Despite six innings of one run ball from Chase Farrell, the Pippins dropped the second game of the three game series to the Cowlitz Black Bears 2-0.
In his second start of the season, Farrell put everything together. He set the tone in the top of the first inning by setting down the side with strikeouts of Ryan Kim and Austin Bell. Over the next four innings, Farrell would allow just one hit while striking out seven.
Farrell would only run into a little trouble in the third and fourth innings. In the third, a hit by pitch and an error would put runners on first and second with one out. French would then get Kim to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the threat. In the fourth, the Black Bears would put runners on second and third with another hit by pitch and an error but Farrell would get Isaac Deveaux to ground out to end the inning.
On the other side, Seth Rayburn would match Farrell. Coming into the game, Rayburn had an ERA over six and hadn’t made it through five innings in any start this season.
The Pippins offense had a number of opportunities to score with base runners on in each of the first five innings and runners in scoring position in four of the five innings however, Rayburn was able to pitch himself out of the jams with help from double play balls in the third and fourth inning. After the fifth, the Black Bears went to the bullpen.
The game remained scoreless until the sixth when Cowlitz was finally able to get to Farrell. Kim lead off the inning with a single and later in the inning with two outs and Kim at second, Andres Sosa broke the tie with a base hit. Farrell got out of the inning with a groundball and over his six innings on the mound, picked up a Pippins season high ten strikeouts while giving up just the one run.
“Everything was working,” Farrell said. “The fastball was pretty firm tonight, the changeup was real good, following the fastball real well. The slider was a good strikeout pitch.”
In the seventh, the Black Bears would get to reliever Connor White with some help from the Pippins defense. Deveaux lead off the inning with a walk. He then stole second base and got into third when Victor Cerny overthrew to second. After a groundout, Liam Ballance skied a ball to centerfield allowing Deveaux to tag up and score just ahead of the throw from centerfielder Elijah Greene, and extending the Cowlitz lead to 2-0.
The Pippins offense continued to struggle against the Black Bears bullpen. Isaac Mullins, Zack Denney and JT Penick would hold the Pippins hitless through the final four innings. The Pippins made a comeback attempt in the ninth with two walks resulted in a first and third situation with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. With Cerny representing the tying run, he grounded out, sealing a 2-0 Pippins loss.
With the loss the Pippins drop to two games under .500 and the Black Bears ended their seven game losing streak.
The Pippins will take on the Black Bears in the final game of the series on Thursday. First pitch at 6:35.