Bishop's quality start, Carpentier's arm and bat power Pippins past Bells
The Yakima Valley Pippins benefited from strong offensive and defensive play to even the three-game series in Bellingham Wednesday night, improving to 3-2 on the season.
Both teams stranded a pair of runners in the first inning, although the Bells (2-3) put up three hits against starter Dylan Bishop in the frame. Yugo Hamakawa, who had the first Bellingham hit, was caught stealing by catcher Michael Carpentier Jr.
The Pippins struck first in the second inning after a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt started the inning and second baseman Jordan Hara singled the two runners in.
Bells starting pitcher Justin Tucker walked Connor Coballes to start the third inning, then induced a groundout that moved Coballes to second base. He would score when left fielder Noah Williamson singled. Carpentier then gave the Pippins a 5-0 lead with a two-run home run to center field that Trackman clocked at 104 miles-per-hour off the bat.
The lone run given up by Bishop came in the sixth inning, after Daniel Gernon walked and stole second to start the inning. He would later score on a two-out double by Ezra Samperi.
Bishop (2-0, 1.38 ERA) went six innings, striking out five while walking two. He gave up seven hits in total and surrendered the one earned run.
Tucker (1-1, 5.87 ERA) didn’t make it through the fourth inning, giving up five runs (all earned) while walking four and striking out none.
Willie Lajoie turned a line drive base hit into a triple when Bells center fielder Josh Trujillo dove for the ball and it skipped past him to the wall, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Carpentier to give the Pippins a 6-1 lead. Lajoie and Coballes have reached base safely in all five games to start the season. Carpentier finished the night 1-for-3 with three RBI.
Ryan Arredondo came on in relief for the Pippins in the seventh inning, but ran into trouble after hitting the first batter he faced, Zac Berryman, and giving up a single to Hamakawa. He would later walk the bases loaded with one out, then induce a groundout that scored Berryman from third base. With two outs, he walked Ty Saunders to load the bases for the second time in the inning before the Pippins brought Dann Blanchard in for his third appearance of the season.
Blanchard got AJ Davis to line out to escape the inning, then turned in two more solid innings to close out the win against the Bells.
The final game of the series will take place Thursday evening at 6:35 p.m., then the Pippins will ride back home for a three-game series against Ridgefield.