Lefties strikeout 13 times in second loss
The Yakima Valley Pippins continued their tear in Port Angeles with a 10-1 win in game two to win the series.
For the second night in a row, a Pippins starter turned in a great start, as Kenny Johnson struck out eight over five scoreless innings. He struck out the first four batters of the game.
Michael Carpentier Jr. doubled to lead off the second inning and wound up on third base with Bryce Martin-Grudzielanek on first base and two outs. Martin-Grudzielanek took off for second and got caught up in a rundown, allowing Carpentier Jr. to score the first run of the game.
In the third inning, two batters walked before Blake Dickman singled up the middle to drive in a run. Two more walks forced home a third run.
Dickman walked to start the fifth inning and moved to second base on a passed ball. Carpentier Jr. moved him over to third base with a ground ball and reached when the first baseman’s foot came off the base.
When another ball got past catcher Nathan Chong, Dickman scored and Carpentier Jr. capitalized on the distraction to take off for third base. Chong’s throw to third sailed into left field, allowing him to score as well.
Mason Marenco, who was at the plate for the excitement, then walked, stole second and third bases, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Martin-Grudzielanek.
The Pippins added their final four runs in the sixth inning after Alex Fernandes led off with a double and Spencer Marenco walked. Taylor Holder drove both of them in with a single, then scored on a single by Blake Dickman when the Lefties threw the ball around the infield. Dickman wound up on third after the play and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Shanks.
Johnson was credited with the win, and gave way to Peysen Sweeney in the sixth inning. Sweeney did not allow a hit in his first two innings of work, striking out three.
In the eighth, Nick Oakley managed a hit to start the inning and moved to third base on two wild pitches. Coleman Schmidt hit a fly ball into left field that was dropped by Alex Fernandes, allowing Oakley to score.
Connor Coballes pitched the ninth, making his first appearance on the mound this summer. He allowed one hit and struck out one while facing just four batters in a scoreless inning to finish off the win.
The Pippins (38-17, 12-8 in the second half) improved their North Division lead in the second half to 1.5 games over the Bellingham Bells, while the Port Angeles Lefties fell to 19-34 and 5-15 in the second half.
The Pippins and Lefties will conclude their series Sunday at 1:35 p.m. before the Pippins return home for their final regular season home series Tuesday-Thursday against Wenatchee.