Drifters Drop Series Finale vs. Pippins

by Ryan Oppenheimer

The Springfield Drifters lost the final of six straight games against the Yakima Valley Pippins 22-6 Thursday night.

The game got away from the Drifters in the sixth inning, when Yakima Valley batted around the order to extend the lead from 3-0 to 9-0.

The Drifters never recovered. Although they were able to amass six runs on 15 hits, it wasn’t enough to overcome the 19 runs given up to the Pippins in the final five innings.

The highlight of the night for the Drifters was a solo shot to left field from Elijah Maris in the sixth, marking the second homer of the year for Springfield and the first in front of its home fans.

Yakima Valley slapped their way to victory, racking up 25 hits with only 7 being for extra bases. A lot of arms were used in the previous two games — game one was an extra-inning marathon and game two was a high-scoring nailbiter. There also hasn’t been much time to rest during this grueling stretch of six games in seven days to begin the season. However, the fatigue seemed to especially affect the Drifters’ thin pitching staff, who never built consistent momentum throughout this one.
The Drifters (2-4) now shift focus to the Bend Elks (2-4), who will visit Hamlin Field for a three-game series starting Friday at 6:35 p.m. 

Drifters manager Alan Embree has plenty of history with the Bend area — including a six-year stint as manager of the Elks, with whom he won a WCL championship in 2015.

“It’s always exciting to go back and play Bend; it’s a special place for me,” Embree said. “But I enjoy beating them more.”