YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins rallied from a 9-3 deficit and pounded out 13 runs on 11 hits to clinch their series with the Bend Elks on Wednesday at Yakima County Stadium, winning 13-11 in front of a crowd of 625.
After combining for 1 run on six hits in Tuesday’s series opener, the Pippins (5-4, 16-19) and Elks (2-6, 14-21) combined for 24 runs on 25 hits and six errors in a game that featured several lead changes and plenty of back-and-forth moments. It was the Pippins that jumped out early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning off of Elks right-hander Alex Giroux to take an early lead.
The first five batters of the bottom of the first inning reached against Giroux, who walked three and allowed an RBI double to Nick Israel. Bend quickly responded in the top of the second with two runs off of Pippins right-hander A.J. Wood, with Jake Jarvis hitting a solo homer and Vinny Zavolta following with an RBI single. Neither starter completed four innings, with Giroux exiting after 3.1 innings and 5 runs (4 earned), while Wood allowed 4 runs (3 earned) over 3-plus innings. Neither starter took a decision as things got crazy in the middle innings.
The Elks struck for seven runs in the top of the fourth inning against three different Pippins pitchers, with Anthony Alvarado allowing five earned runs and recording just one out after Wood was relieved two batters into the weekend. At the end of the frame, the Elks had a 9-3 lead, but the Pippins quickly responded in the bottom half.
Israel hit a 2-run single off of Bend reliever Joe Williams to cut the Elks lead to four, and the Pippins continued to rally from that point forward. In the fifth inning, Nick DiCarlo had his second hit of the day, a booming three-run homer to left field, that sliced the deficit to just one run, 9-8. The Pippins finally rallied to retake the lead in the sixth inning, when runs came home on a wild pitch and an Aidan Welch single to make it 10-9.
Bend took the lead back again in the top of the seven inning with two runs, but the Pippins rallied once again in the bottom of the seventh, with Kyle Dean bringing home a run on a groundout, despite the infield coming in, and Tanner Parker singling home an insurance run to make it 13-11.
Bo Henderson earned the win in relief for the Pippins, allowing two runs (one earned) over 3.2 innings, striking out one and walking one to earn his first win. Nick Brown pitched the final two innings in relief to pick up the save for the Pippins, his second of the year. Bend reliever Alan Embree, who faced just one batter in the seventh (DiCarlo) and allowed a single, picked up the loss, his third of the year.
DiCarlo led the way on offense for the Pippins with his best performance of the year, reaching base in all five trips in a 3-for-3, 3 RBI day. Israel added a season-high four RBIs in a 2-for-4 day, and Parker also had 2 hits and an RBI. For Bend, Jarvis had 3 hits, including two RBIs and the home run, and Chase Ferlund went 2-for-4 with 3 runs scored.
The series wraps up on Thursday in Yakima as the Pippins go for the series sweep, which would be their third consecutive sweep over Bend. Right-hander Ryan Jameson will start for the Pippins against a to-be-announced starter for Bend. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM, with pregame coverage beginning at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:20.