Different direction, same result.
On Tuesday, Joe Magrisi came on to strike out the side in the ninth, closing out the Yakima Valley Pippins’ season-opening victory at Ridgefield.
On Friday, the right-hander got the ball first in the Pippins’ home opener at Yakima County Stadium — and was even more effective.
Throwing five innings of one-hit ball, Magrisi set the tone for what became a 4-1 victory over the Wenatchee AppleSox.
“We’re getting it done (on offense) but all the credit goes to the pitching staff,” said first baseman Daniel Cipriano, who contributed to Yakima Valley’s nine-hit attack with two singles and an RBI. “Pitching wins championships, and we’re off to a great start in that department.”
“Magrisi will be one of our guys (this summer). He was really good,” manager Marcus McKimmy said. “We haven’t decided yet whether he’s going to start or close for us, but that’s a nice problem to have.”
Magrisi, now with a win to go along with that season-opening save, seems like he’ll be a fit in whatever role the Pippins put him.
Following up his three-strikeout inning Tuesday, the Cal State Fullerton product added seven more with no walks in his five innings on Friday. He allowed just one single and — helped by catcher Justin Lutz, who threw out two would-be base stealers — did not allow a Wenatchee runner to reach second base.
“Either way (starting or closing), he’s confident with his stuff,” Cipriano said. “He’s confident he will get it done. It’s great having guys like that on your pitching staff.”
Ty Pohlmann and Ayden Adams finished off the combined four-hitter, with Adams getting the final two outs for the save.
The only blemish on that effort was a sixth-inning run set up by Brett Gillis’ wind-blown triple off the right-field wall that on a calm night would’ve been a routine fly out. That was followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of former Yakima Valley College player Ty Detloff.
That cut Yakima Valley’s lead to 3-1, but the Pippins answered right back in the bottom half of the frame as leadoff hitter Christian Padilla reached on a two-out error, went to third on Zach Lew’s single to left and scored on a balk.
That sequence encapsulated the Pippins’ offense for the night — bunching together productive at-bats to produce their runs.
Padilla, who just joined the team Friday, led off the YV first with a single, went to second on a passed ball and scored easily on Lew’s single to center.
After missing out on a couple of chances to add on in the second and fourth innings, Yakima Valley finally broke through in the fifth.
Padilla led off with a double into the gap in right. He then broke for third on Lew’s grounder to short and beat the throw, putting runners at the corners. Cipriano followed with an RBI single. One out later, Scott Youngbrandt grounded into a fielder’s choice that cut down Cipriano at second but sent Lew to third, who then scored on Owen Cobb’s single to right.
In all, the top three hitters in the lineup — Padilla, Lew and Cipriano — combined to go 6 for 13 with all four runs and
two of the Pippins’ three RBI.
“It’s good if the top of the order can consistently create offense,” McKimmy said, adding that it was nice to see Padilla’s immediate contributions. “We give guys opportunities to showcase themselves, and Christian did a heckuva job tonight.”
As did the rest of the Pippins, who improved to 3-1 while snapping a two-game losing streak in home openers.
“Someone’s got to win, so why not us?” McKimmy said with a smile.