YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins used a 5-run sixth inning and a strong start on the mound to complete an 8-6 win over the Northwest Honkers in non-league action on Wednesday night at Yakima County Stadium.
The Pippins, who fell behind early after an inning and a half but tacked on 3 runs through four innings, finally turned runners left on base (11 in the first five innings) into runs scored with a big fifth inning. Facing Honkers reliever Warren Utschinski, the Pippins drew three walks, had two singles (including a perfectly placed bunt) and capped it off when James Bell cracked a two-RBI knock to double the Pippins up over the Honkers, 6-3.
That lead was more than enough for the front end of the Pippins pitching staff, headed by righty Tyler Frazier, who was confident and effective in his strike-throwing over 5.1 innings of work. The righty allowed 3 runs, only one of which was earned, and struck out five while walking only one and allowing five hits. He was relieved by Jack Gonzales with the bases loaded in the sixth, but only one run came in to score.
The Honkers put a scare in in the top of the 9th against Pippins reliever Nick Brown, as the first five men of the inning reached and made it a 2-run game, with the tying run reaching the plate with just one out. But Brown induced a 4-6-3 double play and then a game-ending groundout to third to give the Pippins the win.
The Pippins conclude their series with the Honkers, and their brief foray into non-league play, with a 6:35 PM first pitch on Thursday at Yakima County Stadium. Live coverage will be held at pippinsbaseball.com/live, with Miles Klotz on the call.
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