Pippins Walk Things Off in the 12th in Series Opener

Williamson triples twice, scores tying and winning runs in extras

The Pippins won the first game of a home series against Ridgefield Friday night in walk-off fashion, taking down the Raptors 6-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning.

In his first game with the Pippins following the University of Oregon’s postseason run, Taylor Holder singled home Noah Williamson from third base with one out to give the Pippins their third-straight victory. It was the first extra-inning game of the season for Yakima Valley.

Williamson started the inning with a walk, then moved to third base when Ridgefield pitcher Ben Larson’s errant pickoff throw was deflected out of play.

The Pippins improved to 5-2 to start the season and remain at the top of the North Division standings, while Ridgefield is also 5-2 with the loss.

Yakima Valley got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. Connor Coballes singled with one out, then scored from first on a triple by Williamson. Catcher Sam Olsson, also making his debut after a season with Oregon, doubled Williamson home to give the Pippins a 2-0 lead.

Pippins starting pitcher Kirby Robertson, who joined the team Friday, faced 10 batters through his first three innings. In the fourth, Ridgefield’s John Peck reached on a Spencer Marenco error and Coby Morales was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. The Pippins turned a double play, but Peck moved to third base on the play.

After Kody Darcy walked to put runners on the corners with two outs, Cole Urman doubled them both home to tie things up.

The Raptors would add a run in the sixth inning, thanks to a leadoff home run by Coby Morales, and in the seventh, when Grant Heiser scored from second on a base hit by Caden Connor, to take a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom half of the seventh, Noah Williamson tripled for the second time in the game to score Coballes and Willie Lajoie and tie the game up once more.

Robertson (0-0, 1.50 ERA) pitched through the sixth inning, surrendering just three hits and allowing three runs (one earned). Owen Wild (0-0, 4.50 ERA), who joined the team after a year at Gonzaga, pitched the seventh and eighth innings.

Dann Blanchard came in to pitch the ninth inning, and wound up staying to finish four innings and close out the game for the Pippins. He hit a speedbump in the 10th inning, when Morales led off the inning with a base hit. He was sacrificed to second, then scored on a Heiser base hit.

The Pippins responded with a run of their own in the 10th to keep the game alive. Williamson singled to start the inning, then moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a base hit by Olsson.

Blanchard (1-0, 0.87 ERA) continued to keep Ridgefield off the board long enough to earn the win thanks to the winning run in the bottom of the 12th.

The Pippins and Raptors will meet again Saturday night, first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. with live video coverage from Chris Rosato Jr. available at PippinsBaseball.com/Live.

By Chris Rosato Jr.

June 12, 2021