Quiet most of the night, the Yakima Valley Pippins finally made some noise in the ninth — too much, in fact.
But even with a frantic rally, the Pippins couldn’t overcome self-inflicted wounds and no offense early on as they dropped a 4-1 decision to Port Angeles on Friday in a strange game that featured multiple warnings and ejections on Yakima Valley’s side.
Manager Marcus McKimmy drew an early warning for apparently not being in the third-base coaching box and was later ejected in the sixth inning following a brief argument with home plate umpire Kyle Katz.
Then in a chaotic bottom of the ninth, the Pippins dugout drew a warning from field umpire Brendan Lynch for an unknown reason. Moments later, Lynch ejected a player (Nick Israel said it was Nick Brown) adding fuel to a fired-up Pippins dugout.
Then an umpire reversal of a game-ending groundout that ended up loading the bases only added to the bizarre situation before the Lefties finally settled things with a strikeout.
“We were just trying to cheer on our guys, and sometimes they (umpires) take it the wrong way,” Israel said, adding that despite the loss, the team can take something positive from this.
“We don’t give up,” he said. “Everyone is on the same side. We play as one.”
As for his second ejection in as many games after having never been run in 5½ seasons as Pippins manager prior to Thursday, McKimmy said, “It’s never about balls and strikes. It’s about respect for the game. These are college players who have invested in the game. ... I won’t allow blatant disrespect for my team and my players.”
McKimmy declined to comment on the specifics for his issues with Katz on Friday.
Up until the ninth, it was a pretty straightforward contest, with Port Angeles pitching keeping the Pippins in check — three singles in eight innings — with the Lefties cashing in on two self-inflicted mistakes by Pippins starter Ryan Jameson.
The right-hander allowed just two hits in his five innings of work, but he had a two-base throwing error and a run-scoring wild pitch to help Port Angeles score twice in the fourth for an early lead.
Jameson battled in his five innings, throwing 95 pitches, striking out five and walking two.
“He was fine, McKimmy said of Jameson. “We didn’t give him a chance to pitch with the lead. We didn’t do a good job getting runners on early.”
Yakima Valley managed few hard-hit balls — even in the ninth when it scored its run and loaded the bases despite hitting just one ball out of the infield.
The best of those came in the second off the bat of Brett Wells, who sent a shot into the right-field gap that would’ve scored two runs. But Lefties right fielder Nick Diponzio raced in and made a diving catch to end the inning.
Overall, Yakima Valley struck out nine times and recorded 15 outs in the infield — 13 ground outs and two pop outs.
“What can you do?” McKimmy said. “(Port Angeles) threw the ball over the plate and made plays when they had to.”