Pippins Drop Series Opener in Bend

Pippins go down 1-2-3 in six of nine innings in loss

The Yakima Valley Pippins started their six-game road trip off with a 12-3 loss to the Bend Elks Friday, using five pitchers who pitched two innings or less each.

Dylan Bishop started on the mound for the Pippins, erasing a one-out walk in the first inning by inducing a double play ball. The Pippins then took the lead in the bottom of the first after Taylor Holder was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Noah Williamson.

The Elks got to Bishop in the second inning, putting together four hits and drawing a walk to score three runs. Bishop (2-1, 5.85 ERA) took a line drive to the leg and was pulled after getting out of the inning.

Payton Robertson took over for the Pippins in the third inning, giving up a leadoff base hit but otherwise keeping the Elks off the board.

Noah Williamson led off the fourth inning by reaching on a throwing error by third baseman Julian Kodama that allowed Williamson to reach second base. He moved to third on a groundout by Willie Lajoie and scored when Blake Dickman doubled.

Dickman then moved to third on a groundout by Chase Graves and scored on a base hit by Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek, tying the game at 3-3 and letting Bishop off the hook.

In the fourth inning, Robertson struck out the first batter before surrendering four straight hits, a sacrifice fly, and a double that gave the Elks a 7-3 lead. Robertson (1-2, 6.56 ERA) wound up taking the loss.

The Pippins offense failed to have a batter reach base over the next two innings, while Ethan Krupp-Pruit made his Pippins pitching debut with scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Krupp-Pruit loaded the bases in the fifth before inducing a double play and setting the Elks down in order in the sixth.

The last bit of offense for the Pippins came in the seventh inning, when Spencer Marenco reached on a two-out single and Chaz Myers reached on an error by shortstop Peter Mendazona, but Taylor Holder struck out to end the threat.

Case Matter came on for the eighth inning but struggled after giving up two quick singles to start the inning. He hit the third batter of the inning to load the bases and walked the fourth to force in a run before striking out Mason Guerra for the first out. 

The second run of the inning scored on a wild pitch before Matter walked the bases loaded once more, setting the table for Sam Linscott to drive in two more with a base hit. Matter would record his second strikeout of the inning and get the tenth hitter of the inning to fly out, but a second wild pitch brought in a 12th run for the Elks.

Joey Cammarata pitched the eighth for the Pippins, walking the first batter before striking out the next three.

Lajoie failed to reach base in the game for the first time this season, ending his 20-game on-base streak. His 16-game hit streak was snapped in Thursday’s home finale against the Port Angeles Lefties.

The Pippins continue their series in Bend Saturday at 6:35 p.m.

By Chris Rosato Jr.

July 3, 2021