RIDGEFIELD, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins exploded for 9 runs in the last 3 innings on Wednesday night in Ridgefield to cruise to a 10-3, series clinching win over the Ridgefield Raptors at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.
It was not easy for the Pippins (2-0), who were trailing all the way until a breakout 7th inning. The Raptors (0-2) jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd inning after back-to-back home runs by Steve Ramirez and Carter Benbrook off of Pippins starter Scott Youngbrandt. They would not score again from that point.
Raptors starter Joey Martin pitched well, but could not go deep into the game due to a high pitch count stemming from 6 walks. When he left in the fifth inning, he had allowed 1 run on just 1 hit, but walked the 6 batters and struck out 7, throwing more than 100 pitches. Eli Schubert came into the game from the bullpen, and the Pippins finally struck offensively from there.
In the 7th inning, Zach Lew got the scoring started by driving in Tyler Pittman with an RBI double to cut the Ridgefield lead to 1. One pitch later, Daniel Cipriano sent a breaking ball over the left field fence and into the home bullpen to put the Pippins ahead 4-3, a lead they would not relinquish.
Yakima Valley added another run in the 8th inning, and then pushed 4 more across in the ninth on Raptors reliever Wesley Harper, who saw his defense commit two errors behind him, and only two runs were earned. Youngbrandt completed four innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned), but did not earn the win.
Nick Brown, who entered in relief in the 5th inning, pitching 3.2 innings of hitless relief to pick up his first victory of the season. Brown struck out 2 and walked 4 while not allowing a run, and kept the Pippins in the game after entering with a 3-1 deficit. Ty Pohlmann closed things out with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to seal the victory.
Offensively, Cipriano and Lew led the way for the Pippins with 3 hits apiece, along with Owen Cobb, who added 3 hits the same day he was drafted by the San Diego Padres. Benbrook also added a double to his 3rd inning homer, becoming the only Raptor with a multi-hit game on the day.
The two teams close out the opening series on Thursday, with first pitch set for 6:35 PM MT in Ridgefield. Neither team has announced a projected starting pitcher.