Ridgefield Hammers Pippins Pitching to Even Series

YAKIMA, Wash. –  In a game almost the complete opposite of Saturday’s series opener, the Ridgefield Raptors jumped out to an early lead and dominated Pippins pitching from start to finish in a 15-1, blowout win on Sunday at Yakima County Stadium to even the three-game series at one apiece.

After the Pippins set an all-time record with 21 runs in Saturday’s series opener, the roles were reversed in the series’ second game, as Ridgefield (6-8, 18-22) pounced early on Pippins (8-10, 19-25) righty Trystan Vrieling in the first inning. Jonny Weaver started the day off with a single to left field on the first pitch of the game, and Justin Boyd followed him up with an RBI double. A batter later, Michael Hicks drove in Boyd on a groundout, and it was 2-0 Raptors a half inning in.

Vrieling ended up having his toughest start of the year, as Ridgefield kept hitting him over 3.2 innings of work. Vrieling took his third loss after allowing a season-high eight earned runs on a season-high 12 hits, not walking a batter and striking out three. The righty allowed three-run frames in both the third and fourth innings before being substituted.

The Raptors had 15 runs on 20 hits on the day, but unlike the Pippins on Saturday, their scoring was more varied, rather than a few big innings. The Raptors scored in 7 of the 9 innings, including at least one run from the third inning through the eighth inning. Relievers Kyle Dean, Darius Garcia, and Bo Henderson all allowed runs in relief, while Nick Brown threw a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts for the Pippins.

Offensively, Yakima Valley was hardly recognizable from their career day on Saturday, managing just one run on seven hits, and the only run came without a hit. James Bell reached on a fielding error to start the fourth inning, and advanced to third base on a passed ball and a wild pitch. With Christian Padilla at the plate, Ridgefield starter Eli Schubert balked, scoring Bell. It was the only blemish of the day for Schubert.

The right-hander, who entered the day with an ERA north of 11.00, allowed the one unearned run over 5 innings of work, striking out 3 and not walking a batter on five hits. Marc Lidd earned a four-inning save in relief, allowing just two hits and striking out four on the day to shut down the Pippins.

On a day with few offensive highlights, Nick DiCarlo (2-for-4) and Nick Israel (2-for-4) continued their recent hot stretches at the plate, with DiCarlo extending his season-long on-base streak to 13 games. Boyd led the way offensively for Ridgefield, reaching base in all six of his trips to the plate (2 doubles, 2 singles, and 2 walks). Hicks added 4 RBIs, and Wyatt Hoffman went 3-for-5 out of the nine-hole.

With the series tied at one, the Pippins and Raptors will square off in a rubber game on Monday in the series finale set for 6:35 PM. Pregame coverage will begin with Miles Klotz at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:20 PM, with right-hander Tyler Frazier set to start for the Pippins against a to-be-announced pitcher for Ridgefield.

By Miles Klotz

July 29, 2019