BELLINGHAM — Yakima Valley's offense fell short in a 3-1 loss at Bellingham Tuesday night.
Former Yakima Valley College pitcher Seth Kuykendall took the loss despite allowing just two runs on six hits in seven innings. The Western Oregon righthander struck out five and one run was unearned after an error by the Pippins' third baseman in the fifth.
They answered quickly thanks to a Bellingham error in the sixth and looked poised to tie the game after loading the bases with one out in the seventh. But the Bells turned a double play to get out of the jam.
Willie Lajoie's leadoff single in the ninth went to waste and the Pippins finished with just five hits to fall back to .500 after four games. They've held opponents to three runs or less in every game except an 11-3 loss to Corvallis on Saturday.
Yakima Valley catcher Michael Carpentier Jr. caught a baserunner stealing for the third time already this season and also drove in the Pippins' only run on a sacrifice fly. They'll send Selah graduate Dylan Bishop back to the mound in Bellingham on Wednesday, five days after he pitched a gem to help Yakima Valley win its season opener, 10-1.
The series continues through Thursday. Yakima Valley returns home Friday to open a three-game series against the Ridgefield Raptors, followed by six games against non-West Coast League teams at Yakima County Stadium.
Kuykendall, Cassell (8) and Carpentier Jr.. Chavarria, Sanders (7), Blackman (9) and Green.
Highlights: Willie Lajoie 2-3; Jordan Hara 1-4, 2b.