Yakima Valley racks up 10 runs, 10 hits in first post-COVID game
It was a night of fireworks in more ways than one for Yakima Valley fans, as the Pippins offense exploded for 10 runs to defeat the four-time defending West Coast League champions Corvallis Knights on opening day.
Selah native Dylan Bishop got the starting nod on the hill for the Pippins, limiting the Knights to one run over seven innings. He struck out four while walking just three.
Offensively, the Pippins started early with Chase Graves coming around to score on an excuse-me-swing ground ball down the first base line off the bat of Donald Saltiban Jr. in the first inning.
The Pippins added three more in the second inning thanks to a pair of passed balls that got by Corvallis catcher Tanner Smith. The first allowed Willie Lajoie to score, while the second moved Spencer Marenco and Graves to second and third, respectively. Marenco was driven in by a base hit from Connor Coballes and Graves scored on a Saltiban groundout.
Corvallis starter Jacob Dobmeier got through three innings, giving up four runs (two earned) with two walks and three strikeouts. He was relieved by Sean Wiese, who gave up a two-run home run to Chase Graves in the bottom of the sixth to give the Pippins a 7-1 lead.
Bishop started to show signs of fatigue in the seventh inning after giving up a double to Braden Boisvert. He spiked a pitch well in front of home plate that allowed Boisvert to score the lone Knights run of the evening.
He was relieved by Dann Blanchard, who closed out the final two innings, yielding just one hit and striking out three.
But the Pippins offense wasn’t quite done yet. In the bottom of the eighth, a trio of walks by Corvallis pitcher Jake Vargas loaded the bases with two outs for Noah Williamson. He cleared the bases with a double, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple to end the offensive threat. The three runs extended the Pippins lead to 10-1, which the Knights would fail to shrink.
The Pippins look to build on the strong start Saturday night as they continue the three-game series against Corvallis with right-hander Tyler Frieders taking on Corvallis’ Grant Taylor at 7:05 p.m.