YAKIMA – Grady Miller (2-2) threw 8 2/3 innings for Wenatchee AppleSox (12-25, 2-8 Second Half), but it wasn’t enough in a 1-0 loss to the Yakima Valley Pippins (22-15, 7-3), in a tightly contested contest at County Stadium, Friday.
Both Miller and Pippin starter, Zach Draper, who leads the WCL in wins and ERA were locked in from the start at County Stadium in Yakima.
Each pitcher threw a scoreless opening eight innings, but reached the ninth following different paths. Draper struk out seven batters en-route to his shutout no-decision, while Miller kept the ball in the field of play, particularly at shortstop, recording ten outs through Ryan Kreidler.
Notably, the AppleSox squandered scoring opportunities in the fifth and sixth innings with runners in scoring position. The best possible spot to get a run off of Draper came in the sixth inning with runners at the corners and one out. A 1-6-3 double play ended the AppleSox threat.
In the ninth inning, with Miller nearing the century mark in pitches, and a runner at first base, the left-hander had to leave the contest with two outs.
The Pippins’ next batter was hit by a pitch and Michael FIlia blooped in an RBI single for the Pippins’ game-winning run. It was a tough loss for the AppleSox, who got their longest start of the season from Miller at 8 2/3 innings, and were shut out for the third time this year.
The Pippins improved to 4-0 over the AppleSox in 2016, and got the first win of the three-game set at County Stadium. Ryan Garcia (3-3), who moved from designated hitter to pitcher in the ninth inning, picked up the win for the Pippins. The loss was charged to Miller, as the runner at second base was his responsibility.
Miller only allowed four hits over his innings of work, and held Yakima Valley to just two hits through eight innings. Unfortunately, his offense had no answer for the West Coast League’s leading pitcher.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Ross Clevenger (1-2) will take to the mound for Wenatchee.