PORT ANGELES, Wash.- Over his last 4 starts Blake Leaverton has 3 wins and a 2.21 ERA after his 6 shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Port Angeles on Friday.
The soon-to-be sophomore at Seattle University was phenomenal, leaving 6 runners stranded and allowing only 1 hit in his start.
The victory became the 3rd shutout of the year for the Pippins, all 3 of which have come in the last 10 WCL games.
The Pippins didn’t have the only solid start in the low scoring affair. Lefties starter Liam Paddack got through 7 innings of work and nearly matched Leaverton stride for stride.
Despite the strong effort, Paddack blinked first when some well executed situational baseball would score the game’s first run. The Pippins used an intentional rundown to plate Hank Dunn in the 3rd and held that lead the rest of the way.
Both sides would stay scoreless for a while after that, but the first real trouble for Leaverton came in the bottom of the 5th.
A leadoff 2-base error put the tying run in scoring position with no one out for the Lefties. A groundout moved the runner 90 feet closer, but a popup and another groundout got the Pippins out of the jam with the lead 1-0.
Yakima Valley capitalized on the momentum on the first pitch of the top of the 6th when Owen McWilliam launched his first home run of the year over the left field wall.
With the lead now 2 runs, Liam McCallum returned from injury for his first appearance since June 23rd.
The left-handed Australian tallied 2 scoreless innings with 2 K’s and a big double play and earned a hold in the matchup.
Owen McWilliam added to the lead again when he scored on an error in the 8th. The University of the Pacific outfielder finished with 3 of the Pippins 7 hits and 2 of the 3 runs.
Reilly McAdams came on in the 9th and looked as good as ever, retiring all 3 batters he faced and earning his first save of the season.
With the shutout win and the Pickles loss, the Pippins move to 1 game out of the South Division second half lead.
Yakima Valley looks to win their 5th straight series in game two Saturday at 6:35.