WALLA WALLA, Wash. – After narrowly holding on for an 8-7 victory Tuesday night in Walla Walla, the Yakima Valley Pippins found themselves in a much more comfortable game Wednesday night, scoring eight runs the first three innings to take a 12-2 win over the Sweets.
After leadoff man Shawn Wardian was retired on the first pitch of the ballgame, the Pippins (26-18) got the next five men aboard against Walla Walla starter Spencer Hobson, scoring four runs to take an early lead.
Yakima Valley added a run in the 2nd on an RBI single by Justin Jacobs, before the Pippins tacked on three more runs in the 3rd to make it 8-0.
Starter Eli Morgan ran into some trouble in the bottom of the 4th, allowing a leadoff home run to Andrew Mendenhall and a bunt single to Kyle Nixon, who would score later in the inning on a throwing error by Ryan Rosa to make it 8-2. The 4th inning however, proved to be just a speed bump for Morgan, who worked seven innings, allowing nine hits and two runs (one earned), while walking nobody and striking out 11, tying Brandon Williams’ for the team’s season-high in strikeouts this season.
The Pippins got two more in the 8th and another two runs in the 9th against the Sweets (21-23) bullpen, which walked multiple Pippins hitters in the final innings. In total, the Pippins drew 11 walks on the night, the third time this season reaching that total. Justin Jacobs drew four of the free passes, on his way to a 1-1 night, with a sacrifice fly and two RBI.
With the win, the Pippins took their first series against the Sweets this season and won their third straight game in the process. Yakima Valley moved five games ahead of the Sweets in the east, while Wenatchee’s loss to Victoria gave the Pippins a three-game edge over the Applesox in the East Division.