YAKIMA, Wash.- In the first leg of a 6-game homestand the Pippins walked 10 batters, hit 4 batters, committed 6 errors, and saw 2 players get ejected after a benches-clearing brawl.
Kyle Krustangel talked to his team for a half hour after the game concluded, emphasizing the need to clean up the mistakes and play as a team.
That speech certainly changed the mentality for Yakima Valley in game 2 as the Pippins were firing on all cylinders in a 7-1 win over Ridgefield.
It started as a pitchers duel, and UCSB freshman Michael Splaine twirled another gem.
He didn’t allow a run throughout the first 5 innings but Raptors starter Sawyer Parkin matched him stride for stride and the 6th inning started the same as the first, 0-0.
Ridgefield struck first tallying 4 hits off of Splaine in the 6th, but a stellar back-pick from Jake Borst limited the damage to just 1 run.
Yakima started from behind for the second straight, but instantly answered with a crooked number in the bottom half.
A pair of hits chased the first reliever for the Raptors and the next arm into the game walked 3 Pippins in a row.
He would be replaced with Jacob Kokeny with the bases loaded and nobody out and Jake Borst would score 2 with a double off of the wall in right.
A perfectly executed suicide squeeze by Seth Ryberg and an RBI fielder’s choice from Luke Rohleder would wrap up the 6th inning with a 6-1 Pippins lead.
Rowan Trosky came into the game and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings including a lineout which was inches away from a 4-6-3 triple play.
The Pippins added one more in the 7th on another RBI knock from Borst and Isaac Yeager retired the side in order in the 9th to secure the win.
“This was a big win for our team,” said starter Michael Splaine. “We let outside distractions get the best of us yesterday, so today we were trying to focus pitch-by-pitch and be together as a team.”
The Pippins will attempt to take their first series of the second half tomorrow in the rubber match against the Ridgefield Raptors. First pitch is at 6:05 on youtube.com/c/pippinsbaseball.