Big First Inning Dooms Sweets

YAKIMA, Wash. — Walla Walla fell down big early in their rubber match with the Yakima Valley Pippins in their 9-2 loss Monday night. The Pippins scored seven runs in the first two innings as the Sweets dropped their fifth straight series to start the season.

Yakima Valley batted around in the first inning and brought home five runs off five hits. It is the sixth time this season has sent nine or more batters to the plate against the Sweets. The first two runs came off a blast over the right field wall, the sixth home run allowed by the Sweets.

In the second, the Pippins added two more runs to get up 7-0.

Walla Walla got a run the fifth off a sacrifice fly from Joel Esparza to bring home Stevie Hom. Hom recorded his second multi-hit game of the season, raking in two of the Sweets’ four hits.

The Pippins struck again in the sixth and the seventh to take a 9-1 lead.

In the top of the seventh, the Sweets had their best chance offensively with the bases loaded and two outs, but all three runners were left stranded.

In the top of eighth, Hom reached via a throwing an error from the pitcher with JJ Moran at first. The ball rolled all the way down to the end of the Sweets’ bullpen in foul territory in right field, and Moran scored from first. Hom also tried to stretch it into three bags, but an amazing cutoff throw from the Pippins second baseman got the ball to third in time to tag out Hom and end the inning.

With the loss, the Sweets fall to 4-10 and drop their fifth series in a row to start the 2024 season. Walla Walla stays in seventh place, having a slightly better percentage than the Ridgefield Raptors, but are now nine games back of the first place Corvallis Knights.

The Sweets now return home for a three-game series with the Bend Elks. The first series between the two teams was competitive, with the Sweets falling by just one run in the first two games and winning the series finale 10-6. Sweets coverage of the game can be found on the Walla Walla Sweets YouTube channel.

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: June 17, 2024