VICTORIA, B.C. – The Yakima Valley Pippins scored 12 runs on a season-high 22 hits and rode strong pitching to a 12-4 win over the Victoria HarbourCats on Sunday at Royal Athletic Park, salvaging the final game of a three-game weekend series to send the two teams to the All-Star Break.
The Pippins (7-6, 18-21) were as strong offensively as they have been all year, finishing one run shy of their season high in runs scored and shattering their previous high in hits (13). It was the HarbourCats (9-4, 27-13), though, that took the first lead of the game, striking for a 1-0 advantage off of Trystan Vrieling when Kyle Sherick doubled home a run in the bottom of the second.
From that point forward, Vrieling was sharp over 5.1 innings of work, earning his first win of the season after allowing two earned runs on four hits, four walks, and six strikeouts. The Pippins gave him run support early, tying the game up in the third inning on a Kyle Dean sacrifice fly. James Bell brought home two runs with a single in the fourth inning, giving the Pippins the lead and knocking Victoria starter Mitch Lines out of the game after 3-plus innings, in which he allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and took the loss.
Lines was the first of what would be 7 different pitchers used by Victoria to complete 9 innings, with the Pippins striking the most off of Garrett Goodall in the 6th inning. After Victoria took big leads in the first two games of the series with big 6th innings, the Pippins had their biggest inning of the entire season, scoring 7 runs on 8 hits off of Goodall and righty Derek Salata to break things open. After Christian Padilla led off the inning with a double, the Pippins had the next five batters reach before an out was finally recorded, and Goodall was relieved.
The Pippins turned to relievers Mark Woinarowicz and Nick Brown in relief of Vrieling, and the pair allowed two runs in the 8th inning, but the Pippins quickly responded with 2 runs in the top of the 9th inning to push their lead back to 8. Nine different players picked up multi-hits games for the Pippins, including three who had 3-hit games. Sherick was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and 2 doubles for Victoria, while Harrison Spohn was 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and a pair of walks.
After two days off for the West Coast League All-Star Break, the Pippins, now just two games back of a playoff spot, will resume their six-game Canadian road trip with a three-game series in Kelowna starting on Wednesday. First pitch for the series opener at Elks Stadium is set for 6:35 PM, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:20 at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
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