Pippins Come Up One Run Short, Fall to Bend, 4-3
One-run games are becoming the standard on the current homestand for the Pippins. Tuesday, they played their fourth straight one-run game, falling short to the Bend Elks, 4-3.
Bend (29-8), which leads the league in numerous offensive categories, got things going quickly, putting up two runs on four hits in the 1st inning against Pippins starter Josh Nashed. Yakima Valley (20-17) loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 1st, but was only able to score once and trailed, 2-1.
The Elks got their final two runs of the night in the 3rd, all part of a two-out rally against Nashed. After a double and a walk, Bend’s Derek Chapman drove both in with a double to right field.
From there, the Pippins pitching staff locked in. Zach Wolf, who joined the Pippins for the first time on Tuesday, worked four scoreless innings and didn’t allow a hit to the Elks. The same could be said for Connor Lau and Kelly Fitzpatrick, who each worked a scoreless inning of relief late in the game. In total, the Pippins retired 19 of the final 21 hitters they faced and didn’t allow a hit or a run in that span.
The Yakima Valley bats got two runs back in the 6th, thanks to a sacrifice fly from Branson Trube and an infield single for Jace Van De Brake. However, the Pippins struggled with the tying run on the rest of the night. They had the tying run on 2nd base in both the 6th and the 8th innings, and had the tying run at 3rd with one out in the 9th, but were unable to come through in those situations. In total, the Pippins stranded 10 runners in Tuesday’s loss.
The series-opening loss ended Yakima Valley’s two-game winning streak, but the Pippins remain one game ahead in the West Coast League's wild card, after Corvallis lost to Cowlitz on Tuesday. The middle game of the series is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. on Lower Valley Night at the ballpark.
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