Increased chair-back seating capacity, other improvements coming in 2022
YAKIMA, Wash. — After nearly three decades with original equipment, Yakima County Stadium is in line for seating upgrades before the Yakima Valley Pippins take the field in 2022.
Earlier this fall, Yakima County entered into an agreement with Nor-Pac Seating Company Inc. to replace more than 1,000 worn-out, blue chair-back seats that were installed when the facility opened in 1993 with new, green Hussey Legend seats.
An additional 504 Legend seats will replace the bleacher-back Stadium View sections, bringing the total chair-back seating total to just over 1,500. Hussey Legend seats are also installed at T-Mobile Park in Seattle and Parker-Faller Field at Yakima Valley College.
“It’s a welcome and much-needed upgrade not just for fan comfort, but for fan safety as well,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “There are no replacements for the current seats, and we’ve had to pilfer seats from other sections to replace broken chairs in more-popular areas. Almost 30 years of summer heat and sub-freezing temperatures in the winter have taken their toll on those sections.”
Nor-Pac will remove the existing seats and install the Legend seats by May 1, in time for high school tournaments before the Pippins’ 2022 season starts in early June. New cupholders also will be installed for each reserved seat.
“Nor-Pac is confident of its timeline to get everything installed by May, and we’ll have our first high school tournament games May 14,” Garretson said.
SCAC District baseball is scheduled that day, he said, and the Class 1A and 2A WIAA state tournaments will return to County Stadium on May 27-28 after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new seating is the most noticeable improvement coming, Garretson added. Structural and roofing repairs under the seats also will begin likely after the Pippins season ends next summer.
The Pippins will open their eighth season at Yakima County Stadium on Friday, June 3, hosting the reigning WCL champion Corvallis Knights. Discounted Opening Night tickets are now on sale at PippinsTickets.com, and discounted season tickets also are available.Read Less
Four pitchers, key infielders among players coming back to The Orchard
YAKIMA, Wash. — Selah standout pitcher Dylan Bishop, a slew of Yakima Valley College players and other key members of the Yakima Valley Pippins this past summer will return to the team for 2022.
The Pippins, who won the West Coast League’s North Division title and finished in second place overall in the league, will return at least eight players from that team.
Bishop, the Whitworth University starter who pitched briefly for Yakima Valley in 2019 and was a full-time member of the team last summer, was 6-1 with a 3.89 ERA in 44 innings during the 2021 regular season.
Also returning from the 2021 pitching staff is right-hander Kirby Robertson (2-1, 4.11 ERA in 35 innings), who pitched at Columbia Basin College last spring and is now at the College of Idaho, Everett CC pitcher Julian Taudin Chabot (1-1, 6.94 ERA in 11.2 innings) and YVC’s Dann Blanchard (1-0, 0.87 ERA in 10.1 innings due to injury).
Former YVC shortstop Connor Coballes (.296, 13 RBIs, 40 hits), who is now at Gonzaga, and middle infielder teammate Spencer Marenco (.221, 8 RBIs, 2 HR, 25 hits) and catcher Josh Davis, who rehabbed a back injury with the Pippins last summer, also will return.
Blake Dickman, an outfielder from UC San Diego who also caught for the Pippins in 2021, will return as well. Dickman hit. 261 with 2 HR, 24 RBIs and 35 hits this summer.
“These guys played important roles in our success on the field and helping to establish a positive culture in the clubhouse,” head coach Kyle Krustangel said. “We’ll build on that strong foundation with that core. The incoming players we have on the roster will help create another exciting summer.”
Krustangel added that additional players from the 2021 could also return next summer.
The Pippins will open their eighth season at Yakima County Stadium on Friday, June 3, hosting the reigning WCL champion Corvallis Knights.Read Less
Yakima Valley begins eighth WCL season with six-game homestand at County Stadium
YAKIMA, Wash. — For the second straight summer, the Yakima Valley Pippins will open their next season at home against the West Coast League’s reigning champion, the Corvallis Knights.
The Pippins, who finished in second place in the WCL in 2021 behind the Knights, host Corvallis in both teams’ league opener on Friday, June 3, at Yakima County Stadium. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. That three-game series will be followed with a home series against the Pippins’ sibling team, the Walla Walla Sweets, before Yakima Valley plays a nine-game road series against Bend, Ore., Springfield, Ore., and Corvallis.
“We’re very excited about our schedule for next summer, especially after coming off the season we had in 2021,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “We’re definitely looking to build on the momentum and culture that was born this past summer.”
The Pippins will host 32 home games, including 27 WCL games and five nonleague games. Yakima Valley will also play Bend, Portland, Springfield, Ridgefield, Kamloops, Kelowna and Wenatchee at home during league play.
2022 also will see all five Canadian teams return to play after the COVID-19 pandemic kept those teams sidelined this past summer. In addition to hosting Kamloops and Kelowna at home, the Pippins will travel to both teams this summer and will visit Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The Springfield Drifters, the league’s newest team, also will debut in 2022.
“As exciting as it was for the 10 U.S.-based teams to get to play this past summer, the absence of the Canadian teams was felt every day,” Garretson said. “Going from 10 teams this summer to 16 next year is going to create a whole new level of excitement for everyone.”
With 16 teams and a 54-game league schedule for each team, the Pippins won’t play Bellingham, Cowlitz or Edmonton this year. The team also won’t face Ridgefield or Portland at those teams’ home parks.
The Pippins’ promotional schedule, and the WCL’s division alignments and playoff format will be announced later, Garretson said.
Season tickets and vouchers are currently on sale at PippinsTickets.com or by calling 509-575-4487, with holiday discounts available through the end of the year. Single-game tickets will go on sale in a few weeks.
The Pippins 2022 schedule (home games in bold):
JUNE: 3-5 — vs. Corvallis; 7-9 — vs. Walla Walla; 10-12 — at Bend; 14-16 — at Springfield; 17-19 — at Corvallis; 20 — vs. CCL Showcase; 21-23 — vs. Bend; 24-26 — vs. Portland; 28-30 — at Walla Walla.
JULY: 1-3 — vs. Springfield; 4-6 — at Kamloops; 8-10 — vs. Ridgefield; 11-13 — vs. Kamloops; 15-17 — at Victoria; 18-20 — at Nanaimo; 21 — CCL Showcase; 22-24 — at Port Angeles; 26-28 — vs. NW Star; 29-31 — vs. Kelowna.
AUGUST: 2-4 — vs. Wenatchee; 5-7 — at Kelowna.Read Less
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