Mason Wells pitched six strong innings and the Pippins offense was able to get him the lead in a 6-3 win over the Cowlitz Black Bears on Thursday.
Through the first three innings, Wells faced one over the minimum with three strikeouts. The only batter to reach was Jonathan Hodo who drew a one out walk in the first inning.
In the second, the Pippins offense would get Wells the lead. Chris Arpan and Andrew Schleusner lead off the inning with back to back singles. Victor Cerny would follow with a sacrifice bunt to put runners at first and third with one out. Jake Moberg then stepped to the plate and with an 0-2 count, lined a ball past Andres Sosa at third base and into left field, scoring both Arpan and Schleusner and giving the Pippins a 2-0 lead.
“I was looking for another curveball because I got two curveballs right off the bat and he got me to swing and miss on the second one so I knew it was coming,” Moberg said. “I put a good swing on it and found a hole.”
In the fourth, Cowlitz was finally able to get to Wells. Jonathan Hodo lead off the inning with a single and stole second base. Austin Bell knocked him in with a base hit to right field but was thrown out by Kyle Dean trying to stretch it into a double. The next two batters would reach with Sosa knocking a single and later would be thrown out trying to steal. Kyle Sandstrom would walk and get into second on a wild pitch but Wells was able to shut the door with a strikeout of Isaac Deveaux.
A weird situation would unfold in the fifth inning when Arpan hit a leadoff single, later making his way to second. With two outs, Moberg knocked a base hit to left which should have scored Arpan. Unfortunately for the Pippins, Arpan wasn’t able to cross the plate before Moberg was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double, keeping the score 2-1.
Wells would be removed after the sixth, holding the Black Bears to just one run on three hits over six innings while striking out five.
The score would stay 2-1 until the seventh inning when the Pippins would play add on. Cerny would drive a one out double into right field. A wild pitch would move him to third, setting up Moberg to drive him in with a sacrifice fly for Moberg’s third RBI of the night.
The Pippins offense would continue to score off the Black Bears bullpen in the eighth. The first three batters of the inning would reach and with one out, Sam Mitchell pinch hit for Schleusner. A wild pitch brought in the first run of the inning and later in the at bat, Mitchell lined a ball into the right field corner driving in two more runs, extending the lead to 6-1. The Black Bears used three pitchers to get out of the inning.
In the ninth, with Tanner Inouye pitching in his second inning out of the bullpen, Cowlitz would rally. With a runner at first and two outs, Tony Boetto hit a triple into the right-center field gap, driving in a run. Boetto would later score on a balk to bring the Black Bears within three. Inouye was able to buckle down and strike out Liam Ballance to end the game, sending the Pippins to a 6-3 win and a series win over Cowlitz.
The Pippins will take on the first place Bellingham Bells in a weekend series starting on Friday. First pitch at 7:05.