Pippins Struggle on the Mound, Swept by Bells

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Bellingham Bells completed a three game, weekend series sweep of the Yakima Valley Pippins on Sunday with a 19-2 win at Joe Martin Field, in an early start on Father’s Day. The 17-run loss tied the worst loss in Pippins franchise history.

The game got off to a slow start on offense for the Pippins (6-5), who struggled to get anything going against Bellingham (8-4) starter Diego Barrerra, who left after 1.2 innings with an injury, and reliever Tate Dearing, who pitched 4.1 innings in relief. The Bells struck for an early lead off of Pippins left-handed starter Dylan Barkley in the first off of an error when Barkley misplayed a bunt.

From there, the teams traded zeroes in the scoresheet until the Bells opened the floodgates with an 8-run fifth inning. Barkley started the inning, but after allowing four of the first five batters he saw to reach on base hits, he was relieved for Bo Henderson, making his Pippins debut. Barkley’s night came to an end after allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits, no walks, and 2 strikeouts over 4.1 innings.

Henderson finished the fifth and pitched the sixth (in which Bellingham scored 3 more runs), allowing 7 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, with no strikeouts. From that point, the Bells held onto their commanding lead. They added 7 more runs in the bottom of the 8th off of Pippins outfielder Riley Gill, who entered in the game to pitch. The 8th inning was capped by a two-run, opposite-field homer by Bells relief pitcher Will Armbruester.

The Pippins did avoid being shut out for the first time in 2019 by adding 2 runs in the top of the eighth inning. Owen Cobb and Luke Schwartz both hit RBI singles to cut into the Bellingham lead. Tanner Parker led the way offensively again for the Pippins, adding 3 hits, his fifth consecutive multi-hit game. Spencer Bramwell also had a pair of base hits for the Pippins.

Now on a season-long four-game losing streak, the Pippins return to Yakima on Monday to start an 8-day, 7-game homestand at the Orchard. The first team to visit on the homestand will be the Kelowna Falcons, with first pitch of game one of a three-game series set for Monday night at 6:35 PM. Mark Woinarowicz will start for the Pippins against a to-be-named starter for the Falcons. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6;20 PM.

By Miles Klotz

June 16, 2019