Pippins Offense Struggles in Loss to Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins mustered up just one run on seven hits on Saturday in Bellingham en route to dropping a 3-1 decision to lose the road series with a game to play. The Bells overtook the Pippins for first place in the WCL North Division with the loss.

For eight innings, the Pippins (6-4) could get almost nothing going offensively. They had just four hits before a rally in the ninth, and did not draw a walk all night. In the ninth inning, the Pippins fought for a run off of Bellingham (7-4) closer Bryce Moyle, who allowed singles to Tanner Parker, Spencer Bramwell, and Henry Gargus, but finished the game off by a strikeout and catching Bramwell trying to take third base on a wild pitch.

Both sides pitched well on Saturday, with the Pippins getting a good start out of season debutant Darius Garcia. The left-hander from UC Irvine went 5-plus innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned), on four hits, two walks, and 3 strikeouts. He exited after allowing the leadoff man in the sixth to reach, and A.J. Wood relieved him, allowing the runner to score unearned. Garcia, however, took a hard-luck loss for his performance.

The pitching was stellar for Bellingham, led by starter Nick Proctor, who tossed five shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and striking out five. Matt Geoffrion, in his season debut, followed with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit. The pair were backed up by some light early offense for the Bells.

Bellingham got a run in the second inning off of an RBI groundout from Danny Martin after loading the bases with no outs, and later got a second run in the 6th inning on a Troy Viola sacrifice fly. They added a key insurance run in the 8th off of a Jack Machtolf RBI single.

The series concludes on Sunday as the Pippins look to salvage a game from the weekend set. First pitch on Father’s Day is set for 1:05 PM PT. The Pippins will send left-hander Dylan Barkley to the mound for his third start of the season, while the Bells have not announced a projected starter.

By Miles Klotz

June 16, 2019