03/22/2017 12:34 PM
Pippins add pair of VMI pitchers to roster
YAKIMA, Wash. – Two Virginia Military Institute pitchers are the latest additions to the Yakima Valley Pippins for this summer.
“The last time we brought in VMI Keydets (in 2014), we were rewarded with our first ‘W’ in team history by Reed Garrett, who ended up going 2-0 then signing a pro contract with the Texas Rangers after two weeks as a 16th-round pick,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy noted. “Andrew Woods also was the starting pitcher in our first playoff game in team history. We thought it might be a good idea to dig in that well again.”
This time around, junior right-hander Matthew Eagle (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) of Norfolk, Va., and freshman left-hander John Fuqua (6-0, 160) of Chesapeake, Va., who will see mound duties for the Pippins.
Eagle is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five starts this spring, with 23 strikeouts in 25 innings. Opponents are hitting just .245 against Eagle this season.
“Matt is off to a fast start as a junior this spring,” McKimmy said. “He’s the prototypical super teammate, with incredible work ethic, who throws three pitches for strikes at any time. I like that he’s an upperclassman and very excited to experience what the Yakima community has to offer. Matt is not afraid of a challenge or new experiences.”
Fuqua has tossed 5.1 innings in six appearances with an 8.44 ERA.
“John will serve as a left-handed matchup guy out of our bullpen,” McKimmy said. “He possesses a good breaking ball, and that will be a weapon that will get outs for us. We are a little shorter on lefties this summer, so we will count on him to throw in some very key parts of the game.”
The Pippins will host Victoria, British Columbia, on Friday, June 2, in the 2017 season opener, presented by Legends Casino and Hotel. On July 18, the Pippins will host the West Coast League All-Star Game, which will showcase the top talent from the summer league’s 11 teams in the Northwest. Season tickets and ticket mini plans – which include tickets to the All-Star Game -- are available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima. Ticket packages also can be purchased by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com.