Sweets Tie Battle of Basin Series With 7-2 Victory

WALLA WALLA, Washington — After the Yakima Valley Pippins rallied to steal game 1, the Walla Walla Sweets responded with a commanding 7-2 win Saturday to knot the three-game Battle of the Basin series at Borleske Stadium.

An Achilles’ heel for the Pippins staff this summer has been giving up free passes, and that happened again in Game 2 as three YV pitchers combined to issue 11 walks. Offensively, the Pippins garnered only five hits, and just one with runners in scoring position.

In the seventh, the Pippins did have a chance to claw into the Sweets’ lead when Kyle Williamson lifted a ball deep down the left-field line. But Aidan Espinoza made a sensational catch against the wall to rob Williamson of an extra-base hit and potential RBIs.

Gabe Villaflor, who finished 2-for-4, drove in the Pippins’ fourth-inning run with a single. Josh Hankins plated the seventh-inning run with a single.

Andrew Graham, from Yakima Valley College, led the Sweets with a 2-for-4 offensive effort. Ben Parker, who later in the evening would win the Battle of the Basin Home Run Derby for the Sweets, drove in three runs.

Out of the pen, YV’s CJ Colyer was a bright spot, striking out five and allowing one hit in three innings. He gave up three walks but kept the Sweets scoreless.

Game 3 of the series begins at 6:05 p.m. Sunday, before the Battle of the Basin moves to Yakima in late July.

By Logan Peter

June 25, 2023