Pippins’ Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short Against Portland

PORTLAND, Oregon — A ninth-inning Yakima Valley rally came up short Wednesday, as Portland hung on for a 6-4 win over the Pippins and captured the series between the two teams.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Portland reliever Kyler Stancato worked out of a jam with a strikeout to end the game and notch the save.

The Pippins were shut out until the ninth. They immediately jumped on reliever Zack Elsos with a leadoff double by Spencer Shipman, who then scored on a single by Zack Blaszak. A passed ball and a walk to Hank Dunn put runners on the corners with no outs, and a double by Tommy Eisenstat plated Blaszak for the second run.

Stancato entered and surrendered an RBI single to Jace Phelan. After a foul out for the first out, Josh Hankins singled home Eisenstat. A fly out to left got Stancato one out closer, before he walked Gabe Villaflor to load the bases. The three-pitch strikeout ended the game.

Phelan finished 3-for-5, Blaszak was 2-for-4, and Hankins and Shipman each went 2-for-5.

The Pickles scored four runs in the first off YV starter Ryun Cross on three hits and two walks, including a two-run double by Evan Cloyd. Jack Metcho finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Prior to the rally, the Pippins struggled to piece together consistent offense, stranding a runner at second or third base in five of the first eight innings.

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Thursday. The Pippins then return home for a three-game set at Yakima County Stadium beginning Friday against the Springfield Drifters.

By Logan Peter

July 20, 2023