YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins struck for 13 runs on 11 hits in a big Independence Day win over the Bellingham Bells, sweeping the series on Thursday at Yakima County Stadium.
The Pippins (11-15) struck early and often against Bellingham (14-10) pitching to claim their second series sweep of the year. The Pippins brought home 3 runs in the third inning off of Bells starter Cole Tucker. Nick DiCarlo started the scoring with a bases loaded hit-by-pitch, and a double play and Zach Meddings single later brought home two runs. That would be all for Tucker, who allowed 3 unearned runs in 3 innings but took the loss.
The Pippins, after allowing one run in the fourth, struck for 6 more in the bottom half of the fourth inning to take a commanding lead. Bells reliever Will Dennis lasted just 0.1 of an inning, walking one batter and hitting another, and Noah Andrews made him pay with a 2-run single. Later than inning, Aiden Welch and Nick Israel also singled home runs.
The Pippins aded two more runs in both the fifth and seventh innings off of Bells pitching. Four of Bellingham’s five pitchers allowed multiple runs, and all but one player in the Pippins lineup reached base safely. On the mound, the Pippins were not extremely sharp, with more walks than strikeouts, but battled to earn the win. Darius Garcia pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win after starter A.J. Wood was solid in 3-plus inning (1 unearned run, 2 strikeouts), but did not go deep enough to earn the win. They all pitched to Brady Hormel, an infielder with no catching experience, who was making his first start behind the plate.
Nick DiCarlo led the way on offense for the Pippins, reaching base safely in all five times he came to the plate. Owen Cobb had just one hit but scored four runs, while Nick Israel added three hits for the Pippins (including hits from both sides of the plate in the 6-run 4th inning). Bellingham was led by the bottom of the order, with their 7-8-9 hitters (Danny Martin, Nick DeNicola, and Christian Dicochea) all collecting multiple hits.
The Pippins open up play in the West Coast League’s second half on Friday when they travel to open up a 3-game series with the Portland Pickles. Ryan Jameson gets the start at Walker Stadium with a 7:05 PM first pitch. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 6:50 PM at pippinsbaseball.com/live.