Pippins Hold Off HarbourCats, Avoid Sweep in Victoria
The Yakima Valley Pippins were able to avoid a sweep on the road Thursday, taking the final game of a three-game series against the Victoria HarbourCats.
The Pippins got on the board quickly in the top of the first inning. Conor Allard (University of Nevada-Reno) led off the game with a single and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Sam Mitchell (MSU Billings) followed with a double, scoring Allard from third and giving the Pippins a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless bottom of the first inning, the Pippins added another run in the second with an RBI single from Victor Cerny (Cal State Northridge) scoring Chris Arpan (University of Portland) from second base. The HarbourCats got a run back in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out double from Adam Imwalle (State College of Florida) and an RBI single by Ryan Green would pull the Harbourcats within a run, That was the only run Pippins starter Matt Driver (Lewis-Clark State) allowed.
In the first two games of this series, Pippins starters had a tough time going deep into the game throwing strikes. The story was different Thursday as Driver threw six innings of one-run ball without walking a batter. He struck out seven along the way.
The Pippins continued to add on with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth with Mitch Dean (Spokane Falls Community College) playing a part in both innings, doubling and scoring in the fourth and knocking an RBI single to score Grant DeLappe (WSU).
The five runs would be more than enough for the Pippins. Lucas Juarez (Cal Poly SLO) would take over for Driver in the seventh and went two innings giving up just a lone run on a blooping fly ball hit by Nick Plaia (California Baptist) that Jonathan Imperial (US Air Force Academy) couldn’t get to with a dive. On the throw to third as Plaia tried to take the extra base, the throw got away from Dean and Plaia came all the way around to score to make it 5-2.
That was where the score would stay as 2017 WCL All-Star Connor White (U of Portland) came in to close out the ninth and with the help of a double play, set down the HarbourCats to seal the Pippins 5-2 win. With the win, the Pippins go to 3-3 on the season and the HarbourCats fall to 3-3. The Pippins face the Bend Elks in The Orchard on Friday. First pitch is at 6:35 -- listen in live on 1460 ESPN Yakima.