LONGVIEW – In the midst of a close playoff race, the Pippins turned in a dominant pitching performance Sunday night to finish the sweep of the Cowlitz Black Bears with a 2-0 win.

Lefty Darrion Simons worked eight scoreless innings for the Pippins (26-22) Sunday, allowing just one hit. The freshman from Yakima Valley Community College walked five, but also had six strikeouts to take over the West Coast League’s strikeout lead (54). His biggest jam came in the 5th, when he issued back-to-back walks to begin the inning. However, he got a pop up on a sacrifice bunt attempt, then a groundout and a strikeout to escape the jam.

After two seven-run showings the previous two days, the Pippins bats weren’t as explosive Sunday, but did enough to back up Simons. Both runs came in the 4th, courtesy of an RBI single from Reid Martinez and a sacrifice fly from Alex Guenette.

Yakima Valley remains 1 1/2 games behind Corvallis in the wild card race, after the Knights (27-20) won Saturday night in Walla Walla.



The road trip continues Monday in Victoria for a three-game series with the HarbourCats (24-22 entering play Sunday). The HarbourCats entered the day trailing the Pippins by just a half game in the wild card race. First pitch Monday is scheduled for 6:35 pm.

Tonight's 1-hit shutout is the 2nd in Pippins history. Yakima Valley did it last year on June 14th at Klamath Falls.