PORTLAND, Ore. – The Yakima Valley Pippins got a stellar pitching performance and a few timely hits late to open the second half with a win, topping the Portland Pickles, 1-0, on Friday night at Walker Stadium.
It was not the greatest games for fans of big offense, as the Pippins (1-0 second half, 12-15) and the Pickles (0-1 second half, 9-18) combined for just 7 hits on the night in a game that took over 3 hours. Both starters, Yakima Valley’s Ryan Jameson and Portland’s Bradley McVay, were tremendous, with neither allowing an earned run.
Jameson pitched into the 7th inning in his best start of the year, striking out a season-high 10 while allowing just four baserunners (3 walks, 1 hit). He did not, however, earn a decision, as the Pippins scored the go-ahead run in the 8th inning after Jack Gonzales took over to finish off the 7th.
In the 8th, Eddy Pelc led off the inning with a single, and then advanced to second on a stolen base. He later scored a batter later on a double from Tanner Parker down the right field line. Although Parker was stranded at second, that was all the runs the Pippins would need.
Gonzales navigated through trouble in the later innings, as the Pippins did all game. The Pickles stranded ten runners on the night, none bigger than the two in the bottom of the ninth. After Chase Luttrell led off the inning with a single, Jonathan Kelly moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice. A walk from pinch-hitter Alex Shanks and a wild pitch put the winning run in scoring position with two outs, but Gonzales got Austin Lively to strike out swinging to end the ballgame.
Gonzales, who earned his first win of the season in relief, did not allow a run in 2.1 scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.66. It also snapped a 9-game road losing streak for the Pippins, who won their first game away from home since June 5 at Ridgefield. Nicolas Lopez, who allowed the one earned run on two hits in the 8th inning, took the loss for Portland, his first of the year.
Pelc had the only multi-hit day for either side, going 2-for-3 and scoring the game-winning run in the 8th inning. Parker and Owen Cobb (bunt single) contributed the other hits for the Pippins. Lively, Luttrell, and K.C. Hunt had hits for the Pickles.
The series continues on Saturday with a 7:05 PM first pitch from Walker Stadium. Right-hander Joe Magrisi will start for the Pippins, opposite his Cal State Fullerton teammate, Portland lefty Titus Groeneweg. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:50 PM.