YAKIMA, Wash. — It’s one thing to demonstrate and celebrate the ability to find different ways to win, and then there’s the polar-opposite show the Pippins have put on this week.
A night after a single run was enough to win, Yakima Valley gave up 11 runs and dug a mighty deep hole Wednesday — but kept on winning.
Down six runs in the fourth inning, the Pippins rallied ahead twice and used a 14-hit offense to finally subdue Bend for a 13-11 victory in matching the team’s highest-scoring game of the summer at Yakima County Stadium.
“Honestly, like you always hear, that’s just baseball,” said second baseman Nick DiCarlo, whose three-run homer in the fifth inning ignited the comeback. “Last night we didn’t show up at the plate but fortunately we had great pitching. Tonight we strung together quality at-bats and got something out of it. Just a crazy win.”
DiCarlo’s two-out blast over the left-field wall, the Pippins’ first home run in nearly a month, was part of a 3-for-3 performance for the leadoff hitter, who reached base five times and scored four runs, including the final go-ahead run for a 12-11 lead in the bottom of the seventh.
“We had some chances early that we didn’t take advantage of, but it didn’t feel like we were out of it even down (9-3),” said DiCarlo, who joined the Pippins two weeks ago. “With the home run, really, all I was trying to do was put a hard swing on it to keep things going. We were all getting good swings tonight.”
Indeed, like the guy batting right behind DiCarlo, Nick Israel. The third baseman started with an RBI double in the first, added a two-run single in the fourth and finished with four RBI.
It all seem to unravel in the fourth when Bend put across seven runs, an outburst fueled by five hits, three hit batters, a walk and three wild pitches from three YV pitchers.
And even after DiCarlo and Israel powered the first comeback to push the Pippins back in the lead at 10-9, Bend immediately took it back in the top of the seventh at 11-10. It wasn’t safe for long as Yakima Valley answered directly with Kyle Dean driving in DiCarlo for a 12-11 lead followed by Tanner Parker’s RBI single to score Israel for a crucial insurance run.
Nick Brown protected that lead with two scoreless innings for the save but it wasn’t easy. Bend had two base hits and walk in the eighth but came away empty, and the Elks had two runners in scoring position in the ninth when Brown got a 4-3 putout to end the wild night.
Bo Henderson picked up the win and it was well earned in this slugfest as he allowed just one earned run over 3 2/3 innings and gave the Pippins’ offense time to rally.
“I was set to play in another league earlier this summer but hurt my shoulder,” DiCarlo explained of his late arrival. “When I got to feeling better I was just waiting for an opportunity. I played here last year and I’m glad to be back.”