Cole Jones and Kyle Dean provided the big blows in a three run eighth inning to help lead the Pippins to their eighth straight win and a sweep of the Lefties in front of a packed Yakima County Stadium on Friday.
Cullen Kafka got the start for the Pippins and Port Angeles jumped on him early. Drew Minter lead off the inning with a single on an 0-2 pitch. With two outs and Minter at second, Trey Morgan drove him in with a single on another 0-2 pitch to give the Lefties the lead.
The Pippins evened the score in the second with some help from the Port Angeles defense. After a Jake Moberg leadoff double, Cam Campbell hit a hard groundball to first that Baxter Halligan couldn’t handle, allowing Moberg to score.
In the third, the Lefties retook the lead on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Morgan. In the fourth, starter Rhyse Frey would be pulled due to injury concerns and the Lefties were forced to go to the bullpen early.
Victor Cerny and the Pippins pulled even in the fourth. With a first and second situation and two outs, Cerny drove a ball to center for an RBI single. The Pippins would later strand the bases loaded.
Kafka settled down after the third, pitching scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth before the Pippins went to the bullpen with two outs in the sixth.
Neither team would score again until the eighth. In the top half of the inning, with Jack Gonzales on the mound, the Lefties would put runners at the corners with one out. Gonzales induced a groundball to third, but Moberg’s throw was wide of second base and went into right field. One run would score to give the Lefties a 3-2 lead. Matt Driver would come in and hold the Lefties to just the one run.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Pippins mounted a comeback to take their first lead of the night. After a leadoff walk to Cody Jefferis, Dean ripped a ball off the right field wall for a game tying triple. After two straight strikeouts, it looked like the Pippins would miss a golden opportunity to take the lead. After a hit by pitch and a walk loaded the bases, Cole Jones made sure the Pippins wouldn’t need a walk off by knocking a two run single to center to give the Pippins a 5-3 lead.
Cole Fossat worked around a first and third jam in the ninth to seal the 5-3 Pippins win, their eighth straight.
The Pippins will welcome the Wenatchee AppleSox into town for a three game series starting on Saturday. First pitch at 6:35.