Pippins Offense Erupts in Blowout Series Opening Win

The Yakima Valley Pippins’ offense finally brought the thunder … literally.

A one-hour, 21-minute lightning delay in the bottom of the first inning couldn’t stop the hit parade as the Pippins beat Nanaimo 11-0 on Tuesday in the first of a three-game series at Yakima County Stadium.

Yakima Valley plated seven runs in the first inning, headlined by a bases-clearing RBI double by Washington State Cougar Jace Phelan. Chris Clement got in on the fun with a two-RBI single to make it 5-0.

Then the lightning and thunder arrived.

The ensuing delay — an automatic 30-minute delay from the sighting of lightning bolts within an eight-mile radius of the ballpark — was restarted several times because of repeated flashes within the safety zone. The game eventually restarted about 8:30 p.m.

However, the delay didn’t stop the Pippins from scoring two more runs in the frame to extend the lead to 7-0.

But the Pippins weren’t done there. Phelan continued to swing a hot stick, lacing another RBI double in the second. He finished the night going 4 for 5 with four RBIs.

Yakima Valley added another on a Jake Borst RBI double in the second before eventually going up 11-0 on an inside-out RBI single by Borst in the third. Borst and Clement each finished 2-for-5.

Every Pippin that came to the dish in the contest reached base safely.

The lightning did chase Pippins starter Tyler Frieders from the game after a four-batter first inning that ended in a Pippins double play.

Devyn Hernandez was called upon to relieve Frieders after the delay, and the right-hander tossed five innings, striking out five, walking two and scattering two hits.

Andy Evans slammed the door shut on the victory for his best outing so far as a Pippin. The Montana State-Billings righty finished off Nanaimo with three innings, striking out three.

With the one-inning start, Frieders will retake the mound with another start Friday against Portland.

The Pippins will look to win their first home series this year in Game 2 at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday.

By Logan Peter

June 28, 2023