On a windy and rainy evening at Yakima County Stadium, the Pippins offense caught fire against the struggling Bend Elks.
Mason Wells was scheduled to start against the Elks, but had to be pushed to tomorrow in order to attend his high school graduation. Hunter French got the spot start and ran into some trouble early. A leadoff walk and a single put runners on first and third with no one out. After French got a strikeout of Ty Holmstrom, Alex Pallios hit a ground ball that Grant DeLappe couldn’t handle at shortstop, scoring a run. French would escape the inning with help from catcher Andrew Schleusner who picked off Collin Runge at third base with two outs. The Elk’s 1-0 lead would not last long.
In the last two home games for the Pippins, they have scored a total of seven runs in the first inning. The Pippins continued their first inning prowess. Khalil Rivera got the start for the Elks and struggled early. Cody Jefferis and Elijah Greene got on base with walks and with one out, Sam Mitchell demolished a pitch over the right field wall for his first home run of the season and a 3-1 Pippins lead. The home run extended Mitchell’s hitting streak to seven games. Mitchell has a hit in each of the Pippins first seven games.
The Pippins would add another run with an Andrew Schleusner RBI single to take a 4-1 lead and they would not look back.
Jonathan Imperial and the Pippins would play add on in the third inning with an RBI single driving in Mitchell and extending the lead to 5-1.
Another big blow came in the fourth inning. After a leadoff walk and a fielders choice, Conor Allard hit a line drive over the centerfield fence for a two run homer and opened up a 7-1 lead. It was Allard’s first home run and the Pippins’ third of the season. Mitchell would hit a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend the lead. Rivera would leave after the fourth inning, giving up eight runs on five hits with seven walks.
The Pippins would continue to score in the sixth, with Elijah Greene who just joined the team earlier in the day, driving in a run with a single and a balk by Ethan Jones would drive in the tenth run for the Pippins.
Not to be lost in the offense was Hunter French who after escaping jams in the first and second innings, settled down and cruised through six innings, allowing just one run on four hits with six strikeouts.
With the rain beginning to fall more heavily, Kaleb Strawn and Jack Gonzales would pitch the final three innings giving up just one more run to finish off the Pippins 10-2 win over the Elks. The Pippins move to 4-3 on the season while the Elks drop their fourth straight and fall to 2-5. The second game of the series is on Saturday. First pitch at 6:35.