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Pippins prevail in 12 innings, snap Knights win streak at 13

Tuesday, July 25, Corvallis, Ore.  – Yakima Valley snapped Corvallis’s 13-game winning streak with a 5-4, 12-inning victory at Goss Stadium.

It was the first loss for the Knights (34-13, 30-13 WCL, 13-3 second half) since July 9; they had swept four straight West Coast League series and a dozen WCL games in a row. They lead Ridgefield and Cowlitz by 2.5 games in the second-half South Division pennant race.

Starter Merit Jones (Utah, pictured above) allowed one unearned run – attributable to his own two-out error – and three hits over four innings. He struck out two, walked one and wasn’t involved in the decision.

Reliever Sean Wiese (Arizona Christian) gave up a double to the first batter he faced, enabling two inherited runners to score to even the game at 4-4. However, he retired the next batter to end the inning, stranding runners at second and third, and added three more scoreless frames.

Ethan Collins (Pomona-Pitzer) followed Wiese in the 10th inning and shut the Pippins out until the 12th, when they strung together a double, a walk and a single for the winning run.

Corvallis took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer by Sam Stem (Gonzaga) and an RBI double by Tate Shimao (Cal Poly). Mason Le’s (CSU Northridge) squeeze bunt made it 4-1 in the fifth.

Yakima Valley took advantage of three hit batters and a walk to score three times in the sixth to tie the game 4-4. No one scored again until the 12th; the Knights squandered numerous scoring chances and left 14 runners on base.

Stem was named the Washington Park Advisors Player of the Game.

The series resumes at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday. Sam Stuhr (2-0, 3.46) is the projected starter for Corvallis, opposed by CSU-San Bernardino’s Andrick Jones (1-1, 4.76) for the Pippins.

Thursday’s finale starts at 6:35 p.m. and matches a pair of Gonzaga hurlers. Miles Gosztola (1-1, 2.07) will go for the Knights, opposed by Payton Graham (3-1, 1.43) for the Pippins.

Corvallis starts its final road trip of the summer on Friday with a three-game series in Bend. It is idle on Monday, then plays at Portland on Tuesday-Thursday.

The final home series of the season is set for Aug. 4-6 against the Ridgefield Raptors. The best-of-3 divisional round of the playoffs starts on Aug. 8.

Tuesday’s crowd of 1,573 raised the season total to 44,318 in 26 dates.

The Knights also made several roster moves on Tuesday. Catcher/outfielder Luke Scherrer, an incoming freshman at Cal Poly, joined the team; he’s a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from Yucaipa High School in Yucaipa, Calif.

Incoming Oregon State outfielder Levi Jones left the team to participate in OSU’s BEST summer bridge program for incoming freshmen. He was 7-for-10 in this past weekend’s sweep of Walla Walla and finished the season hitting .319 in 21 games, with a homer and 10 RBIs.

Also, incoming Nebraska pitcher Grant Cleavinger has been shut down for the rest of the summer by a knee injury that has idled him since July 4. He was 1-1, 2.84 in four games, with 10 strikeouts in 6.1innings.

Box score

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