YAKIMA, Wash.- The first matchup between the Pippins and the Pickles ever played at the Orchard went Portland’s way in a 9-7 final.
The difference between the two sides was the ability to hit with runners in scoring position. The Pickles used 3 sacrifice bunts and 4 sacrifice flies en route to the victory.
It started with some tough defense out of the gate for Yakima Valley. The first two batters of the game reached via error, and an RBI single would score the first run.
Blake Leaverton worked out of the bases loaded jam with a 1-2-3 double play to limit the damage.
Another RBI single made it 2-0 out of the start but the Pippins answered in the 2nd. 2 singles allowed Jake Borst to hit and he scorched a 2-RBI double into the right-center gap to tie things up.
It wouldn’t stay that way for long and Portland saw a big burst in the 4th. The first 5 batters of the inning reached on 3 singles and 2 walks and a 2-RBI single and a pair of sacrifice flies made it 6-2.
The Pippins wouldn’t strike again until the 6th when back-to-back bases loaded walks made it 6-4. Portland responded with 2 in the 7th on another bunt, sac fly, and RBI single.
The turning point in the game came in the bottom of the 7th. 3 straight singles and a hit-by-pitch added a run for the Pippins, leaving the bases loaded with nobody out and the tying run on first.
Portland went to the bullpen with Evan Tomlinson and he delivered in a big way. He struck out the next 3 batters without allowing contact and left the bases loaded while stealing the Pippins momentum.
The Pickles made it 9-5 with a sac fly in the 8th. Shayne Simpson would plate 2 for the Pippins in the bottom half when a line drive to right was dropped, but Yakima Valley couldn’t add anything more and Evan Tomlinson retired the side in order in the 9th.
The Pippins drop to 4-15 and will try to even the series against the Pickles tomorrow at 7:05.