Pippins Win an Extra-Inning Thriller against Highline
Yakima, Wa. — It took extra innings to decide a winner in game two of the two-game non-league series between the visiting Highline Bears and the Yakima Valley Pippins. For the Pippins, one extra inning is all they needed.
The final score of tonight’s thrilling ball game went in favor of the Pippins 8-7. The Pippins found themselves in a tough spot near the end of the game, but found a way to tie it in the eighth, tie it again in the ninth, and finally win it in the tenth.
The Pippins began the scoring early, in the bottom of the first, with leadoff batter Luke Schwartz and two-hole batter Brady Hormel knocking back-to-back doubles to begin the scoring. Then, James Bell took a hanging curveball and drove it deep to left field for a two-run home run. That would be the Pippins only offense for most of the game.
In the top of the fourth inning the Bears began with their first three batters reaching base safely, on an error, hit-by-pitch, and a single. Later in the inning, Garrett Kollar also reached on an error, bringing home Kenny Miller. Tori Doten hit a single that scored two runs, making it a tie game at 3-3. After a two-out walk by Kealen Martin to load the bases, Bears’ right fielder Dillon O’Grady knocked a single to left-center for two more runs batted in, giving the Bears a 5-3 lead by the end of the pivotal top of the fourth.
The Bears picked up another run in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Dillon O’Grady, giving him three RBI in the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the Pippins trailing 6-3, James Bell led off with a single, then Kyle Dean hit an RBI double to drive him home all the way from first base, making it 6-4 Bears. Tyler Dean walked, then Eddy Pelc and Sawyer Chesley both struck out swinging, bringing the Bears within four outs of winning. After a successful double steal by both runners, Bears relief pitcher Danny Shafer balked to bring home Kyle Dean, making it 6-5. Tanner Parker then stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-out base knock just past the glove of a leaping Bears shortstop Tori Doten to drive in pinch-runner Nick Israel and tie the game up at 6-6.
A.J. Wood entered the game on the mound for the Pippins in the top of the ninth, and couldn’t get out of the inning cleanly. Chayson Dularte reached on an error, then J.J. Fahnlander hit a single. Trey Hunt hit into a ground ball to move both runners to second and third, then after a walk to Peyton Brock, Wood hit Jarrett Leinwand in the back with the bases loaded to give the Bears a 7-6 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth leadoff batter Luke Schwartz led off with a single for the Pippins. James Bell was then hit by a pitch to put the tying run on second base. Kyle Dean was walked, and with the bases loaded and one out Nick Israel poked a long fly ball to center field to bring in Schwartz on the sacrifice fly, tying the game at 7 apiece.
After a clean top of the ninth for Wood on the mound, the Pippins wasted no time locking up the win in the bottom of the tenth. Leadoff batter Tanner Parker hit a single up the middle, Aidan Welch bunted him over to second base, and Luke Schwartz ended the game with a walk-off RBI single to center field, ending his night 5-for-5 and giving the Pippins the win by a final score of 8-7.
The Pippins have an off day tomorrow before returning to the field this Friday on the road for a three-game league series at the Wenatchee AppleSox. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.