YAKIMA, Wash. – Luke Schwartz hit a go-ahead triple in the 8th inning and the Yakima Valley Pippins pulled out a 5-3 win over the Bellingham Bells on Wednesday night at Yakima County Stadium to clinch a series win.
Schwartz, who entered the game hitting below .150, crushed a fastball from Bellingham (14-9) reliever Cody Jensen with Brady Hormel on first and one out in the bottom of the 8th inning that was aided by the wind as it sailed over the head of Bells right fielder Jack Machtolf, scoring Hormel and giving the Pippins (10-15) a 4-3 lead. A batter later, Brett Wells reached on an error that scored Schwartz.
Schwartz also came through offensively in the fourth inning, when the Pippins first struck against Bells pitching. Reliever Danny Garcia served up RBI singles to both Noah Andrews and Schwartz after an infield single and a walk to start the frame, and the Pippins led 2-0 at that point. In the fifth and sixth inning, the Bells battled back with 6 hits off of Pippins reliever Ayden Adams to take a 3-2 lead.
From there, the Pippins answered in the 7th inning when Wells, who doubled, was brought home on a Tanner Parker sacrifice fly. The Pippins did all their late damage off of Bells reliever Cody Jensen, who took the loss after allowing 3 runs on 4 hits in 1.2 innings of work. Tyler Frazier, who tossed a scoreless 8th for the Pippins, earned his first win of the season.
Bo Henderson started on the mound for the Pippins and tossed 4 strong innings to set the tone in a spot start, not allowing a run on 2 hits and one strikeout. Mark Woinarowicz tossed 1.2 of scoreless relief, and newcomer Trystan Vrieling earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Bellingham used five different pitchers, none of whom worked more than 2 innings.
Besides Schwartz, the Pippins were led on offense by Noah Andrews, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Tanner Parker, who had 2 hits and drove in a run. Troy Viola and Cole Hinkelman each had 2 hits for Bellingham.
The series concludes on Thursday with an early 3:05 PM start on July 4, as the Pippins close out the first half with A.J. Wood on the mound. He will be opposed by Bellingham right-hander Cole Tucker. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 2:50 PM at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
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