A big 3rd inning proved to be the difference for the Pippins Friday night, leading them to a 7-2 win over the Thurston County Senators in a non-league contest.

Yakima Valley (18-13 overall/17-13 WCL) got off to a slow start though, as starting pitcher Jordon Gonzalez walked the game’s first three hitters and gave up a two-run single to Dayne Sommer.

Meanwhile, the Pippins’ offense got to work in the 3rd inning after a few slow innings to start against Senators righty Parker Stohr. The Pippins sent 12 men to the plate and scored six times in the 3rd on just two hits. The big key to the 3rd inning was the patience from Yakima Valley hitters, who drew six walks in the frame and had 10 free passes overall on Friday night.

Newcomer Freddy Smith, playing his first game of the summer, went 2-5 with an RBI and a run in the win.

Gonzalez worked three innings on the mound, as did relievers Kelly Fitzpatrick and Alhanon Miller. Despite having numerous runners on most of the night, Thurston County didn’t score after the 1st inning. The Senators went on to leave 12 men on base in the loss.

The short two-game series wraps up Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Andrew Bernstein is scheduled to start for the Pippins. Tickets are available online, over the phone at 575-HITS or at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop downtown.

Listen in live on 1460 ESPN Yakima starting at 6:55.