The Bend Elks loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday evening only to have three straight batters strike out in an 8-5 loss to the Yakima Valley Pippins at Vince Genna Stadium.
Derek Chapman, Niko Holm and Cal Waterman drew walks from Connor White to put the potential winning run at the plate, only to have White strike out pinch hitter Matt Kroon, Rocco Ferrari and Joe Casey in succession — and each on four pitches — to end the back-and-forth West Coast League game.
Bend (9-10 second half, 21-25 overall) tied the game 3-3 when Ferrari hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning and advanced to third, then scored when Casey hit into an infield error to tie the game.
The Elks and Pippins traded runs and entered the ninth tied 5-5.
James Acuna (2-3), making his second relief appearance after five straight starts to open the season, allowed two singles, and Elks fielders committed four errors that led to three unearned runs, all scored with two outs.
The Elks face Yakima Valley (9-7, 22-21) in the second of a three-game series Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
— Bulletin staff report