PORT ANGELES, Wash.- An early home run, an illegal substitution, and superb relief pitching helped the Pippins take game 2 over Port Angeles 4-3.
A wild game was highlighted by 3.2 scoreless innings by Daniel Charron in his first game back since July 12th.
The Spokane Falls righty left 5 runners on base in the 6th through the 9th and came up huge by keeping the 1 run lead his entire outing.
The Pippins started the scoring for the 3rd straight game, going off with a big 4th inning.
A walk and a pair of singles loaded the bases and a balk brought home the game’s first run. That brought up Owen McWilliam with 2 on and 2-out.
After his first home run of the season last night, the University of the Pacific outfielder sent a 3-run shot over the left field wall for his second home run in as many games.
The Pippins 4-0 lead would hold, but the Lefties began to chip away.
Michael Splaine was perfect through the first 3 innings, but the first baserunner would reach and score in the 4th on an RBI sac fly.
In the 5th, 3 straight walks loaded the bases but Splaine picked up back-to-back strikeouts and was one batter away from working out of the jam.
Then, University of Iowa’s Will Mulflur picked up a 2-out 2-RBI single to pull the Lefties to within 1.
The Pippins bats had been cold since their 4-run 2nd, but Daniel Charron came on and picked them up.
A scoreless 6th set up the 7th inning, where a walk and an error put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with one away, but this is where the controversy began.
The batter who reached on the error was not on the lineup card, and after 20 minutes of delay, several meetings with both coaches, and a call to the league commissioner, the umpires ruled the batter out and returned the other runner to first.
In the chaos, the runner on first forgot how many outs there were, and attempted to tag from first on a 2-out double into the gap which would have likely scored the tying run.
Instead, the Pippins escaped the inning with the lead when Owen McWilliam threw out a runner at the dish on a single into left.
Over the last 3 games, McWilliam has 3 outfield assists, 2 home runs, and is 5 for 7 at the plate.
Charron continued with a scoreless 8th but again found trouble on a 2-out single in the bottom of the 9th to put the tying and winning runs on base.
Peysen Sweeney came in needing one more out, and a groundball back to him on the mound cemented the save and the Pippins series victory.
With the Pippins win and a Portland loss, the Pippins are now in a 3-way tie for first place in the South Division second half standings.
They need to win the 2nd half or gain 4 games on the Bend Elks to clinch a playoff spot with 10 league games remaining.
The series finale with Port Angeles is Sunday afternoon at 1:35 as they try to win their 4th straight game.