Pippins Sweep CCL Showcase Team for Franchise-Best 11th-Straight Win

Cascade's last-inning push thwarted by baserunning error

The Yakima Valley Pippins finished their first stretch of non-league play undefeated after a victory over the Cascade Collegiate League’s showcase team 9-5 Monday night.

The team has now won a franchise-best 11 straight games as they head off to Ridgefield Tuesday-Thursday to return to West Coast League play.

Joey Cammarata started on the mound for the Pippins and stuck around for five innings, his longest outing of the season thus far. He walked three and only struck out two, but kept the showcase team to just two runs (one earned).

The Pippins scored first in the bottom of the second inning when Blake Dickman doubled to lead off the inning and was driven home by Alex Shanks’ double. Shanks stole third base and scored thanks to a Chaz Myers sacrifice fly to center field.

With two outs, Austin Plante hit his first home run of the summer390 feet to left-center. The hit had an exit velocity of 101 miles-per-hour and a 31.9-degree launch angle.

Cammarata first ran into trouble in the third inning after loading the bases with one out. Kyle Henington drove in the showcase team’s first run of the game on a base hit, but Cammarata escaped the jam with a pair of flyouts in foul territory and a grounder up the middle that he fielded and tossed to first base.

Dickman drove in Taylor Holder with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to give the Pippins a 4-1 lead.

Cammarata’s unearned run came in the fifth inning with Henington on second after a one-out double. Henington stole third, but Dickman’s throw got past Myers at third and into left field to allow the runner to score.

Payton Robertson put in two innings of work, surrendering one run to the showcase team in the sixth. Harrison Clark hit a leadoff double and scored from third on a base hit by Zane Skanski to cut the Pippins lead to 4-3, but Robertson struck out the next three hitters to end the inning.

The Pippins batted around in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out before Chase Graves got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly to center field. The next four batters each hit RBI-base hits to give the Pippins a 9-3 lead.

Weston Janavs pitched the final two innings, and was unscathed headed into the ninth. Pinch hitters John Taylor, Peter King and Eunsang Yu walked, singled and doubled to score two runs and make the score 9-5 to start the ninth.

Aaron Barber flew out for the first out of the inning before a baserunning mistake sealed the showcase team’s fate. 

Eric Luchies lined out to Jordan Hara at second base, who caught the ball near the dirt. Both Hara and Yu on first were unsure whether the catch was made, so Hara threw to second for an attempted ground-ball double play that Luchies would have beaten out at first if he was not already out.

Due to the confusion, Yu thought he had been put out by the force at second base and began to walk off the field while Luchies stayed on first, allowing Willie Lajoie to apply the tag on Yu for the final out of the game.

All three road games of the Ridgefield series will begin at 6:35 p.m., with live audio coverage provided on Mixlr or at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.

By Chris Rosato Jr.

June 22, 2021