and Elks catcher Omar Velos’ throw skipped into center field, allowing him to take third with Plante at the plate.
Taudin-Chabot (1-0, 10.80 ERA) wound up with the win, and gave way to Landon Schirer in the ninth, who earned his sixth save of the season, which now leads the WCL. This was the first three-out save for Schirer (0-0, 0.81 ERA), who had pitched the final two innings in each of his other five save chances.
The Pippins look for their second WCL series sweep and fourth overall of the season in Thursday night’s series finale before heading on the road to Wenatchee Friday.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins rode two great pitching performances to a 4-2 victory in the home series opener against the Bend Elks Tuesday.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for the Pippins, allowing two runs over six innings while allowing just four hits. He struck out his first batter in his last inning of work, but did walk three.
Robertson and Bend starter Jacob Kmatz held the opposing offenses scoreless until the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth, Collin Montez – playing in his first game with the Elks – led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a double by Gavin Logan.
Noah Williamson almost single-handedly answered to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. He singled with one out – his first hit since July 9 – and showed his speed while stealing his fifth base of the season to move to second base. He moved to third base on a wild pitch, and tied the game by scoring on a passed ball.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Chase Graves and Spencer Marenco singled and doubled, respectively, to start the inning, putting them on third and second base and ending Kmatz’ day.
Brooks Juhasz entered in relief, but Blake Dickman scored Graves with a groundout to the shortstop, and Sam Olsson doubled to drive in Marenco and give the Pippins a 3-1 lead.
In Robertson’s final inning on the mound, Montez led off with a double before Sam Linscott singled to put runners on the corners. After Robertson’s first and only strikeout of the night, Gavin Logan hit an awkward line drive to left field that Noah Williamson was able to track down but could not get into a position to throw home, allowing Montez to tag up and score.
Owen Wild came on in relief for the Pippins, walking the first batter of the inning before getting Bryce Boettcher to ground into a double play. Gavin Rork reached on an error before Wild got Greg Fuchs to ground out and end the inning.
The Pippins added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a controversial call in the outfield. Spencer Marenco walked to start the inning, stole second base and moved to third on a groundout by Olsson, putting Williamson at the plate with two outs.
Williamson hit a deep fly ball to left-center that Gavin Rork tracked down and caught on the warning track, but his momentum carried him into the outfield fence, which caused him to drop the ball out of his glove. The umpires ruled that he had not caught the ball, Marenco scored easily and Williamson – sprinting around the bases on the play – slid into third with a triple, his fifth of the season.
After becoming the first Pippins hitter to hit two triples in one game earlier this season, his fifth triple of the season broke the Pippins franchise record. He is tied with Travis Bazzana for the West Coast League lead in that category for this season.
Wild again walked the first batter of the eighth inning, then earned his first strikeout before inducing another double play ball. In the ninth, he started the inning with a strikeout before walking the next two batters. Boettcher then hit a sharp grounder to Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek, who stepped on the third base bag and threw to first to complete the fourth Pippins double play of the game and secure the win.
Wild (2-0, 2.28 ERA) allowed no hits in his three innings and earned his third save of the season. Robertson’s (2-1, 3.90 ERA) quality start earned him the win in the effort.
With the Walla Walla Sweets (12-19, 3-4 in the second half) losing Tuesday night, the Pippins (19-12, 4-3) have taken sole possession of first place in the North Division for the second half. The Elks (12-16, 2-2) and Cowlitz have identical overall and second-half records and share the bottom spot in the South.
The Pippins and Elks continue their series Wednesday on another Baseball Bingo Winning Wednesday presented by St. Joe’s Bingo, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.Read Less
Lajoie homers, Kuykendall delivers quality start in win
The Yakima Valley Pippins rode a two-run home run by Willie Lajoie and a quality start by Seth Kuykendall to win 2-1 in the series finale in Cowlitz Sunday afternoon to avoid getting swept.
Lajoie’s home run came with two outs and Blake Dickman on first base and traveled 332 feet to left field without any discernible wind at David Story Field to give the Pippins a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Brock Bozett returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning, hitting a line drive to left field that cleared the fence in almost the same spot as Lajoie’s hit to cut the lead to 2-1. Neither team would score again after that.
Kuykendall turned in seven innings after the leadoff home run, allowing just two other hits while walking two and striking out five. At one point, Kuykendall (2-2, 3.10 ERA) retired 12 straight batters on his way to the win.
After Lajoie’s home run, the Pippins walked twice but wouldn’t notch another hit against Cowlitz starter Izaak Martinez until the sixth inning, when Dickman led off the inning with a grounder through the left side of the infield. He would move to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground ball out, but was left there.
Liam Hatakenaka made his debut for the Black Bears, entering in the seventh inning. Mason Marenco welcomed him to the West Coast League with a triple that bounced off the outfield wall in dead center. Center fielder Johnny Radomsky had some trouble tracking it down to the wall, and it bounced off the wall and rolled towards the infield, allowing Marenco enough time to race around to third.
A left-handed sidewinder, Hatakenaka was really brought into the game to face the only left-hander in the Pippins lineup, Austin Plante, who struck out swinging, and Hatakenaka’s day was done.
The Black Bears then turned to Carter Sutton, who induced a groundout before striking out Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek to strand Marenco on third base.
Keegan Wright pitched the eighth inning for Cowlitz, allowing a one-out base hit but maintaining the same score.
Landon Schirer was called upon by the Pippins for his fifth six-out save in as many chances, and made things interesting. He allowed a one-out single before walking Dawson Martin, and the Black Bears executed their second double steal of the game to put runners on second and third.
Schirer struck out Matthew Schwarz but hit Sean Mulcare to load the bases with two outs. Jaden Sheppard worked a full count, but he struck out looking on the eighth pitch of his at-bat to end the threat.
Mark Woinarowicz pitched the ninth inning for Cowlitz for the second night in a row and took after Schirer, loading the bases with two outs before striking out Spencer Marenco to keep the score the same.
Schirer had a much quieter ninth inning, allowing a one-out walk before striking out the next two batters to lock down the save and help the Pippins avoid getting swept.
The Pippins improved to 18-12 in West Coast League play, 3-3 in the second half, while the Black Bears fell to 12-15 and 2-1, respectively.
The Pippins will take Monday off before returning home to host the Bend Elks on another Toyota Tuesday Family Night Out, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.Read Less
Former Pippins pitcher closes out first-ever back-to-back shutout loss
The Yakima Valley Pippins suffered a second straight shutout loss for the first time in team history, as the Cowlitz Black Bears used three pitchers to combine to one-hit the Pippins.
The Pippins fell to 17-12 in West Coast League play and 2-3 in the second half, and have now been shutout in three of their last four WCL contests.
Myles Davis turned in another superb start for the Black Bears, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. He walked Willie Lajoie and hit Blake Dickman with a pitch to end the perfect game, but retired the next two batters to preserve his no-hitter.
Cowlitz spread their runs out over the first few innings, capitalizing on an error in the second inning to score the first two runs of the game, both unearned to Pippins starter Tyler Frieders.
In the third inning, Matthew Schwarz singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rikuu Nishida and scored on a single by Brock Bozett.
Cowlitz added their fourth and final run in the fifth inning, taking advantage of a leadoff walk by Jaden Sheppard – Frieder’s second of two in the game. Frieders struck out Schwarz, his only strikeout of the game, and got Nishida to fly out before Sheppard scored when Bozett doubled to give the Cowlitz a 4-0 lead they would hold until the end.
Peysen Sweeney (0-0, 1.50 ERA) pitched the final three innings for Yakima Valley, keeping Cowlitz off the board with three strikeouts to one walk and one hit. Frieders (3-2, 2.61 ERA) took the loss.
Alex Shanks ended the no-hit bid with a single to left field to start the top of the eighth inning, ending Davis’ (2-2, 3.44 ERA) day having thrown nearly two-thirds of his 97 pitches for strikes.
Michael Benz (2-3, 2.70 ERA) came on to finish the eighth, inducing a flyout before striking out the next two batters. Mark Woinarowicz (1-0, 4.10 ERA), who pitched for Yakima Valley in 2019, struck out the side in the ninth to complete the one-hit shutout effort.Read Less
The Pippins suffered their second shutout loss of the season, falling 5-0 to the Cowlitz Black Bears in their series opener Friday.
With the loss, the Black Bears fell to 17-11 in West Coast League play while the Black Bears started their second half improving their overall record to 11-14.
Both teams’ starting pitchers battled it out for the first six innings, with Cowlitz starter Kelly Austin working more efficiently. He struck out seven batters over his first six innings and faced just 19 without allowing a runner past first base.
Pippins starter Kenny Johnson struck out five batters in his first six innings, but allowed six hits and faced 25 batters in that time.
He earned his sixth strikeout to start the seventh inning, but a pair of walks and a single ended his day. Owen Wild entered in relief with the bases loaded and one out.
Wild got Jacob Stinson to hit a hard grounder to second baseman Mason Marenco, but Marenco muffed the potential inning-ending double play ball, instead allowing two runners to score.
After striking out Broc Mortensen for the second out, Henry Muench hit a ground-ruled double that bounced on the right field corner warning track and over the fence leading to the Pippins bullpen, scoring a third run. Kase Ogata singled to score Stinson and Muench and give the Black Bears a 5-0 lead.
As the first three runners to score were charged to Johnson, he was tagged with the loss, falling to 3-3 on the season. Only one of the runs were earned, so his ERA did fall slightly to 5.11.
Austin pitched another two shutout innings, finishing eight scoreless with nine strikeouts and having allowed just three hits and one walk. He needed just 86 pitches and only faced two batters over the minimum in his outing. His 45 strikeouts and 1.54 ERA lead the WCL, but his win Friday was his first decision of the season in five starts.
Wild (2-0, 2.61 ERA) gave way to Case Matter for the bottom of the eighth inning, who walked Jaden Sheppard to start the inning but benefited from a batter’s interference call. The umpires incorrectly ruled Sheppard out and allowed the batter, Matthew Schwarz, to continue with a 2-2 count. Schwarz struck out looking on the next pitch for the second out.
After allowing a single, Matter (0-0, 11.81 ERA) induced a flyout in foul territory to end the inning.
Austin gave way to James Bradwell in the ninth inning, who struck out the first two Pippins hitters and induced a groundout to complete the combined three-hit shutout.
The Pippins and Black Bears continue their series Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. due to fireworks planned for after the game. Tyler Frieders (3-1, 2.42 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Pippins.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins completed their third three-game sweep of the season with a 13-3 victory over the Highline Bears Thursday.
The win was capped off by Brock Molenda lining a home run to right field for his first hit with the team and Austin Plante following with a home run of his own, the first time the Pippins have hit back-to-back home runs since 2017.
Molenda, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in Wednesday’s win, started behind the plate for the second time and threw out both runners who tried to steal second base against him.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for the Pippins, throwing five scoreless innings while striking out a season-high seven batters. He allowed just four hits and walked three on his way to the win.
For the first time in the series, the Pippins scored first when they batted around in the third inning. Spencer Marenco and Taylor Holder walked with one out, and Marenco scored the first run of the game when Sam Olsson singled and moved to second base on the throw home.
Alex Shanks singled Holder home and stole second base to put runners on second and third again. The inning continued when Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek reached on an error by the third baseman, scoring Olsson and giving the Pippins a 3-0 lead.
Martin-Grudzielanek took off for second base, drawing a throw from the catcher that allowed Shanks to score from third, then stole third base as well. After Molenda walked to put runners on the corners, Plante grounded into a fielder’s choice but beat out the double play to drive in a fifth run for Yakima Valley.
The Pippins added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, when Marenco led off with a single and Olsson and Shanks doubled back-to-back.
For the second night in a row, Highline scored all of their runs in one inning. On Thursday, their three runs came in the sixth inning off Ryan Arredondo.
Arredondo started the inning by walking Tyler Black, who moved to third base on a single by Jaren Larson. Arredondo got his first out by stopping a chopper up the middle and tagging out Black, who was caught up between third and home.
Arredondo hit the next two batters, loading the bases and forcing home the first Bears run of the game. A sacrifice fly drove in the second run, and two more walks loaded the bases and forced home another run before the Pippins turned to left-hander Connor Wilson, who struck out the ninth batter of the inning for the final out.
Wilson pitched two more scoreless innings despite walking four batters and stranding the bases loaded in the seventh and two more runners in the eighth.
Meanwhile, the Pippins kept adding to their total with another three runs in the sixth inning and the two solo home runs in the eighth to win 13-3.
The Pippins depart for Cowlitz for a weekend series kicking off at 6:35 p.m. Friday. Live audio-only coverage of the game can be found at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins improved to 8-0 in non-league play with a 10-2 win over the visiting Highline Bears Wednesday.
The Bears struck first for the second night in a row, this time waiting until the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. The Pippins answered with a big bottom of the second inning.
Noah Williamson led off the inning with a mile-high pop fly in the infield that bounced out of the glove of shortstop Devin Carter, allowing him to reach. Williamson would move to second base on a wild pitch, but he was hit by a grounder off the bat of Willie Lajoie, putting Lajoie on first with Williamson becoming the second out of the inning.
Chase Graves singled and Austin Plante walked to load the bases before Alex Fernandes forced home the first Pippins run of the game with a walk. With the bases still loaded, Chaz Myers cleared the bases with a double to give the Pippins a 4-2 lead.
In the third inning, Sam Olsson led off with a double and Williamson walked before Mason Marenco doubled home Olsson. Williamson scored on a groundout by Lajoie to put Yakima Valley up 6-2.
After Graves walked, Austin Plante singled home Marenco and moved up to second base on the throw home. Fernandes flew out to center field, allowing both runners to advance and putting the Pippins up 8-2.
Dylan Bishop started on the mound for the Pippins, allowing just the two runs in five innings of work. He struck out three and walked one, allowing four hits. At one point, he retired 10 straight batters on the way to earning the win.
The Pippins added another run in the fifth inning, again forcing home a run on a bases-loaded walk by Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek. Austin Plante grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded in the sixth inning – narrowly beating out the double play attempt – to drive in the final Pippins run.
Peyton Stumbo pitched a scoreless sixth inning for Yakima Valley, allowing a pair of singles to start his outing before inducing a ground ball double play and striking out Kyle Casperson to end the inning.
Julian Taudin-Chabot took over in the seventh, turning in two scoreless innings without a hit, though he did walk three batters. He struck out two as well.
Brock Molenda, who joined the team Tuesday and started behind the plate, entered in relief to pitch the final frame. After getting a flyout to start his outing, he allowed a single and walked a batter, but Jaren Larson grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Pippins and Bears will conclude their series Thursday before the Pippins return to West Coast League play with a trip to Cowlitz Friday-Sunday.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins’ high-powered offense shined in Tuesday’s series opening win against the Pacific International League’s Highline Bears.
Coming off a 3-0 comeback against the Bellingham Bells Sunday, the Pippins were able to repeat the feat after the Bears got off to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
In the bottom of the first, Alex Shanks and Willie Lajoie singled with one out before Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek – who moved up to the cleanup spot Tuesday – doubled the first run home. Taylor Holder was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Chase Graves, who drove in two to tie the game with a single.
Brock Molenda made his Pippins debut and was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance to load the bases again, this time for Alex Fernandes to single home a pair of runs to take a 5-3 lead.
The Bears were able to get a run back in the second inning to cut the Pippins lead to 5-4, but the Pippins put together a four-run third inning to extend their lead.
Holder walked to start the inning and Graves reached on an error by third baseman Aaron Lampinen, and they both moved up a base on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with two outs for Fernandes. Fernandes singled again, scoring both runs to give himself four RBI on the night in his first two at-bats.
Another error – this time a pop fly in the infield that popped out of the glove of the shortstop – allowed Spencer Marenco to reach, and Shanks and Lajoie drove in the pair with a single and double, respectively, to put the Pippins up 9-4.
The Pippins used Tuesday’s game as a bullpen day, with Weston Janavs getting the start and throwing three innings. He allowed four runs (two earned) while walking three and striking out one.
Payton Robertson pitched the next three innings, keeping Highline off the scoreboard while striking out four.
Fernandes stretched a routine single to the right field corner into a double with one out in the fifth inning, allowing him to score on a pair of base hits by Marenco and Shanks to score the 10th run of the game for Yakima Valley. The Pippins added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to boost their total to 12.
Case Matter pitched the top of the seventh for Yakima Valley, issuing a one-out walk that came around to score. He also struck out one in the inning.
Owen Wild and Kenny Johnson teamed up for the eighth and ninth innings, both proving to be unhittable for the Bears. Each struck out two in perfect innings.
The Pippins added their final three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after Molenda was hit by a pitch to start the inning and the next three batters walked to force him home. A pair of sacrifice flies by Shanks and Lajoie gave the Pippins a 15-5 lead they would hold.
The Pippins and Bears continue their series Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. on another Baseball Bingo Winning Wednesday presented by St. Joe’s Bingo.Read Less
Pippins overcome three-run deficit for first time this season
For the second time in a week, Blake Dickman changed the game with a swing of his bat.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against Bellingham, Dickman launched a three-run home run 412 feet to left field to tie the game up 3-3.
His blast on Sunday followed a two-run home run Monday that broke a 3-3 tie in Walla Walla, giving the Pippins a lead they would not relinquish as they went on to win and secure the first half title in the North Division.
The Bells took an early lead Sunday after Daniel Gernon and Yugo Hamakawa led off the game with singles and Charlie Saum singled home Gernon for a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Ty Saunders started the inning with a well-placed bunt down the third base line to reach first, followed by a single by A.J. Davis. They were moved over by a sacrifice bunt from Ezra Samperi and driven in by Emilio Corona’s second two-run double in as many games to give Bellingham a 3-0 lead.
Will Armbruester started on the mound for Bellingham and was nearly perfect through three innings, with Chase Graves collecting the lone hit off him in the third inning on his birthday.
In the fourth, Connor Coballes hit a soft ground ball to second base and reached when Hamakawa overthrew the first baseman. Sam Olsson singled and they both moved up a base when Armbruester walked.
Dickman’s home run came with one out in the inning and was hit 103 miles-per-hour off the bat, clearing the fence just to the left of the scoreboard.
Armbruester retired the next 11 batters following the home run and left after seven innings of work with the game tied.
Pippins starter Seth Kuykendall (1-2, 3.47 ERA) was lifted after four innings in favor of Tyler Frieders, who kept Bellingham scoreless in five innings while allowing three hits, walking one and striking out six.
In the bottom of the eighth, Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek hit a line drive that nearly cleared the 16-foot high outfield fence at Yakima County Stadium, but he was forced to settle with a double instead. One out later, Chaz Myers singled to left field to score Martin-Grudzielanek to put the Pippins in front for the first time in the game.
Frieders (3-1, 2.42 ERA) closed the door in the ninth to hold onto the win.
The Pippins will take Monday off before kicking off a series against the Highline Bears Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. with a Toyota Tuesday Family Night Out.Read Less
Pippins offense musters season-low three hits in loss
The Yakima Valley Pippins failed to score a run for the first time this season in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the Bellingham Bells.
All three runs for the Bells came in the second inning, started by Cole Hinkleman’s solo home run to right field to start the inning. Pippins starter Peyton Stumbo retired the next two batters, but a single, walk and two-run double by Emilio Corona gave the Bells all the offense they would end up needing.
Stumbo (1-1, 5.51 ERA) lasted four innings and was tagged with the loss having walked five batters and striking out four.
Bells starter Eric Chavarria delivered three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out six. He did not last long enough to earn the win, but did lower his already-league-leading ERA to 1.04.
Justin Tucker took over for Bellingham in the fourth inning, holding the Pippins hitless and scoreless over 2.2 innings before leaving with two runners aboard in the sixth. James Spicklemier took over, striking out Austin Plante to end the inning.
The Pippins would load the bases against Spicklemier in the seventh thanks to a walk, their second hit and Blake Dickman getting hit by a pitch, but two strikeouts ended the threat.
Connor Wilson (0-0, 1.12 ERA) relieved Stumbo, tossing three scoreless innings while allowing two hits and one walk with a pair of strikeouts. Peysen Sweeney (0-0, 3.00 ERA) pitched the final two innings for Yakima Valley, striking out three while allowing two walks and one hit.
Ryan Beitel was called upon for his first save opportunity of the season, facing seven batters to record the final six outs.
The Pippins look to bounce back in the series finale Sunday at 6:05 p.m. before the off day Monday and non-league action with the Highline Bears coming into town Tuesday-Thursday.Read Less
Williamson's league-leading sixth home run proves deciding run
The Yakima Valley Pippins opened the second half of their season with a 3-2 win over the visiting Bellingham Bells, driven by Noah Williamson’s league-leading sixth home run in West Coast League play.
Dylan Bishop started on the mound for the Pippins and allowed just one run in five innings when Daniel Gernon doubled to start the game and Yugo Hamakawa drove him in to take a 1-0 lead.
The Pippins responded in the bottom of the first inning, taking advantage of two errors in the inning.
Spencer Marenco and Chaz Myers started the inning with a walk and base hit, but a fly out and strikeout threatened to strand them before A.J. Davis committed an error to allow Willie Lajoie on to load the bases. Bells starter Tommy O’Rourke almost got out of the inning again, but Ty Saunders’ 10th error of the season allowed Mason Marenco to reach rather than grounding out, scoring Spencer Marenco and Myers.
The two runs were the only damage against O’Rourke, who gave way after three innings to Kai Francis.
Bishop dealt after the first inning, retiring the next 11 batters before allowing a double, but he earned his season-high seventh strikeout of the night to get out of the fifth inning without another run.
Williamson’s solo shot to left field led off the bottom of the fifth inning. It traveled 429 feet and left the bat at 109 miles-per-hour, reaching a max height of 118 feet, according to Trackman.
Outside of the home run by Williamson, the Pippins had no real answer for Francis, who pitched the final five innings for Bellingham while allowing just the one run on one hit, walking one and hitting one batter.
The Pippins turned to Payton Robertson in the sixth, who turned in a 1-2-3 sixth but gave up a run in the seventh after a leadoff walk and a triple by Malakhi Knight.
With the tying run on third base and no outs, Saunders hit a sharp line drive towards Mason Marenco, who caught the ball and immediately stepped on third base to double up Knight. Robertson walked Davis before striking out Ezra Samperi to end the half-inning with a 3-2 lead.
Landon Schirer was asked to deliver his fourth six-out save in as many chances and delivered, despite hitting the first batter in the eighth inning and walking another two with one out to load the bases. His second and third strikeouts of the inning left the bases loaded.
In the ninth inning, Schirer allowed his first two hits of the season to put runners on first and second, but Samperi popped up his sacrifice bunt attempt and Mason Marenco made a diving catch on the infield for the first out.
A pair of lineouts by Emilio Corona and Gernon ended the Bells’ comeback attempt and moved Schirer into a tie for second place in the league with four saves despite joining the team eight days ago. Bishop (3-1, 5.04 ERA) was awarded the win for his efforts while O’Rourke (0-1, 1.80 ERA) was tagged with the loss.
The Pippins and Bells continue their series through Sunday, with Saturday’s first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.Read Less
Pippins ride two long balls, Fernandes' first two RBI to victory
The Yakima Valley Pippins officially ended the first half of their season on a high note with a 6-4 victory in Walla Walla, riding two long balls in the effort.
The Pippins return home to start the second half of the season Friday at 7:05 p.m. as they take on the Bellingham Bells on Cider Night, presented by Tieton Cider Works.
Sweets starter Travis Craven entered the game tied for the league lead in wins (3), having issued just three walks in nearly 26 innings pitched, but walked two Wednesday in an uncharacteristic showing.
The Pippins got to Craven first in the second inning, as Alex Shanks doubled with one out and moved over to third on an infield base hit from Chase Graves. Graves stole his second base of the season, allowing him and Shanks to score on a base hit up the middle by Alex Fernandes.
Kenny Johnson started on the mound for Yakima Valley, retiring the first three batters he faced before allowing a run in the second inning with a leadoff double and then single.
The Pippins added to their lead in the fourth inning after Craven issued his second walk of the game to Willie Lajoie to start the inning. With one out, Alex Shanks hit a line drive 355-feet to left field for his second two-run home run of the series. Shanks was without a home run coming into the series.
Craven (3-2, 3.94 ERA) was lifted after that fourth inning and tagged with the loss as the Pippins would hold onto their lead for the rest of the game.
Johnson hit his first batter of the game with one out in the fourth inning, and Matthew Clark hit a two-run home run in his first game with the Sweets to put the Sweets within one, 4-3. After the home run, Johnson retired the next eight batters to finish his outing after six complete innings.
The Pippins had another two-run inning in the sixth, when Mason Marenco hit his first home run of the season with Lajoie on first base to give the Pippins a 6-3 lead. Both Pippins home runs had 94 miles-per-hour exit velocities, while Marenco’s blast traveled 396 feet.
Owen Wild came on for a three-inning save and struck out three of the first four batters he faced to get through the first inning unscathed.
In the eighth inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning that put runners on the corners before William Grimm hit a sacrifice fly to center field for the first out and a run that cut the Pippins lead to 6-4.
He escaped the eighth without allowing any further runs and got two quick outs in the ninth before walking two batters to bring the winning run to the plate, but struck out Colin Wetterau for his sixth strikeout of the appearance to hold off the Sweets.
Johnson (3-2, 6.03 ERA) took the win while Wild (2-0, 2.70 ERA) locked down his second save of the season.Read Less
Pippins batters strike out 13 times, pitchers walk 10 batters in loss
Wednesday night’s game between the Yakima Valley Pippins and the Walla Walla Sweets will decide the series as the Sweets took game two with a 13-4 victory Tuesday night.
The Sweets scored all of their runs in just two innings, with a five-run fifth and an eight-run seventh inning in which they sent 13 batters to the plate and walked seven times in the inning.
The Pippins struck first in the third inning when Alex Fernandes forced an error in the infield with his speed, causing Colin Wetterau to struggle to field a ground ball at first. Fernandes then stole his first base of the season.
Spencer Marenco hit a high fly ball to straight-away center field, but Cameron Butler had trouble playing the ball as he raced back to the fence, letting it drop on the warning track. Fernandes, who had been waiting on second base to tag up, could only advance to third as Marenco reached second for a stand-up double.
Chaz Myers then laced a ground ball down the third base line, scoring Fernandes and taking second base when the throw went to third base. Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek drove in Marenco and Myers with a base hit up the middle to give the Pippins a 3-0 lead.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for Yakima Valley and struck out five over four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth after getting the first out when Taylor Holder made a diving catch in left field.
Robertson walked the next batter before giving up three straight singles that scored two runs. After getting a groundout, Cameron Butler hit a three-run home run to left field to put the Sweets on top, 5-3.
Robertson’s (1-1, 4.12 ERA) day was done after completing the fifth inning, and the Pippins turned to Julian Taudin-Chabot to make his Pippins debut in the sixth. He worked a clean sixth, but had worse luck in the seventh.
After walking the first three batters of the seventh inning, Taudin-Chabot got Chris Conniff to hit a ground ball to Martin-Grudzielanek at third base, who stepped on the bag after a diving stop but did not have enough time to get Conniff at first as the first run of the inning scored.
He was pulled after giving up a base hit to Cameron Butler that scored the runner from second base. Weston Janavs then took over for Taudin-Chabot (0-0, 27.00 ERA).
Janavs walked the first batter he faced to load the bases before a sacrifice fly scored Conniff from third.
He would issue a walk to load the bases again, and Paul Myro drove in the fourth and fifth runs of the inning with a two-run base hit. Janavs (0-0, 5.68 ERA) was lifted after allowing a run on a wild pitch and walking two to load the bases a third time.
From there, the Pippins turned to Case Matter, who gave up a two-run single to Colin Wetterau before striking out Conniff to finally end the inning after eight runs had scored. Matter (0-0, 14.53 ERA) returned for the eighth and recovered from a leadoff single to strike out two and induce a flyout to allow no runs.
The Pippins added their final run in the top of the eighth, when Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek singled with one out, moved to second base on a passed ball and scored when Willie Lajoie reached on an error by Conniff at second base.
The Pippins and Sweets conclude their series Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. at Borleske Stadium as the Pippins finish up their first half play. They return home Friday for a weekend series against Bellingham.Read Less
Teams combine for four home runs in shootout
The Yakima Valley Pippins punched their ticket to the 2021 West Coast League playoffs by clinching first place in the North Division with a win over the Walla Walla Sweets Monday.
Blake Dickman broke open the tied game in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run home run and Connor Coballes scored on a wild pitch in the ninth with the bases loaded to help the Pippins to a 6-3 victory.
The Pippins jumped on Sweets starter Jacob Dahlstrom early, with Chaz Myers and Coballes singling and Sam Olsson walking to load the bases to start the game. Blake Dickman singled to left to score Myers and give the Pippins an early 1-0 lead.
The Sweets responded in the bottom half as Parker Price singled with one out off Pippins starter Seth Kuykendall before Seth Ryberg homered to right field to take a 2-1 lead.
The Pippins sent just six batters to the plate over the next two innings, but Mason Marenco walked with one out in the fourth before Alex Shanks hit his first home run of the season to re-take the lead, 3-2.
Dahlstrom (0-1, 4.50 ERA) did not go back out for a fifth inning, but he was let off the hook for the loss when William Grimm hit a home run to right field to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, tying the game 3-3.
James Hepp (0-0, 4.00 ERA) was brought on in the fifth inning and pitched three scoreless, allowing two hits while striking out three and walking one.
Kuykendall settled in after the home run in the fourth, facing 10 batters over the next three innings to turn in his third quality start of the season. He was aided by Dickman throwing out his first base runner of the season when Justin Folz tried to swipe second base to end the sixth inning.
Kuykendall (1-2, 3.03 ERA) gave up three earned runs in his seven innings of work, striking out a season-high seven batters without issuing a free pass. He was the pitcher of record when the Pippins added two runs in the eighth to take the lead.
Logan Hurd came on to pitch the final two innings for Walla Walla, and Noah Williamson greeted him with a laser to left field that nailed the fence on the fly and got lodged behind a sponsor banner, limiting him to a double.
That set the stage for Dickman’s towering shot to left field that was controversial because it curled and landed left of the foul pole – with the umpires left to decide whether it went foul before or after it crossed the fence. The home plate umpire gave a delayed call on the field, and the umpires discussed it after, ultimately agreeing that the ball was fair.
Landon Schirer was brought in for his third six-out save in as many appearances and shut down the Sweets offense in the eighth despite hitting one batter.
The Pippins added an insurance run in the ninth after loading the bases with one out when Coballes reached on an error, Olsson singled and Williamson walked. A pitch to Dickman got past Sweets catcher Colin Wetterau, allowing Coballes to score.
Schirer allowed a walk to start the ninth before retiring the next two batters. Jack Sheward reached on an error by Connor Coballes, but pinch-hitter lined out to Williamson in left to end the game. Schirer (0-0, 1.50 ERA) is now 3-for-3 in save opportunities.
This is the fourth year the Pippins will make a playoff appearance, but the first time they have done so by winning the first half.
The Pippins and Sweets continue their series through Wednesday, and the Pippins return home Friday to start the second half with a series against Bellingham.Read Less
Marenco brothers go 4-for-9, 3 RBI, 1 run scored in win
The Yakima Valley Pippins are one win away from clinching a first half championship after holding off the Bend Elks, 5-4, to win the series Sunday.
The Pippins can clinch the top spot in the first half with just one win in their final first half series in Walla Walla Monday-Wednesday.
Neither team scored in the first inning for the first time in the series, but the Pippins put four hits together in the second inning to get on the board.
Mason Marenco singled with one out and Taylor Holder doubled to put them on second and third base. Chase Graves then drove in Marenco, leaving runners on the corners, and Spencer Marenco doubled to the warning track in right-center to score Holder before Graves was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first.
Peyton Stumbo made his first start on the mound for the Pippins, blanking the Elks in the first inning before hitting Bryce Boettcher with one out in the second inning. Gavin Logan hit a comebacker to Stumbo that bounced off his foot and redirected into right field, moving Boettcher to third base. He scored the first Elks run after tagging up on a sacrifice fly to center by Mason Guerra.
From there, Stumbo allowed just one hit and hit one other batter over the next three innings, far exceeding his longest appearance of three innings.
Mason Marenco drove in two more runs with a base hit in the fifth inning after Connor Coballes singled to lead off the inning and Sam Olsson reached on a fielder’s choice that the Elks failed to record an out on.
The final Pippins run came in the sixth inning, started by Chase Graves walking to start the inning. Spencer Marenco singled to put runners on first and second, and Graves tagged up to third on a flyout to left field by Alex Shanks to put runners on the corners with one out.
Coballes hit a grounder to third and Julian Kodama tried to turn a double play, but the speedy Coballes easily beat out the play at first, allowing Graves to score on the play.
Stumbo began to run out of steam as he entered the bottom of the sixth inning. He got the leadoff hitter to ground out before issuing his first walk of the day. The next batter worked a full count before Stumbo got him to fly out, but a second walk put two runners on base before Gavin Logan took Stumbo deep to right field to cut the Pippins lead to 5-4.
Stumbo was pulled with two outs in the inning after the home run in favor of Owen Wild, who promptly loaded the bases with two walks and a single before striking out Gavin Rork to end the inning.
He gave up a base hit to start the seventh inning before retiring the next six batters to get through the eighth, and walked the first batter in the ninth before recording the final three outs to finish off the 10-out save. The save was the first of the season for Wild (2-0, 2.64 ERA) while Stumbo (1-0, 5.10 ERA) earned his first win for his efforts.
The Pippins end the first half of the season on the road in Walla Walla before returning home to begin the second half of the season against Bellingham Friday.Read Less
Dickman drives in all three Pippins run in win
Saturday’s game between the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bend Elks turned into a pitching showcase, with just three earned runs scored and 18 strikeouts between the two teams as the Pippins evened the series with a 3-1 victory.
Elks starter A.J. Lattery gave up just three hits in six innings of work, and all three came in the first inning. Chaz Myers and Connor Coballes led off the game with singles and moved up a base each with a double steal with two outs.
Blake Dickman hit a grounder back up the middle that Lattery booted toward the shortstop Peter Mendazona. Rather than hold it, allowing the one run to score and conceding the single, Mendazona threw to first and threw it away, allowing Coballes to score and Dickman to reach second.
Tyler Frieders started on the mound for the Pippins, turning in seven scoreless innings while striking out five and allowing just five hits.
After setting the Elks down in order in the first, Frieders allowed a hit to Julian Kodama to lead off the second inning and bounced a pickoff attempt that got past Lajoie, allowing Kodama to advance to third base. Frieders stranded him there, and the Elks would not have another runner get past first base until he left the game.
Frieders gave way to Landon Schirer in the eighth, handing over a 2-0 lead. Schirer walked the first batter he faced and would load the bases with one out before Chase Matheny hit a line drive to center that allowed the runner on third to tag up and score. Kodama would fly out to end the inning.
Dillon Holliday replaced Lattery in the seventh inning, striking out three and allowing no hits in the seventh and eighth innings, but ran into trouble in the ninth.
Noah Williamson led off the inning and was hit by an 0-2 pitch that he appeared to start to swing at, but was awarded first base as the umpires decided he did not go around. He would move to third on two different wild pitches before scoring on Dickman’s second RBI-base hit of the game to give the Pippins a 3-1 lead.
The Elks then made a change, bringing in two-way player Matt Dallas. Dallas gave up a pair of singles to load the bases, but struck out the next three batters to escape the jam without any further damage.
Schirer returned for the ninth and looked much sharper, striking out the first two batters of the inning before hitting Bryce Boettcher. Mason Guerra lined out to Mason Marenco for the final out to secure Schirer’s (0-0, 2.25 ERA) second save in as many chances.
Frieders (2-1, 3.00 ERA) received the win for his efforts while Lattery (1-1, 3.76 ERA) was tagged with the loss.
Sunday’s game will decide the series before the Pippins conclude their first half with a trip to Walla Walla Monday-Wednesday.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins started their six-game road trip off with a 12-3 loss to the Bend Elks Friday, using five pitchers who pitched two innings or less each.
Dylan Bishop started on the mound for the Pippins, erasing a one-out walk in the first inning by inducing a double play ball. The Pippins then took the lead in the bottom of the first after Taylor Holder was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Noah Williamson.
The Elks got to Bishop in the second inning, putting together four hits and drawing a walk to score three runs. Bishop (2-1, 5.85 ERA) took a line drive to the leg and was pulled after getting out of the inning.
Payton Robertson took over for the Pippins in the third inning, giving up a leadoff base hit but otherwise keeping the Elks off the board.
Noah Williamson led off the fourth inning by reaching on a throwing error by third baseman Julian Kodama that allowed Williamson to reach second base. He moved to third on a groundout by Willie Lajoie and scored when Blake Dickman doubled.
Dickman then moved to third on a groundout by Chase Graves and scored on a base hit by Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek, tying the game at 3-3 and letting Bishop off the hook.
In the fourth inning, Robertson struck out the first batter before surrendering four straight hits, a sacrifice fly, and a double that gave the Elks a 7-3 lead. Robertson (1-2, 6.56 ERA) wound up taking the loss.
The Pippins offense failed to have a batter reach base over the next two innings, while Ethan Krupp-Pruit made his Pippins pitching debut with scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Krupp-Pruit loaded the bases in the fifth before inducing a double play and setting the Elks down in order in the sixth.
The last bit of offense for the Pippins came in the seventh inning, when Spencer Marenco reached on a two-out single and Chaz Myers reached on an error by shortstop Peter Mendazona, but Taylor Holder struck out to end the threat.
Case Matter came on for the eighth inning but struggled after giving up two quick singles to start the inning. He hit the third batter of the inning to load the bases and walked the fourth to force in a run before striking out Mason Guerra for the first out.
The second run of the inning scored on a wild pitch before Matter walked the bases loaded once more, setting the table for Sam Linscott to drive in two more with a base hit. Matter would record his second strikeout of the inning and get the tenth hitter of the inning to fly out, but a second wild pitch brought in a 12th run for the Elks.
Joey Cammarata pitched the eighth for the Pippins, walking the first batter before striking out the next three.
Lajoie failed to reach base in the game for the first time this season, ending his 20-game on-base streak. His 16-game hit streak was snapped in Thursday’s home finale against the Port Angeles Lefties.
The Pippins continue their series in Bend Saturday at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins rallied from two losses to prevent a sweep at home, defeating the Port Angeles Lefties 4-3 in the series finale.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for the Pippins, striking out six and allowing just four hits. The only damage against him came in the first inning, when Coleman Schmidt singled with two outs and Garrett Lake hit a two-run home run to take an early lead.
The Pippins took advantage of a Lefties error in the third inning to respond with two runs of their own. With runners on first and second base, Michael Carpentier Jr. hit a ground ball to the right side that was headed for right field before it was cut off by second baseman Javy Espinoza.
Rather than hold onto the ball, loading the bases with no outs, Espinoza threw to first to try to retire Carpentier Jr. Instead, he threw the ball away, allowing the lead runner to score and putting runners on the corners with no out.
Sam Olsson then grounded into a double play, allowing the tying run to score.
The Pippins took the lead in the fourth inning after Blake Dickman was hit by a pitch for the second time of the game and Chase Graves hit a two-run home run to take a 4-2 lead.
The home run was hit 362 feet to right field, Graves’ second opposite-field home run of the season, and left the bat at 97 miles-per-hour.
Peysen Sweeney and Landon Schirer made their debuts for the Pippins, with Sweeney giving up a solo home run in the seventh inning and Schirer earning a six-out save while holding off the Lefties.
The Pippins depart for a six-game road trip to conclude the first half, starting in Bend Friday-Sunday. Friday’s game will start at 6:35 p.m., with live audio-only coverage by Chris Rosato Jr. available at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins dropped game two of their series against the Port Angeles Lefties with a 6-2 loss, again experiencing a blowup inning that was their ultimate downfall.
The Pippins and Lefties will conclude their series Thursday on Celebrate America Night, with the first 1,000 fans receiving a red, white and blue souvenir hat, and fireworks after the game presented by Banner Bank.
Kenny Johnson started on the mound for the Pippins, turning in four scoreless innings before running into trouble. He helped himself out by getting the lead runner out at third on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the first inning and picking off a runner on second base in the second.
Taylor Holder was hit by the first pitch he saw in the first inning and moved to third when Willie Lajoie beat out an infield single and took an extra base thanks to an overthrow from the shortstop. Williamson scored Holder from third with a groundout.
Lajoie extended his hit streak to 16 games and his on-base streak to 19 games with the hit in the first inning.
The Lefties got to Johnson in the fifth inning, starting with a solo home run by Carson Crawford. Tommy Takayoshi reached on a dropped third strike that would have ended the inning, then scored the go-ahead run when Luke Saunders doubled to left field, crossing home plate before Saunders was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.
The Pippins responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning to re-take the lead, starting with a base hit and stolen base by Spencer Marenco. Marenco scored on Lajoie’s second single of the night.
Lajoie scored on a base hit by Dickman to give the Pippins a 3-2 lead.
Johnson returned for a sixth inning of work, but walked the first two batters before loading the bases by hitting Coleman Schmidt. Johnson (2-2, 6.51 ERA) was then removed in favor of Owen Wild.
With his first pitch, Wild got Shea Thomas to hit a weak ground ball to Marenco, but he misplayed it initially before throwing the ball away to first. As the ball skipped away from Dickman at first, the runner on third base started for home but changed his mind while the runner on second did take off for third. Carpentier chased the runner back to second before overthrowing Marenco, allowing a second run to score on the play.
The two runners moved up to second and third base on a wild pitch by Wild, drawing the infield in with no outs. This allowed Trevor Tishenkel to drive in two runs with a chopper up the middle that bounced over the head of the infielders.
Wild (2-0, 3.29 ERA) would escape the inning and turn in two more scoreless innings before walking the first two batters of the ninth, causing the Pippins to turn to Connor Wilson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) who retired the next three batters in order to keep the Lefties’ lead the same.
The Pippins failed to advance a runner past first base from the sixth inning on.Read Less
Pippins unable to recover after six-run first
The Port Angeles Lefties dealt a loss to the Yakima Valley Pippins, 8-2, after taking advantage of four errors in a six-run first inning Tuesday night.
The bad luck for the Pippins began when the first batter of the game, Luke Saunders, reached on an error by Chaz Myers at shortstop. He proceeded to steal second base and eventually score on a wild pitch.
Pippins starter Seth Kuykendall induced a groundout and struck out Garrett Lake to get him off the hook for all of the runs in the inning.
An error by Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek continued the inning, followed by a pair of base hits and Myers’ second error of the game.
Jack Holman would double two more runners home before an error by Mason Marenco allowed a sixth run to score. The four errors in the first inning is the most in an inning for the Pippins this season.
Kuykendall (0-2, 2.78 ERA) mostly settled in from there, giving up just two earned runs total over four more innings of work.
The Pippins offense was uncharacteristically stagnant as they failed to capitalize on six errors committed by the Lefties in the game.
Noah Williamson scored both runs for the Pippins, first in the second inning after reaching on a dropped third strike for the third time this season. He advanced to third base on two separate wild pitches, then scored when Mason Marenco grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Lefties starter Justin Miller (1-2, 5.65 ERA) was pulled after walking Martin-Grudzielanek, with one out and runners on first and second base, in favor of Steven Brooks.
Brooks got out of that inning and continued to cruise over 5.2 innings of work. The lone blemish on his line was a solo home run to center by Williamson to lead off the sixth inning that traveled 423 feet.
Brooks (1-0, 1.31 ERA) was credited with the win, and gave way to Tatsuya Uemoto in the eighth, who kept the score the same over the final two innings in a non-save situation.
Weston Janavs (0-0, 0.00 ERA) came on in the sixth and delivered three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three. Joey Cammarata (0-0, 12.60 ERA) turned in a scoreless ninth as well.
The Pippins and Lefties continue the series Wednesday, with first pitch delayed to 8:55 p.m. The Pippins respectfully ask that fans arrive no earlier than 8:10, as the gates will not open before that time.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. — As double-digit heat continues to plague the Pacific Northwest, the Yakima Valley Pippins again are delaying the start to Wednesday’s West Coast League game against the Port Angeles Lefties.
Originally slated for 6:35 p.m. and then delayed to 7:35, the new start time will be 8:55 p.m. — just at sunset, Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said.
“Based on what we’ve learned even today (Tuesday) while we were preparing for the game, the prudent thing to do for the safety of players, coaches, umpires, fans and staff is to push back even from today’s later start,” Garretson said.
Wednesday also marks Washington state’s official reopening as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in the state, which means Yakima County Stadium can go back to full capacity seating without the social-distancing measures that have been in place since the June 4 season opener.
To that end, Garretson said the Pippins will offer a 2-for-1 Stadium Select ticket deal at the box office Wednesday night. Normally at $12 per seat, the Pippins will offer two seats for the price of one for Wednesday’s game. It’s also St. Joe’s Bingo Night, and the first 200 fans will receive a free bingo card with the chance to win prizes and possibly 2022 season tickets.
Thursday is Celebrate America Night, presented by Banner Bank, with a souvenir hat giveaway to the first 1,000 fans. Gates open at 6 p.m., with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Garretson said that time may slide a bit later, but a decision on that won’t be made until Wednesday evening.Read Less
Carpentier Jr. ties game twice in last two innings, balk ends game
In a game that took 16 innings and 5 hours and will have big ramifications in the North Division, the Yakima Valley Pippins earned a walk-off win with a balk in the bottom of the 16th inning against the Walla Walla Sweets Sunday night.
Walla Walla (7-8) had pulled to within one game of the lead in the North with a win in the series opener, but now falls to three games behind the Pippins (10-5) with Sunday’s loss.
Connor Wilson made a spot start for the Pippins, tossing four innings and giving up just one run with one walk and one strikeout. Wilson had been pitching for the Cascade League’s showcase team, including an appearance against the Pippins on June 19.
Paul Myro reached to start the game and came around to score the first run of the game for the third straight game.
The Pippins would answer in the bottom of the first inning, as Chaz Myers singled and Alex Shanks reached on an error by second baseman Connor Cirillo that put them on third and second. Willie Lajoie drove in Myers with a sacrifice fly and Shanks scored on a base hit by Noah Williamson.
Case Matter (0-0, 13.50 ERA) pitched the fifth inning, giving up a leadoff walk but retiring the next three batters for a clean appearance. In the bottom of the fifth, Myers hit his second double of the game and scored on a Lajoie single that extended Lajoie’s hit streak (14 games) and on-base streak (17 games) to give the Pippins a 3-1 lead.
Myers would hit his third double of the game in the seventh inning, tying the franchise record. Nick Plaia was the last to accomplish the feat in 2017.
Sweets starter Nate Dahle (0-2, 4.61 ERA) was pulled with two outs in the fifth inning after walking his first batter of the game. He was taken off the hook for the loss after the Sweets later tied the game.
Dylan Bishop turned in two innings of one-run ball. He gave up a leadoff base hit in the sixth inning to Seth Ryberg, who scored on a double by Niko Khoury. Bishop (2-1, 5.00 ERA) gave way to Owen Wild in the eighth inning.
Wild, looking to rebound after walking four out of five batters in Friday’s appearance, looked much sharper. He gave up one hit in his one inning of work, but the tying run would come around to score when Khoury hit a line drive to left field that popped out of Taylor Holder’s glove.
After Wild (2-0, 4.21 ERA), the Pippins utilized Kenny Johnson (2-1, 5.65 ERA) for a scoreless ninth, who received help from Michael Carpentier Jr. throwing out his sixth would-be base stealer of the season.
The Sweets offense sputtered over the first four extra innings, striking out four times and grounding into two double plays as they faced Peyton Stumbo (0-0, 4.05 ERA) for the first three innings before Payton Robertson took over in the 13th inning.
The Pippins struggled in the early extras as well, and the Sweets utilized intentional walks that paid off – including walking Blake Dickman (0-for-5 at the time) to get to Taylor Holder (2-for-5) with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th. The Pippins would strand the bases loaded in that inning.
In Robertson’s third inning of work in the 15th inning, Colin Wetterau and Ryberg singled with two outs, and both of them scored after Williamson dove after a line drive by Cameron Butler and failed to make the catch. Butler was thrown out trying to turn the hit into a triple, and the Pippins came to bat trailing for the first time since the first inning.
Eric Romo, who earned the save Friday and was brought on in the 13th inning, hit Holder with a pitch with one out. Carpentier Jr. then took Romo 401 feet to right field to tie the game, 5-5, with a two-run home run.
Romo was removed from the game in favor of Nick Irwin, who got the final two outs despite walking Myers and Shanks.
Robertson returned for the 16th inning and gave up a leadoff triple to Connor Cirillo, who scored on a two-out base hit by Eli Paton to give the Sweets a 6-5 lead.
Irwin looked on track to put the game away after inducing two groundouts to start the bottom of the 16th inning, but Blake Dickman singled up the middle for his first hit of the night. Corey Jarrell pinch-ran for him, and moved to second when Holder worked a full-count walk to bring Carpentier Jr. to the plate again.
Carpentier Jr. singled to left-center field to drive in Jarrell from second, tying the game once again. With runners on the corners and two outs, Irwin failed to come completely set for the 1-0 pitch to Connor Coballes and was called for a walk-off balk.
Irwin (0-1, 12.46 ERA) was tagged with the loss while Robertson’s (1-1, 4.35 ERA) four-inning relief appearance earned him the win.
The Pippins will welcome the Port Angeles Lefties to The Orchard Tuesday-Thursday, starting with Toyota Tuesday Family Night at 7:35 p.m.Read Less
Offense takes lead in second inning, never looks back in win
The Yakima Valley Pippins snapped a three-game skid with a 9-5 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets in the middle game of their series in Yakima.
The Pippins received a big boost from Tyler Frieders, who gave up just one run over seven innings on the mound. He struck out a season-high 10 batters and gave up just two hits along the way.
Paul Myro led off the second straight game with a walk, then scored on a double by Parker Price to give the Sweets an early 1-0 lead.
The Pippins would not respond until the second inning, when Blake Dickman, Connor Coballes and Chase Graves reached on a walk, single and hit-by-pitch to start the inning with the bases loaded. Spencer Marenco knocked in Dickman and Coballes with a base hit to give the Pippins a lead they would not relinquish.
Noah Williamson led off the third inning with a towering fly ball to the left field corner that knocked Nation Wood’s glove off his hand as he attempted to make the catch. Williamson was sprinting around the bases and ended up on third with a triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dickman to improve the Pippins’ lead to 3-1.
Sweets starter Jake Dahle (0-1, 3.38 ERA) lasted three innings. He gave up six hits and struck out six, and was tagged with the loss.
The Sweets turned to Noah Serna in the fourth, but the Pippins added four runs thanks to four walks and a pair of errors by Price at shortstop.
Frieders (1-1, 4.50 ERA) retired the final 10 batters he faced in order, racking up his final seven strikeouts in that batch, to earn the win.
The Pippins added a run in the seventh and eighth innings, and Joey Cammarata (0-0, 15.75 ERA) gave up a pair of runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to bring the final score to 9-5.
The Pippins (15-5, 9-5) and Sweets (11-9, 7-7) will play for the series win Sunday, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. — As the extreme heat wave continues throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Yakima Valley Pippins on Saturday proactively made changes to next week’s events at Yakima County Stadium.
The Pippins’ three-game West Coast League North Division home series with the Port Angeles Lefties, slated Tuesday through Thursday, will have start times on Tuesday and Wednesday of 7:35 p.m., an hour later than the original start time. Thursday’s game, Celebrate America Night presented by Banner Bank, will maintain it’s 7:05 p.m. start time. The Thursday game features postgame fireworks and souvenir July 4 hats to the first 1,000 fans.
The Pippins also have moved their first summer camp for youth, a two-day camp slated to start Tuesday, back to July 27-28. All registrations have been rolled to the new dates, Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said.
“We want to make sure fans, campers, players and staff are safe as possible during this heat, and moving start times back and delay a camp are prudent things to do,” Garretson said. “Moving the start time of this weekend’s game back 30 minutes on Friday helped tremendously. Every minute we can get the sun lower in the sky helps the temperature drop.”
Garretson added game times will continue to be evaluated as the heat wave continues.
Tuesday’s game against Port Angeles is Toyota Tuesday, and the first 50 youth receive a free baseball. The first 100 youth receive a coupon for a free hot dog as well, courtesy of Toyota.
Wednesday is Bingo Night, presented by St. Joe’s Bingo in Union Gap. The first 200 fans receive a free bingo card with the chance to win a St. Joe’s Bingo-Pippins prize pack, and the possibility of winning 2022 season tickets.Read Less
Kirby Robertson's quality start not enough in loss
The Yakima Valley Pippins dropped the first game of a home series against the Walla Walla Sweets, falling 9-7 after a late-inning surge from the Sweets offense.
With the win, the Sweets (7-6) have moved themselves into second place in the North Division and just one game behind the first-place Pippins (8-5).
Pippins starter Kirby Robertson turned in a quality start, striking out two in seven innings while giving up single runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings.
He walked Paul Myro to start the game, but got a line drive out to right field before Eli Paton singled. On the play, Corey Jarrell tried to throw out Myro trying to go first-to-third, but instead threw it away into the Pippins dugout, scoring Myro and moving Paton to second base.
After striking out Justin Folz, Colin Wetterau singled to left, but Taylor Holder threw Paton out at the plate to end the inning.
The Pippins started the bottom of the first inning with four straight hits, including an RBI double by Noah Williamson to tie the game. Sam Olsson grounded out, scoring a second run, and Mason Marenco singled home a third run to give Yakima Valley a 3-1 lead.
They added one more in the second inning, started by Alex Fernandes reaching on a fielder’s choice and moving to second on a groundout by Taylor Holder. With two outs, Connor Coballes popped up to shallow center field, but second baseman Parker Price failed to make the catch, allowing Fernandes to score from second.
The Sweets came within one run, but the Pippins again extended their lead with a three-run home run by Noah Williamson in the bottom of the sixth inning. Williamson’s home run traveled 367 feet and had an exit velocity of 113 miles-per-hour.
Robertson (0-0, 2.76 ERA) turned in a clean seventh thanks to the second double play turned by his defense before turning the ball over to Owen Wild in the eighth inning.
Wild struggled walking four of the five batters he faced – forcing home a run – while he struck out one. He left with the bases loaded and one out as the Pippins turned to Payton Robertson.
Robertson got Wetterau to ground out for the second out, driving in a second run, before Seth Ryberg singled home a pair of runs to tie the game. All four runs in the inning were charged to Wild (2-0, 4.65 ERA).
Willie Lajoie was hit on the helmet with one out in the bottom of the eighth, and the Pippins brought Donald Saltiban Jr. on to pinch run as the potential go-ahead run. But Noah Williamson grounded into a fielder’s choice to nullify the move before Sam Olsson struck out looking to keep the game tied.
Payton Robertson was sent back out for the ninth, but Coballes committed just his second error of the season to allow Cameron Butler to reach to start the inning. Butler moved to second on a wild pitch, and Nation Wood attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The bunt came back to Robertson, who threw to third, but failed to retire Butler as the throw was high, leaving runners on the corners with no outs.
Robertson was pulled in favor of Peyton Stumbo after walking Myro to load the bases. Price knocked in two go-ahead runs with a base hit before Paton flew out to left field and Folz grounded into a double play to end the ninth.
The Pippins struck out twice as they went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to take their third-straight loss into the middle game of the series Saturday. Payton Robertson (0-1, 2.84 ERA) was charged with the loss.
Saturday and Sunday’s start times have been pushed back due to extreme temperatures in the area. Saturday will start at 7:35 p.m. while Sunday’s game will start at 7:05 p.m.Read Less
Pippins, Raptors combine for 22 runs, 27 hits in series finale
The Yakima Valley Pippins were dealt their first series loss after a 13-9 defeat in Ridgefield Thursday.
The Pippins and Raptors combined for 22 runs and 27 hits, but the Pippins failed to score past the fifth inning.
Both starting pitchers were chased after just three innings of work. Taylor Holder walked and Chaz Myers was hit by a pitch to start the game before Ridgefield starter Nick Jennings gave up hits to Willie Lajoie and Sam Olsson to drive in the first run of the game.
Jennings would escape the inning without any further damage.
Dylan Bishop started on the mound for the Pippins and kept the Raptors off the scoreboard in the first after leadoff hitter John Peck reached on an error by Myers to start the inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, Cole Urman led off with a double, Micah McDowell singled and Tanner Jacques walked to load the bases before Caden Connor doubled to drive in all three. Connor would score on a Reece Hernandez base hit to give the Raptors a 4-1 lead.
The Pippins responded with a five-run fifth inning started by Willie Lajoie hitting a three-run home run – his first home run of the season – to right field. Noah Williamson and Sam Olsson reached, and then Mason Marenco singled Williamson home. Olsson would score on a groundout by Blake Dickman.
Bishop got a quick first out in the bottom of the third, but Urman reached on Myers’ second error of the night and the next five batters reached on either base hits or walks to drive in another four runs and put Ridgefield back on top, 8-6.
The inning finally came to an end when Hernandez flew out to center before Williamson made a diving catch in center field to retire Morales. Bishop ate the loss and saw his ERA rise to 5.06.
Case Matter made his first West Coast League appearance, pitching the fourth inning for the Pippins and struggled as well, hitting Will Chambers to start the inning and allowing Urman and Darcy to reach on hits to load the bases. McDowell grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Chambers from third.
McDowell stole second base and Jacques walked to load the bases, setting the table for a two-run base hit by John Peck to extend their lead to 11-6. Matter’s ERA sits at 27.00 after the one-inning appearance.
The Pippins scored again in the fifth inning after Marenco and Alex Shanks reached on a one-out walk and single. Dickman hit a come-backer to the pitcher Cooper Vasquez who threw to second to start a double play, but threw it in the turf and into center field to allow Marenco to score.
Spencer Marenco then walked to load the bases, and Taylor Holder hit a grounder that could have been another double play ball, but Kody Darcy stepped on third base and overthrew first base, allowing Shanks to score. Myers doubled to drive in Spencer Marenco for the final Pippins run of the game, cutting the Raptors’ lead to 11-9.
Ben Wills pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings despite loading the bases in the fifth and allowing a runner in the sixth. In the seventh, he loaded the bases and walked his third batter of the inning to force across a run before the Pippins turned to Weston Janavs.
Janavs induced a groundout, but the defense could only get an out at second base, scoring a second run. Janavs got another groundout to end the inning.
In the eighth, Janavs loaded the bases before striking out the next three batters. He now sports a 0.00 ERA with six strikeouts over three innings.
Eli Shubert closed out the final 4.1 innings and faced just one extra batter over the minimum to earn the win and lower his ERA to 1.42.
The Pippins head home for a weekend series with the Walla Walla Sweets, who sit two games behind the Pippins in the North Division standings. Game times have been pushed back in anticipation of extreme temperatures, with Friday’s game starting at 7:35 p.m.Read Less
Williamson homers for third straight appearance in loss
The Yakima Valley Pippins saw their win streak come to an end Wednesday night in Ridgefield as they fell 13-5 to the Raptors in the second of a three-game series.
The Pippins (14-3, 8-3) and Raptors (10-7, 9-5) will play the final game to decide the series Thursday at 6:35 p.m. as the Pippins look to win their fourth-straight West Coast League series to start the season.
The Raptors got to Pippins starter Kenny Johnson in the first inning after John Peck walked to lead off the bottom of the inning. He stole second base before Reece Hernandez singled to drive in Peck.
Coby Morales hit a line drive that was headed through the right side of the infield when it hit Hernandez on his way to second base, ending the play and putting Morales on first base with one out after Hernandez was called out.
Johnson struck out two of the next three batters to limit the damage. The Raptors loaded the bases in the second inning, but Johnson was able to escape that jam unscathed.
In the third inning, Johnson earned a quick first out before hitting Tafton Hensley, who promptly stole second base.
Brady Kasper hit a ground ball headed for the outfield before Connor Coballes dove to cut it off. He stopped the ball, but his throw got past Willie Lajoie at first base, allowing Hensley to score and Kasper to advance to second base.
Johnson then loaded the bases with a walk and his second hit batter of the inning, and Caden Connor drove in two more runs with a double. Johnson (2-1, 6.08 ERA) was pulled after John Peck drove in a run with a base hit to give the Raptors a 5-0 lead.
Peyton Stumbo was called upon with runners on the corners and one out, and was helped by Michael Carpentier Jr. throwing out Peck trying to steal second base before inducing a lineout to right field to prevent any more runs.
Ridgefield starter Nate Weeldreyer was perfect through the first 11 batters he faced before the Pippins scored for the first time in the fourth inning. With two outs, Lajoie extended his hit streak to 11 games with a pop fly to right field that Connor lost in the clear sky and let drop, allowing Lajoie to reach second for a double.
Noah Williamson followed with a two-run home run to left field to cut the Raptors lead to 5-2. Williamson has hit a home run in each of his last three appearances.
Stumbo set the Raptors down in order in the fourth inning, but got off to a bad start in the fifth with a walk, base hit and double to start the inning. With runners on second and third base, Carpentier attempted a pickoff to third that sailed over Chaz Myers’ glove. The runner on third scored easily, and the runner on second was able to score after Williamson failed to field the ball cleanly.
Weeldreyer (1-0, 5.40 ERA) was pulled in the sixth inning after issuing a pair of walks to Chase Graves and Myers and Lajoie reached on an error by Morales at first base to start the inning.
Ben Larson took over with the bases loaded and no outs, and Williamson hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Graves. Blake Dickman hit an RBI double to cut the Ridgefield lead to 8-4.
Ryan Arredondo came on to pitch the sixth inning for Yakima Valley, and gave up a base hit to the first batter he faced before retiring the next three in order.
He returned for the seventh inning, walking Grant Heiser to lead off the inning before Kody Darcy hit a two-run home run. Two more batters would reach base, setting the table for Morales’ third home run of the season, a three-run shot to right field.
Arredondo got a second out but allowed two more runners to reach, and the Pippins replaced Arredondo with Payton Robertson. Robertson walked the bases loaded before inducing a lineout to force Ridgefield to settle for a 13-4 lead.
In their last trips to the plate, Spencer Marenco and Alex Fernandez – making his Pippins debut – walked, and Marenco tagged up to third on a flyout by Graves and tagged up to score on a sacrifice fly by Myers to score the final Pippins run.Read Less
Temperatures expected in triple digits for most of the next week
YAKIMA, Wash. — Because of excessive heat coming to the Yakima Valley for the next several days, the Yakima Valley Pippins are pushing back the start times for a three-game weekend series against sibling rival Walla Walla.
The Friday and Saturday games against the Sweets, originally scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m., will now start at 7:35 p.m. Sunday’s 6:05 start time has been pushed back to 7:05 p.m.
“It’s in the best interest for fans, players, umpires and staff that we push back first pitch for the weekend,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “Every minute helps in situations like these.”
The Pippins host Walla Walla in a key three-game series that can drastically shape the first half of West Coast League’s North Division. Currently, the Pippins lead the division with an 8-2 record, and Walla Walla is three games behind in third place at 6-6.
Garretson said a decision on next week’s games, when the Pippins host Port Angeles in a three-game series starting Tuesday, will be made this weekend.Read Less
Pippins win season series, extend win streak to 12 games
The Yakima Valley Pippins were victorious in their return to West Coast League play and extended their win streak to 12 games with a 10-1 victory over the Ridgefield Raptors Tuesday.
Ridgefield starter Ryan Pitts kept the Pippins’ bats quiet for two innings, but Taylor Holder led off the third inning with a base hit and stolen base that sparked a three-run inning.
Holder moved to third when Connor Coballes grounded out and scored the first run of the game on Willie Lajoie’s second base hit of the night. Noah Williamson hit a 375-foot line drive to left field that easily cleared the fence for a two-run home run and a three-run Pippins lead.
Pitts (1-1, 5.68 ERA) was pulled after three innings in favor of Nick Nygard, who lasted two innings without allowing a run and struck out four.
The Pippins tapped Seth Kuykendall to start, and he cruised through the first few innings, facing one more than the minimum number of batters through three innings. He walked two in the fourth inning but stranded them with help from Holder’s diving catch to end the inning.
In the fifth, the Raptors put together a string of hits (two doubles and a triple) to drive in their first run of the game, and Kuykendall issued a walk to load the bases with two outs.
Kuykendall (0-1, 2.55 ERA) was lifted from the jam, and Owen Wild was called upon to escape the inning. He struck out the Raptors’ cleanup hitter Will Chambers, and racked up seven more strikeouts as he cruised through the final 4.1 innings to earn his second win of the season and improve his ERA to 0.96.
Nygard was replaced in the sixth inning by Jacob Fried, who walked Austin Plante before giving up a home run to Taylor Holder to extend the Pippins lead to 5-1.
That lead would stand until the top of the ninth inning, when Raptors pitcher Joey Martin issued a walk and the Pippins earned three straight base hits to add one run before Ridgefield made a change.
Alex Shanks lined his first pitch from new pitcher Carson Walters to center field for a sacrifice fly, and Chaz Myers hit a line drive to left that bounced on the warning track before clearing the fence for a ground-rule double to score another run.
With two on and two out, Holder singled on a line drive to center field that allowed the two runners on base to score before he was thrown out at second base trying to advance on a throw home.
The Pippins and Raptors continue their series Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. as Ridgefield looks to avoid a second series loss.Read Less
Cascade's last-inning push thwarted by baserunning error
The Yakima Valley Pippins finished their first stretch of non-league play undefeated after a victory over the Cascade Collegiate League’s showcase team 9-5 Monday night.
The team has now won a franchise-best 11 straight games as they head off to Ridgefield Tuesday-Thursday to return to West Coast League play.
Joey Cammarata started on the mound for the Pippins and stuck around for five innings, his longest outing of the season thus far. He walked three and only struck out two, but kept the showcase team to just two runs (one earned).
The Pippins scored first in the bottom of the second inning when Blake Dickman doubled to lead off the inning and was driven home by Alex Shanks’ double. Shanks stole third base and scored thanks to a Chaz Myers sacrifice fly to center field.
With two outs, Austin Plante hit his first home run of the summer390 feet to left-center. The hit had an exit velocity of 101 miles-per-hour and a 31.9-degree launch angle.
Cammarata first ran into trouble in the third inning after loading the bases with one out. Kyle Henington drove in the showcase team’s first run of the game on a base hit, but Cammarata escaped the jam with a pair of flyouts in foul territory and a grounder up the middle that he fielded and tossed to first base.
Dickman drove in Taylor Holder with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to give the Pippins a 4-1 lead.
Cammarata’s unearned run came in the fifth inning with Henington on second after a one-out double. Henington stole third, but Dickman’s throw got past Myers at third and into left field to allow the runner to score.
Payton Robertson put in two innings of work, surrendering one run to the showcase team in the sixth. Harrison Clark hit a leadoff double and scored from third on a base hit by Zane Skanski to cut the Pippins lead to 4-3, but Robertson struck out the next three hitters to end the inning.
The Pippins batted around in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out before Chase Graves got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly to center field. The next four batters each hit RBI-base hits to give the Pippins a 9-3 lead.
Weston Janavs pitched the final two innings, and was unscathed headed into the ninth. Pinch hitters John Taylor, Peter King and Eunsang Yu walked, singled and doubled to score two runs and make the score 9-5 to start the ninth.
Aaron Barber flew out for the first out of the inning before a baserunning mistake sealed the showcase team’s fate.
Eric Luchies lined out to Jordan Hara at second base, who caught the ball near the dirt. Both Hara and Yu on first were unsure whether the catch was made, so Hara threw to second for an attempted ground-ball double play that Luchies would have beaten out at first if he was not already out.
Due to the confusion, Yu thought he had been put out by the force at second base and began to walk off the field while Luchies stayed on first, allowing Willie Lajoie to apply the tag on Yu for the final out of the game.
All three road games of the Ridgefield series will begin at 6:35 p.m., with live audio coverage provided on Mixlr or at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins scored a season-high 22 runs Sunday to defeat the Cascade Collegiate League’s showcase team and win their 10th-straight game in the process.
The Pippins were aided by three long balls, including a two-out grand slam by Noah Williamson in the bottom of the fourth, and every spot in the lineup scored a run.
Kirby Robertson started on the mound for the Pippins, and turned in six innings while allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. He allowed a run in the first inning that put the CCL team in the lead momentarily.
The Pippins would not start their scoring until the second inning, when they scored on a bases loaded walk, hit by pitch and then a Connor Coballes sacrifice fly to take a 3-1 lead.
They would add five more to their total in the third inning thanks to RBI hits from Taylor Holder, Corey Jarrell and Coballes to stretch their lead 8-1. CCL’s starter James Spickelmier was chased in the middle of the inning and took credit for six runs over 2.1 innings.
The CCL showcase team cut the lead to 8-3 in the top of the fourth before Yakima’s bats got even hotter in the bottom half of the inning.
Noah Williamson led off the bottom of the fourth with a 418-foot home run to left field. With two runners on and two outs, Holder hit a 404-foot line drive to left-center field for a three-run home run.
Luke Stutesman was removed after walking Jarrell, but Garrison Eid walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases before Evan Siegel was called upon to try to escape the inning.
Instead, Noah Williamson took him deep for his second home run in the inning and give the Pippins a 16-3 lead.
The Pippins would add one run in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, while Ben Wills pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, striking out two along the way.
In the bottom of the eighth, Chaz Myers walked with the bases loaded to force in a run before Holder drove in a run and reached on a fielder’s choice for his seventh RBI of the night.
Peyton Stumbo singled in the final run for the Pippins, and Ryan Arredondo pitched a scoreless ninth inning to put the CCL showcase team away.
The two teams will conclude their series tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. before the Pippins return to West Coast League with a trip to Ridgefield Tuesday-Thursday.Read Less
Quality start from Frieders helps Pippins to ninth-straight victory
The Yakima Valley Pippins opened a three-game series against the Cascade League’s showcase team Saturday with a 9-3 victory.
The team benefited from a quality start by Tyler Frieders as well as timely hits from the bottom of their lineup, including a 2-for-2 debut for Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek.
The Pippins struck first in the bottom of the second inning, led off by a Mason Marenco double. Marenco moved to third on a fly out by Sam Olsson and scored on a groundout to first by Michael Carpentier Jr. to give the Pippins a 1-0 lead.
The showcase team responded in the third inning after Frieders walked his first batter of the game and gave up his first hit to start the inning. Willie Lajoie misplayed a hard-hit ground ball that loaded the bases before the lead runner scored on a ground out by Aaron Barber. From there, Frieders would collect himself, striking out Michael Ball and inducing a groundout to prevent further damage.
Eric Luchies led off the top of the fourth inning with a base hit, but Carpentier Jr. picked him off after Zane Skanski struck out swinging for a quick two outs and a momentum change in the inning. Justin Stransky followed with a lineout to Noah Williamson in left field to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Sam Olsson reached on an error by Luchies at first when the sun prevented him from catching a throw from the infield on a potential groundout.
Carpentier Jr. would walk and Martin Grudzielanek walked for the second time in the game to load the bases for Alex Shanks, who doubled home a pair of runs. Chase Graves then walked to load the bases again, and each runner advanced on a passed ball to score a third run. Connor Coballes walked for his third time to load the bases yet again, and Willie Lajoie singled to score the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.
The Cascade league’s showcase team then turned to reliever Connor Wilson, who promptly escaped the jam and kept the Pippins off the board until the seventh while his offense added runs in the fifth and seventh to cut the lead to 6-3.
Wilson earned two quick strikeouts, but then walked Olsson, and the inning would turn chaotic from there. Carpentier Jr. hit a chopper to second base, but Barber had to make the play on the run and let the ball slip under his glove.
Olsson immediately took off for third base, and Carpentier Jr. tried to stretch his legs as the ball trickled into right field. The throw went to second, where Carpentier Jr. slid under the tag, and Olsson was waved around to score on a close play at the plate before running into the home plate umpire.
Martin-Grudzielanek followed with his first RBI with the Pippins when he doubled home Carpentier Jr. from second base. He then scored his second run of the night thanks to a Shanks base hit.
The Pippins benefited from one-inning outings from Case Matter, Payton Robertson and Kenny Johnson to shut down the Cascade offense the rest of the way and take home a 9-3 victory.
The two teams will meet again Sunday for Father’s Day, with first pitch at 6:05 p.m.Read Less
Currently, socially distanced pod seating remains for games through June 29
YAKIMA, Wash. — Following the lead of other sports teams in the state, the Yakima Valley Pippins on Monday will put tickets on sale for all games after June 30 at full capacity.
That span encompasses the team’s final 19 regular-season games, including Celebrate America Night on July 1 — which includes postgame fireworks and souvenir giveaway hats to the first 1,000 fans courtesy of Banner Bank.
“We’re certainly excited about being able to move to larger capacities at The Orchard in a safe and inviting way for all fans,” general manager Jeff Garretson said. “With the governor’s plan to fully open by June 30, if not earlier, we’ll be ready to welcome more Pippins fans back to the ballpark.”
Tickets will be available Monday afternoon at PippinsTickets.com or by calling 509-575-HITS. Fans can purchase tickets for any of those games in person at the stadium box office beginning at noon Saturday.
Seating capacity at Yakima County Stadium is 2,800, not including areas such as the picnic deck, field-side bars and standing room only.
Garretson said the Pippins will recommend the wearing of masks for unvaccinated fans, which is consistent with state guidelines.
Until the June 30 game, pod seating will remain in place for upcoming games at The Orchard, including Saturday’s Celebrate Equality Night, which also features postgame fireworks. The Pippins host the Cascade Collegiate League Showcase squad Saturday through Monday, then host sibling rival Walla Walla next Friday through Sunday.
The Pippins are currently riding an eight-game winning streak, and atop the West Coast League’s North Division with a 7-2 record.Read Less
The Pippins rode 11 walks and 12 hits to score 13 runs Thursday against the Redmond Dudes, while Pippins pitchers struck out 16 Dudes and held them to just 5 runs for a non-league victory.
The Pippins will take Friday off before hosting the Cascade League All-Stars for a three-game set beginning Saturday, when the Pippins will host a Juneteenth/Celebrate Equality Night presented by Saol Salon, Haven Salon and Indigo Salon, with fireworks after the game.
Weston Janavs, in his first appearance since June 10 when he recorded just one out while allowing three unearned runs, struck out three hitters in his first two innings. He allowed just one runner in the second inning, as Davis Miller reached after hitting Sam Olsson’s glove hand on his swing to cause catcher’s interference.
Olsson was removed from the game, and Blake Dickman moved to catcher from first base. Noah Williamson was called upon to replace Dickman at first base and hit in Olsson’s spot in the lineup.
The Pippins scored first with a three-run bottom of the second inning. Corey Jarrell singled off Redmond starter Brock Wrolstad with one out, and Connor Bane walked with two outs before Spencer Marenco tripled them both home. Mason Marenco then doubled him home.
Janavs did surrender two unearned runs in his third inning of work. He finished with four strikeouts and no walks, leaving with a 3-2 lead, but did not pitch long enough to receive the win.
The win instead was credited to Owen Wild, who pitched the next three innings, keeping Redmond off the scoreboard and striking out six dudes while walking none and allowing just two hits.
Alex Shanks and Blake Dickman led off the third inning with base hits before the bases were loaded by an Austin Plante walk. Jordan Hara doubled two runs in with one out before the Dudes made their first pitching change.
With Joe Schwab pitching, Connor Bane walked to load the bases again before Spencer Marenco walked to force the third run of the inning home. Mason Marenco grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Hara from third to give the Pippins a 7-2 lead, which would stand until the bottom of the seventh inning.
Hara and Bane walked to start the inning, and Spencer Marenco was hit on the shoulder to load the bases with one out. Mason Marenco then flew out to left for a sacrifice fly to score Hara from third base.
Williamson walked to load the bases with two outs before another mid-inning pitching change for the Dudes. Shanks, first to face Luke Snedeker, doubled to clear the bases and increase the Pippins lead to 11-2.
Peyton Stumbo, in his first appearance with the Pippins, struck out two while allowing just one hit in a scoreless seventh inning before a bumpier eighth. After walking the leadoff batter, Vierra doubled a third run of the game home before he was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Stumbo then allowed a double, walk, and Alex Black reached on a dropped third strike to load the bases with two outs before Blake Walden doubled home the final two runs of the game for the Dudes.
The Pippins would add two more thanks to a Hara double, Bane single and Spencer Marenco doubling home the 13th run before he was thrown out trying to leg out his second triple of the game.
Dann Blanchard closed the door in the ninth with three strikeouts to seal the 13-5 victory.
The Pippins have now won their last eight games and are 10-2 overall to start the season.Read Less
Great pitching, explosive offense lead Pippins to 10-run victory Wednesday
The Pippins scored eight runs in the first two innings of Wednesday night’s game against the NW Star Nighthawks to take an early lead that they would not let go, eventually winning 14-4.
With their seventh-straight win, the Pippins improve to 9-2 overall (7-2 in West Coast League Play) as they welcome in the Redmond Dudes Thursday for the first Thirsty Thursday of the season, presented by Northwest Peanut Company and Iron Horse Brewing.
The Pippins scored first with a five-run bottom of the first inning in which they recorded just one hit but walked three times and one batter was hit by a pitch.
The first two Pippins batters of the game reached on walks, then Mason Marenco doubled them home to start the scoring. The Pippins would load the bases again before Spencer Marenco hit a deep line drive to center field that went off Quadreece Teague’s glove, allowing three runs to score.
Joey Cammarata started for the Pippins, looking to rebound after starting the season with three earned runs given up in two innings over two appearances. He showed improved command, striking out the first batter of the game and keeping the Nighthawks off the board in the first inning.
He gave up a leadoff triple to Nick Laurenza, who scored on a sacrifice fly, before recording his second strikeout of the night and getting Ryan Kamp to line out to end the top of the second inning.
Corey Jarrell led off the bottom of the second inning with a base hit, and Chase Graves and Mason Marenco would walk and single, respectively, to load the bases with one out. Sam Olsson singled home Jarrell and Graves, and Marenco scored on a base hit by Taylor Holder to give the Pippins an 8-1 lead.
In his last inning of work, Cammarata gave up two more runs to the Nighthawks in the third inning. Dylan Bishop took over for the next four innings, giving up just one run in the fifth while striking out four. He would take credit for the win.
The Pippins added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, then send nine batters to the plate in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.
Blake Dickman led off the sixth with a base hit and Taylor Holder was hit by a pitch, and Dickman would score on Connor Bane’s base hit. With one out, Corey Jarrell doubled home Holder and Bane. Jarrell finished the game 4-for-5 with two RBI and scored twice.
He was driven home by a Chaz Myers base hit with two outs as the Pippins took a 14-4 lead.
Kenny Johnson pitched the eighth inning for the Pippins, striking out one and sending the Nighthawks down in order. Seth Kuykendall finished the game, surrendering one hit but otherwise shutting down the Nighthawks to finish the game.
First pitch Thursday will be at 6:35 p.m., and the Pippins will take Friday off before welcoming in the Cascade League All-Stars Saturday-Sunday.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins took advantage of a pair of errors, five hit batsmen and eight walks to cruise to a 12-3 victory over the Northwest Star Nighthawks Tuesday night.
The Pippins will play the Nighthawks again Wednesday night as part of a string of six non-league games over seven days before returning to West Coast League play June 22.
The Nighthawks struck first after Carter Monda reached on an error by Spencer Marenco, Brooks Dyer walked, and Nick Laurenza singled them both home.
The Pippins answered in the bottom half with a leadoff double by Taylor Holder and an RBI-base hit by Chaz Myers, but the Nighthawks held onto a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.
Tuesday was a bullpen day for the Pippins, as they used six pitchers, with no pitcher receiving more than two innings of work. Ryan Arredondo (0-0, 4.50 ERA) started the game, surrendering two runs (one earned), before giving way to Case Matter (0-0, 0.00 ERA) who pitched a scoreless third inning in his Pippins debut.
Spencer Marenco led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a triple, then scored on a Jordan Hara sacrifice fly to tie the game 2-2. With two outs in the same inning, Chaz Myers was hit and Mason Marenco walked before Noah Williamson doubled them both home to take a 4-2.
Ben Wills (1-0, 0.00 ERA) received the win as he was the pitcher of record when the Pippins took the lead. Payton Robertson, Kirby Robertson and Tyler Frieders combined to handle the final four innings.
The Nighthawks narrowed Yakima’s lead to one run in the seventh, but the Pippins added another two in the bottom half to take a 6-3 lead into the eighth.
Nighthawks reliever Boone Rush struggled, giving up a base hit to Blake Dickman to start the inning before walking or hitting six of the next seven batters he faced, forcing in four runs. The Nighthawks turned to Dyer, their DH, to put out the fire. He allowed another run to score on a passed ball, walked the bases loaded again and gave up Dickman’s second hit of the inning to score the 12th Pippins run of the night before recording the final two outs.
Representatives from the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners organizations, as well as the University of Washington and Oregon State, were in attendance for Tuesday’s game after the Pippins had put together an impressive start to their season.
Wednesday night’s game against the Nighthawks will be the first Baseball Bingo Winning Wednesday of the season. First pitch will be at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
Yakima Valley Pippins outfielder Noah Williamson has been named the West Coast League’s Moss Adams Player of the Week for the week of June 7-13, the league announced Monday afternoon.
Williamson went 11-for-26 during that time, with five extra-base hits – including a 422-foot home run in Sunday night’s 8-4 victory over Ridgefield. He scored 10 runs over the last week and drove in 8 RBI.
He tripled twice in Friday’s 12-inning win over Ridgefield, becoming the first Pippins player to record two triples in one game. His second triple drove in two runs to tie the score at 4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, and he scored a tying run in the bottom of the 10th inning to keep the game alive as well as the winning run in the 12th.
Williamson has brought his batting line up to .400/.467/.750 with the stellar week. He currently leads the Pippins in runs scored, RBI, hits, doubles, triples, and his 13.256 runs created is more than 5 more runs than the next closest player.
Walla Walla Sweets pitcher Brandon Llewellyn was named the WCL’s Pitcher of the Week after throwing seven scoreless innings in the Sweets’ win over the Port Angeles Lefties Friday.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins completed a three-game sweep over the Ridgefield raptors Sunday night with an 8-4 victory at home.
The series sweep was the first since July 16-18, 2019 against the Bend Elks, and improved the Pippins’ record to 7-2 ahead of six non-league games in seven days starting Tuesday.
Ridgefield struck first for the first time in the series after leadoff hitter Caden Connor reached on an error and Coby Morales doubled him home.
The Pippins answered in the bottom half, with three hitters walking to load the bases with two outs and Mason Marenco doubling to score two runs in his first plate appearance with the club. The next batter, Alex Shanks, worked a 3-1 count before heavy rain forced a 42-minute delay.
When play resumed, Shanks would walk to again load the bases, but Ridgefield starter Ryan Pitts would induce a ground ball to prevent any further damage.
The Raptors evened the score in the top of the second inning before Noah Williamson helped Yakima take the lead once more with a 422-foot home run to center field that Trackman clocked at 110 miles-per-hour off the bat.
Ridgefield’s Grant Heiser, Reece Hernandez and Tanner Jacques strung together back-to-back-to-back hits to take a 4-3 lead momentarily, but Pitts (1-0, 4.65 ERA) walked three batters and hit one more in the bottom of the fourth to push across a tying Pippins run before he was replaced by Nick Nygard.
Nygard and Pippins starter Seth Kuykendall (1-1, 2.76 ERA) would keep the opposing offenses quiet from there, as they both pitched through the sixth innings.
Owen Wild (0-0, 1.80 ERA) pitched the final three innings for the Pippins, striking out six while walking two and surrendering just one hit.
The score remained tied into the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Pippins had six hits – three of them doubles – to add four to their total and take the lead for the final time.
The Pippins will take Monday off before welcoming the Northwest Star Nighthawks for a pair of games Tuesday and Wednesday that will feature the first Toyota Tuesday Family Night and Baseball Bingo Winning Wednesday Night, respectively. First pitch for those games will be at 6:35 p.m.Read Less
The Yakima Valley Pippins have won three straight series to start the season after defeating the Ridgefield Raptors, 17-9, Saturday night in the second of a three-game series. The Pippins will look for a sweep Sunday night, with first pitch at 6:05 p.m.
Pippins starting pitcher Kenny Johnson cruised through three innings while his offense staked him out to a 13-run lead.
They started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, when Chaz Myers scored from third base on a passed ball. With runners on second and third, Sam Olsson flew out to right field for a sacrifice fly, scoring Willie Lajoie.
Michael Carpentier then tripled to score Noah Williamson, which Shanks followed up with a triple of his own to score Carpentier Jr.
The Pippins added three more runs in the second inning, thanks in large part to a pair of miscues by Ridgefield right fielder Caden Connor. With Corey Jarrell on second base, Connor slipped after catching a pop fly that allowed Jarrell to advance to third easily. Connor Coballes lined the next pitch right at Connor, who couldn’t make the catch, allowing Jarrell to score and Coballes to reach second.
After Coballes stole third base, Willie Lajoie would follow with his second base hit of the night to drive in the run. He would score when Sam Olsson’s hit to right field slipped underneath the outfield wall for a ground-rule double.
Raptors starter Hudson Leach (0-1, 10.50 ERA) was chased after just two innings, having given up eight runs (six earned). Jett Lodes (0-0, 9.00 ERA) didn’t fare much better, facing eight Pippins hitters – walking one, hitting three, giving up four base hits and allowing five earned runs – without recording an out.
Byron Clack came on to bail him out of the inning, then added a scoreless fourth inning to keep the Pippins off the board for the first time in the game.
The Raptors scored a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings in nearly identical fashion, with Will Chambers knocking two-run home runs following Coby Morales walks. The four runs were the only runs surrendered by Johnson (2-0, 3.27 ERA) in his five innings of work. He struck out five and walked three.
Joey Cammarata (0-0, 13.50 ERA) took over in the sixth, starting strong by striking out Cole Urman before surrendering three base hits. A passed ball scored one runner before Cammarata loaded the bases again with a walk. A John Peck sacrifice fly cut the Pippins lead to 13-6.
The Pippins responded in the bottom of the sixth with three runs of their own, thanks this time to an error by Peck at second base that allowed Jarrell to reach to start the inning. He would steal second base, and two outs later Lajoie and Noah Williamson would hit back-to-back RBI doubles before an RBI base hit by Sam Olsson.
Tyler Frieders (0-1, 7.71 ERA) pitched the final three innings of the game to pick up the save, though he gave up two runs in the seventh and one in the ninth inning.
The Pippins would yet another run in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Lajoie scored from first on a double by Williamson to give the Pippins their 17th run of the game.
Williamson triples twice, scores tying and winning runs in extras
The Pippins won the first game of a home series against Ridgefield Friday night in walk-off fashion, taking down the Raptors 6-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning.
In his first game with the Pippins following the University of Oregon’s postseason run, Taylor Holder singled home Noah Williamson from third base with one out to give the Pippins their third-straight victory. It was the first extra-inning game of the season for Yakima Valley.
Williamson started the inning with a walk, then moved to third base when Ridgefield pitcher Ben Larson’s errant pickoff throw was deflected out of play.
The Pippins improved to 5-2 to start the season and remain at the top of the North Division standings, while Ridgefield is also 5-2 with the loss.
Yakima Valley got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. Connor Coballes singled with one out, then scored from first on a triple by Williamson. Catcher Sam Olsson, also making his debut after a season with Oregon, doubled Williamson home to give the Pippins a 2-0 lead.
Pippins starting pitcher Kirby Robertson, who joined the team Friday, faced 10 batters through his first three innings. In the fourth, Ridgefield’s John Peck reached on a Spencer Marenco error and Coby Morales was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. The Pippins turned a double play, but Peck moved to third base on the play.
After Kody Darcy walked to put runners on the corners with two outs, Cole Urman doubled them both home to tie things up.
The Raptors would add a run in the sixth inning, thanks to a leadoff home run by Coby Morales, and in the seventh, when Grant Heiser scored from second on a base hit by Caden Connor, to take a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom half of the seventh, Noah Williamson tripled for the second time in the game to score Coballes and Willie Lajoie and tie the game up once more.
Robertson (0-0, 1.50 ERA) pitched through the sixth inning, surrendering just three hits and allowing three runs (one earned). Owen Wild (0-0, 4.50 ERA), who joined the team after a year at Gonzaga, pitched the seventh and eighth innings.
Dann Blanchard came in to pitch the ninth inning, and wound up staying to finish four innings and close out the game for the Pippins. He hit a speedbump in the 10th inning, when Morales led off the inning with a base hit. He was sacrificed to second, then scored on a Heiser base hit.
The Pippins responded with a run of their own in the 10th to keep the game alive. Williamson singled to start the inning, then moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a base hit by Olsson.
Blanchard (1-0, 0.87 ERA) continued to keep Ridgefield off the board long enough to earn the win thanks to the winning run in the bottom of the 12th.
The Pippins and Raptors will meet again Saturday night, first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. with live video coverage from Chris Rosato Jr. available at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
Offense capitalizes on errors, passed balls to win
The Yakima Valley Pippins held off a late-inning rally to win the third game of a three-game series in Bellingham Thursday night, 6-4.
With the win, the Pippins (4-2, 1st place in the North Division) secured their second straight series win to start the 2021 West Coast League season, defeating the defending-champion Corvallis Knights on opening weekend and the Bells (2-4) Tuesday-Thursday. They’ll return home to host the Ridgefield Raptors (5-1, 1st place in the South Division) for a weekend series Friday-Sunday.
Bellingham third baseman Ty Saunders had a rough day Thursday, committing two errors that were ultimately responsible for 4 of the Pippins’ 6 runs.
The first came in the second inning with Donald Saltiban Jr. on second base and two outs. Chaz Myers hit a hard ground ball to Saunders, who misplayed the hop and had the ball bounce off his wrist and into left field, scoring Saltiban. Myers would then score when Alex Shanks doubled.
The Pippins took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning, when Willie Lajoie and Noah Williamson led off with a pair of base hits. In a sacrifice situation, Michael Carpentier Jr. laid down a bunt, but Bells pitcher Will Armbreuster’s throw to third base to get the lead runner Lajoie instead skipped off the glove of Saunders and into left field, scoring Lajoie.
The Pippins would load the bases with a one-out walk before a passed ball and sacrifice fly helped them add another 2 runs to the total.
The Bells finally got to Pippins starter Payton Robertson (0-0, 2.08 ERA) in the fifth inning, but not before Carpentier threw out his fourth would-be base stealer of the season. Luke Rohleder, fresh off breaking Everett Community College’s single-season stolen base record, tried to swipe second base with Josh Trujillo on third, but instead was the first out of the inning.
Robertson was pulled with one out in the fifth in favor of Trevor Cassell after giving up a base hit to Zac Berryman that scored Trujillo. Cassell (1-0, 2.45 ERA) would escape the jam without any further damage, then add two more scoreless innings to earn the win.
Weston Janavs was called upon to pitch the eighth inning for his second appearance of the season, but his night was short-lived due to a mixture of bad luck and command issues.
After walking the first batter of the inning, Chase Graves lost a ball in the lights that put two runners on with no outs. Another hit loaded the bases, and then a tough play in left field saw Saltiban fail to catch a line drive as he approached the left field wall, scoring the Bells’ second run of the game.
A passed ball through the legs of Carpentier and another walk loaded the bases again with the Pippins’ lead cut to 5-3, and ended Janavs’ (0-0, 0.00 ERA) night.
From there, Ben Wills (0-0, 2.45 ERA) was called upon for a five-out save, though he did walk one of Janavs’ runners home after entering with the bases loaded.
The Pippins added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning thanks to heads-up baserunning from Noah Williamson and Saltiban, and Wills would close the door in the bottom half to secure the victory for the Pippins.
They’ll kick off a weekend home series against Ridgefield at 7:05 p.m. Friday.Read Less
Bishop's quality start, Carpentier's arm and bat power Pippins past Bells
The Yakima Valley Pippins benefited from strong offensive and defensive play to even the three-game series in Bellingham Wednesday night, improving to 3-2 on the season.
Both teams stranded a pair of runners in the first inning, although the Bells (2-3) put up three hits against starter Dylan Bishop in the frame. Yugo Hamakawa, who had the first Bellingham hit, was caught stealing by catcher Michael Carpentier Jr.
The Pippins struck first in the second inning after a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt started the inning and second baseman Jordan Hara singled the two runners in.
Bells starting pitcher Justin Tucker walked Connor Coballes to start the third inning, then induced a groundout that moved Coballes to second base. He would score when left fielder Noah Williamson singled. Carpentier then gave the Pippins a 5-0 lead with a two-run home run to center field that Trackman clocked at 104 miles-per-hour off the bat.
The lone run given up by Bishop came in the sixth inning, after Daniel Gernon walked and stole second to start the inning. He would later score on a two-out double by Ezra Samperi.
Bishop (2-0, 1.38 ERA) went six innings, striking out five while walking two. He gave up seven hits in total and surrendered the one earned run.
Tucker (1-1, 5.87 ERA) didn’t make it through the fourth inning, giving up five runs (all earned) while walking four and striking out none.
Willie Lajoie turned a line drive base hit into a triple when Bells center fielder Josh Trujillo dove for the ball and it skipped past him to the wall, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Carpentier to give the Pippins a 6-1 lead. Lajoie and Coballes have reached base safely in all five games to start the season. Carpentier finished the night 1-for-3 with three RBI.
Ryan Arredondo came on in relief for the Pippins in the seventh inning, but ran into trouble after hitting the first batter he faced, Zac Berryman, and giving up a single to Hamakawa. He would later walk the bases loaded with one out, then induce a groundout that scored Berryman from third base. With two outs, he walked Ty Saunders to load the bases for the second time in the inning before the Pippins brought Dann Blanchard in for his third appearance of the season.
Blanchard got AJ Davis to line out to escape the inning, then turned in two more solid innings to close out the win against the Bells.
The final game of the series will take place Thursday evening at 6:35 p.m., then the Pippins will ride back home for a three-game series against Ridgefield.Read Less
Offense strands 10, Kuykendall's quality start not enough in loss
The Pippins stranded 10 runners in Tuesday’s visit to Bellingham, falling 3-1 to open a three-game series against the Bells.
Seth Kuykendall turned in a quality start but nonetheless received the loss after giving up a home run to Kyle Green in the fourth inning and allowing an unearned run in the fifth inning. He pitched seven complete innings, surrendering one earned run with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Bells run in the fifth inning was scored by Josh Trujillo after a ball skipped off the glove of third baseman Donald Saltiban Jr. while Trujillo was attempting to tag up to third.
The lone Pippins run came in the sixth inning, when Connor Coballes, moved to second on an error, tagged up to third on a lineout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Carpentier Jr.
Bells starter Eric Chavarria turned in six innings of work, surrendering the one run (unearned) while striking out seven Pippins hitters. He earned the win in his season debut.
The Pippins couldn’t capitalize on four Bells errors, and left more than one runner on base in three different innings. They also struck out 10 times.
Reliever Trevor Cassell pitched the eighth inning for the Pippins, allowing the final Bellingham run after a walk and an RBI double with one out.
The Bells received two innings of scoreless work from Ryan Sanders, and Greg Blackman earned the save despite walking one and hitting Chase Graves in the ninth inning.
The Pippins and Bells will continue their series Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m., with live coverage by Chris Rosato Jr. that can be found at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
Extra-base hits and dazzling pitching help Pippins take down Corvallis
The Yakima Valley Pippins offense showed renewed energy as they defeated Corvallis 10-1 to win the first series of the season Sunday night.
The Pippins struck early, with a trio of doubles in the second inning earning them a 2-0 lead. They would add one in the third inning after Connor Coballes singled, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Jo Stevens grounded out.
Chase Graves showed another flash of power with two outs and the bases loaded, as he let loose a three-run triple to the warning track in right field to put the Pippins up 6-0.
Yakima starter Kenny Johnson threw six scoreless innings, striking out six and yielding just three hits. It was the longest outing of the year for him, as he was used primarily as a starter at Cal State Bakersfield.
Weston Janavs relieved him in the seventh inning, in his first taste of college action after Pomona-Pitzer did not play a season in 2021, striking out two in one inning of work to keep Corvallis scoreless.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Pippins added four more runs and batted around the order. Stevens walked with one out and scored on a Noah Williamson triple – his fourth extra-base hit in three games. Jake Hoskins committed his second error of the series, allowing Chaz Myers to reach first and Williamson to score on what would have been the third out of the inning.
The Pippins capitalized on the error, loading the bases with a single and a walk before Chase Graves walked to score the 10th Pippins run of the night.
Dann Blanchard pitched the final two innings in relief for his second appearance of the season, striking out two and giving up one unearned run.
The Pippins and Knights combined for 36 runs scored over the weekend series, with two 9-run games and one 8-run margin of victory. With a 2-1 record, Yakima is in a three-way tie for first place in the North Division with Walla Walla and Port Angeles. Corvallis fell to 1-2 with the loss, and now sits in the middle of the South Division.
The Pippins will rest Monday before heading to Bellingham for a three-game set. All three games will start at 6:35 p.m. and can be listened to at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.Read Less
Pippins manage just 4 hits, commit 2 errors in loss
The Pippins lost the second game of the season to the visiting Corvallis Knights Saturday night, 11-3, setting up a rubber match Sunday.
Neither team was able to produce much offense early, as the game remained scoreless until the Pippins got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Jordan Hara walked, then stole second base and came around to score on a Connor Coballes base hit.
The Knights responded with three runs in the top of the fourth, including a two-run home run from Braden Boisvert. Pippins starter Tyler Frieders got through just four innings, with all three of those runs being earned. He struck out six and walked two.
Noah Williamson struck out swinging in the bottom of the fourth, but reached first after the ball got away from catcher Jacob Weiss. He stole second and scored on a Willie Lajoie base hit. The first four Pippins to reach first base all successfully stole second base.
While the Pippins would not score again until the ninth inning, Corvallis’ bats were just heating up. They added a run in the fifth inning, then another four in the sixth.
Connor Coballes was credited with an error on a tough ground ball that let Trey Hageman reach base to start the sixth. A pair of base hits by Weiss and Travis Bazzana loaded the bases with one out.
Ethan Loveless hit a foul pop up in front of the Corvallis dugout, but with Lajoie and Hara chasing down the ball – and Lajoie ultimately making the catch – nobody was covering home, which allowed Hageman to score from third.
The next hitter, Briley Knight, took Pippins reliever Ben Wills deep to increase their lead to 8-1.
The Knights’ offense was held quiet temporarily in the seventh inning, but they added two more in the eighth and an eleventh run in the top of the ninth inning to put the game out of reach for the Pippins.
Both the Pippins’ and Knights’ records currently stand at 1-1 awaiting the final game of the three-game series Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.Read Less
Yakima Valley racks up 10 runs, 10 hits in first post-COVID game
It was a night of fireworks in more ways than one for Yakima Valley fans, as the Pippins offense exploded for 10 runs to defeat the four-time defending West Coast League champions Corvallis Knights on opening day.
Selah native Dylan Bishop got the starting nod on the hill for the Pippins, limiting the Knights to one run over seven innings. He struck out four while walking just three.
Offensively, the Pippins started early with Chase Graves coming around to score on an excuse-me-swing ground ball down the first base line off the bat of Donald Saltiban Jr. in the first inning.
The Pippins added three more in the second inning thanks to a pair of passed balls that got by Corvallis catcher Tanner Smith. The first allowed Willie Lajoie to score, while the second moved Spencer Marenco and Graves to second and third, respectively. Marenco was driven in by a base hit from Connor Coballes and Graves scored on a Saltiban groundout.
Corvallis starter Jacob Dobmeier got through three innings, giving up four runs (two earned) with two walks and three strikeouts. He was relieved by Sean Wiese, who gave up a two-run home run to Chase Graves in the bottom of the sixth to give the Pippins a 7-1 lead.
Bishop started to show signs of fatigue in the seventh inning after giving up a double to Braden Boisvert. He spiked a pitch well in front of home plate that allowed Boisvert to score the lone Knights run of the evening.
He was relieved by Dann Blanchard, who closed out the final two innings, yielding just one hit and striking out three.
But the Pippins offense wasn’t quite done yet. In the bottom of the eighth, a trio of walks by Corvallis pitcher Jake Vargas loaded the bases with two outs for Noah Williamson. He cleared the bases with a double, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple to end the offensive threat. The three runs extended the Pippins lead to 10-1, which the Knights would fail to shrink.
The Pippins look to build on the strong start Saturday night as they continue the three-game series against Corvallis with right-hander Tyler Frieders taking on Corvallis’ Grant Taylor at 7:05 p.m.Read Less
Following another successful season at YVC, new Pippins skipper Kyle Krustangel steps into a long-awaited position
More than 20 months after he was officially hired, Kyle Krustangel finally steps foot on the Yakima County Stadium field as the second field manager of the Yakima Valley Pippins this summer.
It’s been a long wait.
At the same time, though, Krustangel has been keeping busy. His “other” coaching job — head coach for the Yakima Valley College Yaks — concluded just five days before the Pippins’ 2021 opener. Despite no postseason tournament in the Northwest Athletic Conference this year because of the lingering effects of COVID-19, his Yaks completed their season at 27-7 with an 18-game winning streak.
Through the course of the spring season, Krustangel noticed the changes after a year of COVID shutdowns.
“I think the one thing that has really stood out to me in my 10-ish years of coaching, including seven at the college level, is how much more grateful the players are,” Krustangel said. “I mean grateful in terms of they almost needed to have it (baseball) taken away. It’s always talked about, coaches always tell players ‘What if you get hurt and can’t play again? Don’t take baseball for granted.’ A lot of times players are so good that the message is interpreted just as coaches talking and that it doesn’t happen.
“But then to have it ripped away from them is something different. A lot of players once they get to the college level realize that baseball is a full-time job, it’s more than a full-time job, and many have been playing and going to school since then were 5,” he continued. “To have half their lives just taken away, plucked away, is obviously devastating. When they did come back, I saw a bigger enjoyment of the game, the passion and just truly being grateful for the opportunity to get back out there every day.”
That greater appreciation of the game is something that Krustangel believes will continue through this summer and beyond. It also fits well into his coaching philosophy and expecations for players coming to the Pippins from around the country.
“We definitely tell guys when they come in that we want to win the WCL championship,” he said. “We always want to win. But under that winning umbrella, development is a key piece. You don’t win every game, but you can develop and improve every game.
“Each athlete is expected to play hard at any level of college baseball, and just because it’s summer ball doesn’t mean that the expectation is any different. Our guys will play hard — run on the field, run off the field, hard 90s all the time. Play hard and play fast. That’s just been the style of our coaching staff since we’ve been together. As the wear and tear of the season sets in, the teams that play the game the right way and have a good culture are the teams that ultimately emerge and are successful in the long run.”
Krustangel and assistant coach Cash Ulrich have been on the field together for the past six years — “450 to 500 games,” Krustangel said.
“Coach Cash is as good as it gets,” Krustangel said. “We’re the exact same style, and we’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs together in the college ranks and in summer ball. He has the same standards and pushes the guys in the same way I do. I know that if I’m not around, I know exactly what he’ll do. He pushes me in the same way that we push players, and we all benefit and grow because of that.”
Rounding out the staff is the “two-headed pitching coach duo” of Kelly Fitzpatrick and Jordan Cameron. Fitzpatrick played baseball at both YVC and for the Pippins, and Cameron was a Pippins intern in the 2014 season. They also share pitching coach duties at YVC.
“They complement each other well,” Krustangel said. “Kelly is very into how the body moves and performs. Jordan is very mechanically sound. Those aspects and the new-school type of pitching that is top tier right now in pro ball and upper-level college programs is right in their areas of expertise. It’s a blessing to have all of them. They are phenomenal.”
It’s those types of coaches and philosophies that have benefitted Krustangel with his teams in previous seasons coaching the WCL’s Wenatchee AppleSox.
“My first year with the AppleSox, you’re making those coaching relationships with other programs and it’s kind of like college coaches are testing the waters with what kind of program you will run and what your approach to development is,” Krustangel said. “Once they see that you’re not just talking the talk, but you’re also putting in the effort to build your program and improve the players that we’re sent, and if guys have a great experience, then 100 percent you’re going to start getting higher-caliber players the years after that.
“If you don’t help them improve their skillset, if you don’t hold them to the same level of accountability and standards that players are held to from September through June at their schools, then that’s going to hurt the program and hurt those relationships.”
Because of COVID, all five Canadian teams — including three new programs that were expected to start this season — will have to wait until 2022 to begin again. But that doesn’t mean the WCL experience this season will be lacking in talent or opportunity.
“The WCL is a great change for guys to get playing time,” Krustangel said. “Scounts want to see these guys play. College coaches have expectations that they will play and that they will get better from the day players get here through the day they leave. The game continues to advance — with tools like TrackMan and Synergy and other platforms that help expand learning and coaching opportunities, we have the responsibility to help players.
“It’s a win-win for everybody.”
YAKIMA, Wash. — Top seed Gonzaga will face off against No. 3 seed Oregon in the nightcap of Friday’s first round of the Northern Pacific Region collegiate club baseball tournament at Yakima County Stadium.
The Gonzaga-Oregon game is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start. Earlier, No. 2 seed Utah State will face No. 4 seed Eastern Washington at 4 p.m.
The three-day, double-elimination tournament is being hosted by the Yakima Valley Pippins at County Stadium. Three games are scheduled for Saturday, at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., with the championship game set for 9 a.m. Sunday. A second championship game will immediately follow the first game, if necessary.
No admission will be charged, and concessions will be available, Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said.
Because of the COVID vaccination site at State Fair Park, normal parking and entry to the stadium is not available, Garretson said. Parking entrance will be available through the fairground’s Gate 14 off Pacific Avenue. Entrance to the stadium will be along the first-base side of the stadium near the picnic area.
Fans will be required to wear masks while not in their seats actively eating or drinking. Social distancing measures will be encouraged for all spectators.
Tickets also will be on sale for the Pippins’ opening weekend series against the Corvallis Knights. Opening Night, presented by Legends Casino Hotel, is June 4, with postgame fireworks and a free souvenir blanket giveaway for the first 500 fans. Another 500 blankets will be given away at the June 5 game. Tickets also can be purchased at PippinsTickets.com. Because of COVID guidelines, seating is limited to 25 percent, or 700 fans, each night.Read Less
Pippins announce ticket, concessions procedures for 2021 season
YAKIMA, Wash. — Single-game tickets for the Yakima Valley Pippins’ season-opening weekend series against the Corvallis Knights will go on sale Monday.
Because of COVID-19 safety protocols, only a limited number of tickets will be available for games until protocols are relaxed, Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. Under Phase 3 guidelines, Yakima County Stadium can operate at 25 percent capacity — and that means the Pippins can only have a maximum of 700 spectators per game.
“Our hope is that protocols will become less restrictive as we move into the summer,” Garretson said. “Seven hundred fans per night isn’t a lot, but the alternative of not having another summer of West Coast League baseball is worse. We will operate safely according to state and local guidelines, and we’ll still have a ton of fun at The Orchard.”
For the June 4 season opener, with postgame fireworks and a free souvenir blanket giveaway courtesy of Legends Casino Hotel, a maximum of about 400 tickets will go on sale Monday, Garretson said. About 450 tickets are available for the June 5 and June 6 games.
Tickets will be available at PippinsTickets.com beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, or by calling 509-575-4487 after 10 a.m. Monday. All ticket purchases will be by credit card only.
Garretson doesn’t expect to have the stadium box office open for walk-up ticket sales at game time unless necessary. A box office window likely will be open for Will Call tickets or ticket purchases earlier during the day on game days, he said.
Because of social distancing protocols, all available seats will be grouped in seating pods from 1-6 seats in each pod. All seats in the pod must be purchased in a transaction, so Garretson suggests buying tickets early.
“If you wait to purchase two tickets, there may be only a pod of four or five available, for example, and you’d have to buy all the seats. My suggestion is to buy early.”
Garretson said the Pippins are reviewing whether to add one or more vaccinated-only sections in the ballpark, which would allow capacity to increase. But it’s unlikely vaccinated-only sections would be available early in June, he said.
The Orchard also will be cash-free for concessions, merchandise and parking purchases — at least for the first several weeks, Garretson said.
“We’re trying to keep everyone as safe as possible, and limit potential vectors for transmission,” he said. “The Mariners are doing that at T-Mobile, and other venues across the country are handling operations in a similar way.”
Earlier this year, the Pippins announced a partnership with FanFood, a mobile application that will allow fans to order and pay for their food in the app. A text message will be sent to the customer when the order is ready for pickup. The app is available for download on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
“That will help us eliminate long lines and allow fans to watch more of the game instead of waiting in line,” Garretson said.
Some, but not all, of the Pippins’ usual concession stands will be open this summer to encourage fans to use the FanFood app and to limit people gathering in lines to place food orders.
Seating in Lefty’s Bar on the third-base side of the stadium and the Pippins Picnic Deck on the first-base side of the stadium won’t be available at least for opening weekend, Garretson said.Read Less
Four Western U.S. teams will meet in regional tournament
YAKIMA, Wash. — Four collegiate club baseball teams will come to Yakima County Stadium in mid-May for the Northern Pacific Regional Tournament.
The three-day event, May 14-16, will feature club teams from Gonzaga, Utah State and Oregon, as well as one yet-to-be-determined team. The tournament winner will advance to the eight-team National Club Baseball Association World Series in Pittsburg, Kansas, later next month.
“This is another opportunity that presented itself, and we’re pleased to be hosting the tournament,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “Club baseball continues to grow at universities around the country, and I think this will be a good opportunity for people to come out and enjoy a few games.”
The NCBA was founded in 2000 with 34 inaugural teams. In 2020, 300 colleges had club baseball teams spanning 44 states. Club baseball teams are student-run organizations with no ties to the school’s athletic departments, and student officers handle all day-to-day logistics
Stadium attendance will be limited to comply with local and state guidelines, Garretson said.
“Capacity will be at 700 spectators if Yakima County remains in Phase 3 (of the state’s reopening plan), and we can limit stadium capacity to 200 total people if we fall back to Phase 2,” he added. “In either case, we’ll maintain social distancing and safety for everyone.”
Face coverings will be required for anyone when not in their seats, Garretson said. There will be no charge for admission; parking will be behind the stadium so as not to interfere with the Yakima County Vaccination Clinic currently operating at State Fair Park.
Two games will be played Friday, May 14, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s schedule will feature three games beginning at 10 a.m., and the championship game will start at 9 a.m. Sunday. A second championship game will immediately follow the first game on Sunday, if necessary.
The tournament will also serve as a training session for new Pippins staff as the team prepares to return to West Coast League play on Friday, June 4.
“After a year with no operations, we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to prepare for Opening Night and getting Pippins Baseball back on the field,” he said.Read Less
Realigned WCL schedule leads to more opportunities for fans to visit The Orchard
YAKIMA, Wash. — A pleasant side effect of the West Coast League’s decision to eliminate international regular-season travel will benefit Yakima Valley Pippins fans this summer.
Along with the unveiling of the revised 10-team U.S. division WCL schedule today, the Pippins have added three more home games to their 2021 schedule. Now, the Pippins will have 35 home dates, beginning June 4.
“The opportunity to expand our home schedule was something we quickly jumped at when the dynamics of the U.S. division were finalized,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “It’s great news for our fans, our sponsors and our players to be able to visit The Orchard more often this summer.”
The new WCL schedule features 48 games for each team, 24 at home and 24 on the road, instead of the usual 54-game slate. Originally scheduled to host Kamloops, British Columbia, in their June 4 season opener, the Pippins now will host four-time defending WCL champion Corvallis. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Garretson said the new schedule preserves the original 32 home dates and adds another Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday series in mid-June.
“With socially distanced seating configurations in place that will lower our nightly capacity, more games give us the chance to bring in more fans to watch a game,” Garretson said.
Yakima County Stadium has a seating capacity of 2,800. Under current state guidelines, outdoor venues are permitted 9,000 spectators or 25 percent capacity, whichever is lower. That means 700 fans nightly at the stadium. But Garretson doesn’t expect that capacity restriction to stay at 25 percent all summer.
“It may change before we even open the season,” he said. “Whatever capacity we open at on June 4, I expect we’ll be higher than that by the end of the season. It all depends on the COVID numbers, and how well we continue to respond as a community and do our part to keep everyone safe.”
With the capacity limits, Garretson advised to purchase single-game tickets as soon as they go on sale.
“Based on what we’re seeing and hearing, I don’t expect we’ll have many, if any, tickets available on Opening Night if fans wait to buy them,” he said. “There likely will be an urgency throughout the season to get tickets early.”
Single-game tickets will go on sale in early May, Garretson said, adding that individual games likely will be available in waves so any changes to pod seating layouts can be adjusted when seating capacity changes.
Before single-game tickets are available to the general public, fans who have purchased ticket vouchers will be given an opportunity to secure tickets for the games of their choice.
Season tickets, mini season ticket plans and Family Night Out packages are other options to obtain tickets before single-game tickets are available. Those plans are available now by calling 509-575-4487.
The Pippins continue to look for additional host families in preparation for this summer, Garretson added. Host families also receive season tickets for each member of the household.
The revised 2021 Pippins schedule (home games in BOLD CAPS):
JUNE — 4-6: CORVALLIS; 8-10: at Bellingham; 11-13: RIDGEFIELD; 15-16: NW STAR; 17: REDMOND; 19-21: CCL SHOWCASE; 22-24: at Ridgefield; 25-27: WALLA WALLA; 29-30: PORT ANGELES.
JULY — 1: PORT ANGELES; 2-4: at Bend; 5-7: at Walla Walla; 9-11: BELLINGHAM; 13-15: HIGHLINE; 16-18: at Cowlitz; 20-22: BEND; 23-25: at Wenatchee; 27-29: COWLITZ; 30-31: HIGHLINE.
AUGUST — 3-5: at Corvallis; 6-8: at Port Angeles; 10-12: WENATCHEE.Read Less
New regular-season league schedule will feature separate U.S., Canadian divisions
YAKIMA, Wash. — The West Coast League’s adoption of a revised 2021 schedule that eliminates regular-season international travel will benefit all teams, Yakima Valley Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said.
“Eliminating the uncertainty around when the border between the U.S. and Canada will reopen allows everyone to move forward with preparations for a June 4 opening day,” Garretson said. “There are so many details that need to be addressed in coming weeks, from charter bus reservations to hotels to single-game ticket sales. Removing even one point of uncertainty makes a big difference over the next eight weeks.”
The WCL’s board of directors voted to adopt the new format earlier this week. Though U.S. and Canadian teams won’t play each other during the regular season, the new structure does leave open the possibility of a full league playoff format.
The WCL’s 10 U.S-based teams will now play a 48-game league schedule instead of the usual 54-game league schedule. The U.S. schedule will be announced next week. The Canadian schedule will be released in the first half of April and will feature four of the five teams north of the border, including Victoria, Kamloops, Nanaimo and Edmonton. Kelowna, the fifth Canadian member, officially opted out of the 2021 season today.
“With three new Canadian members joining for this year, it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t play an international schedule,” Garretson said. “But moving to this format gives all the teams a stronger chance to play.”
The Pippins originally were scheduled to host Kamloops in the season-opener at Yakima County Stadium on June 4.
Garretson said the Pippins are working to fill the league home dates that are now open because of the revamped schedule. The Pippins will maintain the 32 home game dates previously announced, he said.
The Pippins continue to look for additional host families in preparation for this summer, Garretson added. Yakima-area families interested in hosting a player can call Garretson at 509-575-4487.
Season tickets, mini season ticket plans and Family Night Out packages on sale at PippinsBaseball.com. Single-game tickets for all 32 Pippins home games will go on sale later this spring.Read Less