YAKIMA, Wash. – Host Yakima Valley defeated Corvallis 9-3 at Yakima County Stadium on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their South Division playoff series.
The Pippins scored twice in the first inning, four times in the third and twice more in the fourth to build an insurmountable 8-0 lead. They battered Corvallis starter Cole Spear for 10 hits and eight runs over 3.1 innings and cruised from there to win the first playoff game in franchise history.
The Knights (40-21) drew within 9-3 in the sixth on a two-run homer by right fielder Jordan Qsar, but could get no closer. Qsar added a double, and extended his team records for the most homers (14), doubles (22) and RBIs (51) in a season.
Third baseman Matt Kelly doubled twice and left fielder Elliot Willey singled twice and added an outstanding diving catch for the Knights.
Game 2 in the best-of-3 series is set for 6:40 p.m. Wednesday at Goss Stadium. Game 3 (if necessary) would be at 6:40 p.m. Thursday, also at Goss Stadium.
The victor advances to the West Coast League Championship Series, where it will face either Victoria or Kelowna of the North Division. Host Victoria won 8-2 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of that series.
Trenton Toplikar (2-0, 5.06) is the scheduled starter for the Knights on Wednesday. Connor Redmond (1-2, 3.72) will pitch on Thursday, if necessary. Both games begin at 6:40 p.m.
Victoria defeated Kelowna 8-2 in Victoria in Game 1 of their North Division playoff series. Game 2 is set for Wednesday at Kelowna.
The best-of-3 WCL Championship Series starts on Saturday. If the Knights advance to the finals, they will have the home-field advantage and host Game 2 on Monday and Game 3 on Tuesday.