Bishop, Matter combine for 15 strikeouts in win
The Yakima Valley Pippins rebounded for a 7-2 win to kick off their series in Port Angeles, combining masterful pitching and a booming offense to take down the Lefties.
Dylan Bishop made his first road start in over a month, but looked just as comfortable on a new mound. He kept a shutout going into the seventh inning, allowing just three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in the first six innings.
Offensively, the Pippins jumped on Port Angeles starter Steven Brooks early. Willie Lajoie blasted a two-run home run to left-center in the top of the first to give the Pippins a 2-0 lead.
They added four more in the fourth after loading the bases to start the inning. Taylor Holder hit a soft ground ball to the shortstop who failed to record an out, scoring a run as each runner moved up a base. Sam Olsson then walked to force home another run.
Lajoie then added another two RBI with a two-run single to give the Pippins a 6-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout by Corey Jarrell and scored on a single through the middle of the infield by Connor Coballes.
Bishop’s shutout bid ended in the seventh after a leadoff double and a two-run home run by Nathan Chong. From there, Bishop was replaced by Case Matter. Matter balanced his high-velocity fastball with a looping curveball to strike out the next nine straight batters – six swinging and three looking.
Bishop (6-1, 4.07 ERA) was credited with the win while Matter (0-0, 5.10 ERA) earned his first save of the season.
The Pippins (37-17, 11-8 in the second half) increased their lead to one game over the Bellingham Bells in the North Division for the second half. With their loss, the Lefties (19-33, 5-14) fell to six games back.
The two teams will continue their series Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.