Velasquez Complete Game Effort Fuels Series Win Over Walla Walla
WALLA WALLA, WA - Gavin Velasquez (Cal State Fullerton) pitched a complete game masterpiece as the Yakima Valley Pippins won the rubber match over the Walla Walla Sweets, 5-1, on Saturday night at Borleske Stadium.
Michael Filia (UC Irvine) gave the Pippins an early 1-0 lead in the 5th inning with an RBI base hit, breaking up the initial pitchers duel. Seven players posted hits in the winning effort, including multi-hit efforts from Chris Ceballos (Cal State Fullerton) and Zach Bonneau (Gonzaga).
Velasquez allowed five hits on the mound, just one through the first four innings, lowering his ERA to 1.98 while improving his record to 3-2 on the season.
The Pippins (15-11) would score the game-winning run on an RBI single from Bonneau in the 7th inning as the rally started with a hit-by-pitch and walk from the Sweets. Jace VanDeBrake (Gonzaga) added an insurance run with a 2-out RBI single later in the frame.
In the 8th inning, Chris Ceballos (Cal State Fullerton) added his team-leading 14th RBI of the season, scoring Mitchell Morimoto (Arizona) on an RBI triple. Freddy Smith (Cal State Northridge) extended his hit streak to four games with an RBI single, giving the Pippins a 5-0 lead. Smith put the final punctuation point on the contest starting a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to stall the Sweets threat in the 9th inning, evening the season series 3-3 vs. Walla Walla.
The Yakima Valley Pippins end the first half of the West Coast League season Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. for Celebrate America Night at The Orchard versus the Corvallis Knights. Fans can listen to all the action live starting at 6:50 p.m. on 1460 ESPN Yakima, the official home for Yakima Valley Pippins Baseball.