Pippins Suffer Series Loss to Lefties Wednesday

Four-run inning dooms Pippins in loss

The Yakima Valley Pippins dropped game two of their series against the Port Angeles Lefties with a 6-2 loss, again experiencing a blowup inning that was their ultimate downfall.

The Pippins and Lefties will conclude their series Thursday on Celebrate America Night, with the first 1,000 fans receiving a red, white and blue souvenir hat, and fireworks after the game presented by Banner Bank.

Kenny Johnson started on the mound for the Pippins, turning in four scoreless innings before running into trouble. He helped himself out by getting the lead runner out at third on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the first inning and picking off a runner on second base in the second.

Taylor Holder was hit by the first pitch he saw in the first inning and moved to third when Willie Lajoie beat out an infield single and took an extra base thanks to an overthrow from the shortstop. Williamson scored Holder from third with a groundout.

Lajoie extended his hit streak to 16 games and his on-base streak to 19 games with the hit in the first inning.

The Lefties got to Johnson in the fifth inning, starting with a solo home run by Carson Crawford. Tommy Takayoshi reached on a dropped third strike that would have ended the inning, then scored the go-ahead run when Luke Saunders doubled to left field, crossing home plate before Saunders was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.

The Pippins responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning to re-take the lead, starting with a base hit and stolen base by Spencer Marenco. Marenco scored on Lajoie’s second single of the night.

Lajoie scored on a base hit by Dickman to give the Pippins a 3-2 lead.

Johnson returned for a sixth inning of work, but walked the first two batters before loading the bases by hitting Coleman Schmidt. Johnson (2-2, 6.51 ERA) was then removed in favor of Owen Wild.

With his first pitch, Wild got Shea Thomas to hit a weak ground ball to Marenco, but he misplayed it initially before throwing the ball away to first. As the ball skipped away from Dickman at first, the runner on third base started for home but changed his mind while the runner on second did take off for third. Carpentier chased the runner back to second before overthrowing Marenco, allowing a second run to score on the play.

The two runners moved up to second and third base on a wild pitch by Wild, drawing the infield in with no outs. This allowed Trevor Tishenkel to drive in two runs with a chopper up the middle that bounced over the head of the infielders.

Wild (2-0, 3.29 ERA) would escape the inning and turn in two more scoreless innings before walking the first two batters of the ninth, causing the Pippins to turn to Connor Wilson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) who retired the next three batters in order to keep the Lefties’ lead the same.

The Pippins failed to advance a runner past first base from the sixth inning on.

By Chris Rosato Jr.

July 1, 2021