Offense Fizzles as Pippins Fall to Cowlitz
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins were out-hit 13 to seven by the Cowlitz Black Bears in their series opener on Saturday night, yet they found a way to win the game 7-5 with timely hitting. On Sunday, the Pippins’ offense was no where to be found, as the team produced just a lone run on a season-low four hits, en route to a 5-1 loss as Cowlitz evened the three game series.
After a few scoreless frames from either side, the Black Bears (12-17, 1-1) broke through for two runs on three hits in the top of the 3rd inning off of Pippins starter, A.J. Landis (Colorado Mesa). Cowlitz then tacked on another runs in the 4th inning, helped by a Mitch Ellis (Western Illinois) throwing error.
The Pippins (14-15, 1-1) struck for their only run of the night in the bottom half of the frame as after Dillon Plew (Washington State) walked, and then advanced to third on a Lucas Denney (Seattle U) single, before scoring on an Ellis groundout to make the score 3-1.
The Pippins had other chances, including putting a pair of runners on in each of the 5th and 8th inning, but they could not get on the board in either frame, en route to stranding nine for the night.
Cowlitz, on the other hand, made the most of an opportunity in the top of the 7th inning, as they plated two key insurance runs to take a 5-1 lead that proved to be the final score.
Game Notes: Landis gave the Pippins a quality start, going six innings while allowing three runs on eight hits but took the loss to fall to 1-3 on the season. Cowlitz starter, Davis Baillie (Washington State) kept the Pippins’ bats off balance all night, holding them to three hits and a single run over five innings of work to earn his second win of the season and improve to 2-0. Dustin Yates (Washington State) threw two innings and allowed a pair of runs on five hits in relief for the Pippins while Anthony Alvarado (Columbia Basin) threw a scoreless 8th.
The Pippins managed just four hits on the night, matching a season low for the fourth time. They also collected four hits on June 5 against Bellingham, June 11 at Wenatchee, and June 18 at Kelowna. The Pippins are 1-3 in such games with their only victory a 4-1 triumph over Bellingham on June 5.
Plew’s triple in the 8th inning was the fourth by a Pippins batter this season and the team’s first since Tora Otsuka’s (San Diego) triple on June 18 at Kelowna. Plew also walked in the 4th inning to extend his on-base streak to 15 games, a season high for a Pippins batter. With two hits tonight, Denney was the only Pippins batter to record a multi-hit game, which was his sixth of the season. He also collected a double in the 2nd inning, his team-leading eighth of the season.
What It Means: The win tonight was just the second win against Yakima Valley in the Black Bears’ franchise history, with their previous win also coming at Yakima County Stadium on August 3, 2016. Cowlitz is now 2-9 all-time against the Pippins. Both Yakima Valley and Cowlitz are chasing the Corvallis Knights, winners of nine games in a row dating back to the first half, in the WCL South Division standings. With the win, Cowlitz stays three back while the Pippins fall to three games back with the loss.
What’s Next: The rubber game of the series is Monday night. A pair of left-handers will face off as Josh Tedeschi (Utah) will be on the bump for the Pippins against Corbin Powers (Portland) of Cowlitz. Both Tedeschi (1-2, 5.57 ERA) and Powers (2-2, 4.25 ERA) will be making their sixth starts with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. from Yakima County Stadium.
ABOUT THE PIPPINS: The Yakima Valley Pippins compete in the West Coast League, one of the nation’s premier summer collegiate wood bat leagues. The Pippins play their home games at Yakima County Stadium (“The Orchard”) in Yakima, Washington. After winning 96 games during their first three seasons in the WCL, the Pippins set the mark as the winningest WCL expansion team after three years. Yakima County Stadium will play host to the 2017 West Coast League All-Star Game, along with an extensive 31-game home season for Year No. 4 of Pippins’ Baseball in 2017. Read more online at PippinsBaseball.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube with #ThatWasAwesome.