Pippins Rally to Beat Nanaimo, Win First Home Series

Zack Blaszak’s line-drive single up the middle scored the go-ahead run in the eighth, and the Yakima Valley Pippins went on for an 8-5 win over Nanaimo on Thursday at Yakima County Stadium.

The victory helped the Pippins claim the three-game series, after also winning Tuesday’s game. It was the first home series win for the team this summer, and the first series win since taking two of three games against Cowlitz in Longview to open the season.

In the eighth, Josh Hankins led off with a walk, and Blake Balsz followed with another walk. Konner Kincade advanced the runners a base with a sacrifice bunt, setting up Blaszak’s run-scoring single. After Balsz was tagged out at the plate on a sacrifice attempt for the second out, a walk reloaded the bases. Jace Phelan then doubled to drive in the Pippins’ final two runs.

That cushion was more than enough for Pippins reliever Payton Graham. After a leadoff walk in the ninth, Graham got a double play for the first two outs and, after another walk, a grounder to Phelan at first ended the game.

Phelan finished 2-for-4 with four RBI, including an RBI single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the seventh that knotted the score at 5-5. Hankins had his first multi-hit game, ending 2-for-3, and Kyle Williamson was 2-for-4.

The Pippins continue their six-game homestand Friday evening, hosting Portland in the first of a three-game set. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.

By Logan Peter

June 30, 2023