Pippins Hold Off Late-Inning Sweets Rally to Win 8-7
Austin Woodward had a strong showing and Nick Kern picked up his fifth save of the season as the Yakima Valley Pippins held off a late-inning Walla Walla Sweets surge for an 8-7 win Tuesday in Walla Walla.
The second inning was the big blast for the Pippins, who scored seven runs off eight hits. Shawn Wardian got a two-run RBI single and Vince Fernandez crushed a home run that brought in three runs for 7-0 Pippins lead.
In the third inning, the Sweets scored one on a sacrifice fly from Michael Duarte, but Yakima get one more on a double-play ball that scored Kern.
The Sweets, however, mounted a furious rally in the seventh that began with a two-run double by Kyle Nixon. Walla Walla's Mike Paulson then got hold of a pitch and sent it out of the park for a two-run homer in the eighth.
The home team kept it coming in the ninth as Andrew Mendenhall hit a two-run RBI single, pulling the Sweets to within 8-7.
But Yakima sent in Kern and shut down the threat, raising Woodward's record to 2-2 and protecting the Pippins' East Division lead.
Yakima (25-18) faces Walla Walla again at 7:05 tonight, with pregame at 6:55 p.m. on 1460 ESPN Yakima.