YAKIMA, Wash. – The Victoria HarbourCats struck early and often on Thursday, opening up with a 5-run first inning and never looking back in a 13-4 win over the home Yakima Valley Pippins in Yakima on Thursday night, concluding a series that had begun a week before with a win.
The first-place HarbourCats (10-5) pounced on Pippins (8-7) starter Darius Garcia in the first inning. Victoria batted around, collecting 7 hits and 5 runs, to set the tone for an offensive onslaught throughout the game. Garcia lasted just 3 innings, allowing 7 runs (4 earned) on 11 hits, while striking out 3. But the Pippins offense never got the necessary run support to overcome the big early deficit.
The Pippins offense had one of its better days of the season, all things considered, but left 9 runners on base and failed to convert on several opportunities. Yakima native Henry Gargus continued his recent hot stretch and had the nicest offensive day for the Pippins. He hit a solo homer in the first inning, and his double in the 7th off of the wall barely missed being a second home run. He also singled in the 7th for a 3-hit day.
The Pippins grabbed two runs in the fifth inning off of a bases loaded hit-by-pitch and a double play with no outs hit by James Bell, but mustered up just one run beyond that. Starter DJ Peters allowed 3 runs in 4-plus innings for Victoria on 8 hits and a strikeout. Reliever Zac Horne, who pitched 1-plus inning and walked 3 batters but allowed no runs earned the win. Garcia took the loss for the Pippins.
The Pippins bullpen had its fair share of struggles as well. Bo Henderson pitched a strong first two innings before struggles hit in his third inning of work, and he allowed 3 runs total. Tyler Frazier and Jack Gonzales also allowed runs in their respective innings. Victoria had 7 different hitters record multi-hit games, and all but two record RBIs.
Gargus led the way on offense for the Pippins with his 3 hits. Ty DeLancey had his first multi-hit game as a Pippin after a 2-for-4 night, and James Bell also added two hits. Tanner Parker had a ninth inning single that extended his hitting streak to a team-high 10 games.
The Pippins, now 2-2 on the current homestand, have Friday off before returning to action on Saturday night against Corvallis. First pitch for the series opener is set for 7:05 PM. Ryan Jameson is expected to start for the Pippins. Pregame coverage will begin with Miles Klotz at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:50 PM.