Powered by a three run rally in the eighth inning, the Pippins ended their 2018 season on a high note with a 5-3 win over the Corvallis Knights on Wednesday.
Jack Gonzales got the start for the Pippins and Corvallis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second. With the bases loaded and just one out, Ben McKay hit a sacrifice fly. Gonzales escaped the inning, allowing just the one run.
In the third, a two run single off the bat of Austin Feist extended the lead to 3-0. That was all that the Knights would be able to get off of Gonzales.
Coming off of getting shutout on Tuesday, the Pippins offense struggled early. Their first scoring opportunity came in the fourth when they stranded runners at the corners.
The offense broke through in the fifth with just one hit. Two of the first three batters reached on walks and with one out Cody Jefferis drove in a run with a groundout. Another run would come in on a wild pitch to pull the Pippins within a run.
While the Pippins clawed their way back, Gonzales was lights out as he only allowed one baserunner to reach second after the third. Gonzales would go seven innings, allowing just three runs, two earned on seven hits.
In the eighth, the Pippins took their first lead of the series. An error and two singles set up a bases loaded no out opportunity. After a strikeout and a fielder’s choice, the Pippins were about to squander a golden opportunity. Bryce Wooldridge stepped up to the plate and hit a low line drive to short. Chad Stevens dove to try and catch it before the bounce but the second base umpire ruled that the ball hit the ground. Everyone was safe and a run came to score, tying the game. Cole Jones followed with a two run single back up the middle to put the Pippins out in front 5-3.
Connor White took the mound in the ninth, looking for his fifth save. With two outs, the Knights put runners on the corners. After a lengthy battle with Chandler Anderson, White was able to get a ball on the ground back up the middle. Jefferis ranged over and threw out Anderson by a step to seal the win in the final game of the season for the Pippins.
With the win, the Pippins finish the season with a 27-27 record, missing the playoffs by one game.