YAKIMA, Wash. – In their longest nine-inning game of the season, the Yakima Valley Pippins pulled out a late-inning win over the Bend Elks, 9-7, to complete the three-game series sweep at Yakima County Stadium on Thursday evening.
In 3 hours and 52 minutes, the two teams combined for 16 runs, 19 hits, four errors, and 19 walks in a convoluted ballgame. Neither the Elks (2-7, 14-22) or the Pippins (5-4, 17-19) pitched particularly well, with the Pippins jumping ahead early off of Bend starter Michael Hansell. Nick DiCarlo led off the bottom of the first inning with a double, and scored on a throwing error a few batters later to give the Pippins an early lead.
After scoring two more runs in the second inning, and three more in the third, knocking Hansell out of the game, the Pippins had a comfortable 6-0 lead. But from that point forward, right-hander Ryan Jameson struggled with his location, and the Elks offense pounced for three runs in the fourth inning and one more in the fifth to knock Jameson out of the game. He allowed four runs (three earned) on three walks, five hits, and five strikeouts over five inning.
Although the Pippins held onto the lead headed into the sixth, Bend quickly tied things up thanks to former Pippin Dayton Provost. The pinch-hitter laced a 2-out, 2-RBI single off of Pippins reliever Dominic Miller – making his Pippins debut – to tie the game at 6. In the top of the eighth inning, Provost singled again, this time off of Nick Brown, to put the Elks on top for the first time all series, 7-6.
The Pippins took back the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth inning against a pair of relievers for Bend. Drew Baumgartner allowed a pair of walks to put two on, one out for Brady Hormel, who drilled a triple to deep right-center field, drawing a collision in the outfield and bringing home two runs. Another insurance run scored and the Pippins grabbed the 9-7 lead that they would not surrender.
Kyle Dean, a position player who began the game in right field, earned the win on the mound after entering the game in the eighth inning due to a lack of relievers for the Pippins. He threw 1.1 scoreless innings. Baumgartner, who allowed two runs in 2.2 innings, took the loss for Bend.
Christian Padilla led the way on offense for the Pippins, going 3-for-3 while reaching base in all 5 of his at-bats, including a triple. Hormel had 2 hits and 2 RBIs, while Dean also added 2 hits and a double. Provost had 2 hits and 3 RBIs for the Elks, while Jake Jarvis and Efry Cervantes both added multi-hit games.
The Pippins now hit the road for a 3-game weekend series with Victoria before next week’s West Coast League All-Star Game in Bend. First pitch for Friday’s series opener at Royal Athletic Park is set for 6:35 PM, with Pippins left-hander Jack Gonzales set to match-up with Victoria righty Aaron Celestino. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz will begin at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:20 PM.