Pippins’ Seven-Run Eighth Inning Sparks Fourth Straight Win
Powered by a huge eighth inning, the Yakima Valley Pippins beat the Bend Elks 9-2 on Sunday, extending their winning streak to four games and sweeping the three-game home series with the Elks.
It was a pitchers duel early between the Elks' Sam Muskat and the Pippins Davonte Butler. The Elks got on the board first in the top of the second inning. After a leadoff double by John Arndorfer and a wild pitch to move him to third, Tucker Rhode would follow with a one-out sacrifice fly that would score Arndorfer. That was the only run that the Elks would score off of Butler.
Butler would go five innings allowing just one run on three hits with two walks and a strikeout.
The Pippins would answer in the third as the rain started to pour at Yakima County Stadium. Chris Arpan lead off the inning with a triple and scored when Tyler Hollow grounded a ball to shortstop that Collin Runge couldn't handle. After a groundout moved Hollow to second, Cody Jefferis followed with an RBI single. Jefferis went 2-3 in the game, raising his average to .391.
Pippins pitching would keep the Elks off the board till the seventh inning when Tristan Alvarez got aboard on a two-out error from third baseman Sean Mullen. Runge would follow with a single to center field, knotting the score at 2.
Muskat stymied the Pippins the rest of the way, going seven-plus innings, throwing nearly 120 pitches. The Pippins were able to chase Muskat in the eighth inning after a leadoff single from Jonathan Imperial. Ace Embree would replace Muskat and after a stolen base, walk and a sacrifice bunt runners were at second and third with one out. Sam Boone would be the third pitcher of the inning for the Elks, but he couldn't stop the Pippins momentum. A walk to Mullen would load the bases for Victor Cerny who lined a ball to left field for an RBI single, giving the Pippins a three to two lead. They were just getting started.
Arpan would follow with a two-run double knocking Boone out of the game. Grant Crosby would come in and walk Tyler Hollow to load the bases again. A wild pitch would score another run. Elijah Greene followed with an RBI double and Jefferis would hit a sacrifice fly to left field. One more run would come in to score on the second wild pitch of the inning. After coming into the eighth in a tie game, the Pippins went to the ninth with a 9-2 lead.
Tanner Lewis, who threw four innings of one-run ball in relief, would finish off the Elks in the ninth to get the Pippins their fourth straight win and a series sweep of the Elks. With the loss, the Elks dropped their sixth in a row.
The Pippins will play one non-league game against the Northwest Honkers tonight (June 11) at Yakima County Stadium before heading back on the road to Portland to take on the Pickles on Tuesday.