Ridgefield will host Yakima Valley on June 4; Pippins open at home on June 7
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins will open their 2019 West Coast League campaign against the newest addition to the league, the Ridgefield Raptors, with a three-game series that begins Tuesday, June 4.
The Pippins, starting their sixth year in the wood-bat collegiate summer league, will open their 32-game home schedule at Yakima County Stadium on Friday, June 7, against the Wenatchee AppleSox. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Ridgefield was announced as the 12th team in the WCL this summer. The Raptors, owned by the same group that owns and operates the Cowlitz Black Bears, will join the WCL South, which will give both divisions six teams each.
The Pippins will have 27 home league games and five nonleague opponents. The nonleague dates and opponents will be announced later.
The Pippins schedule can be viewed here.
The league’s regular season concludes on Sunday, Aug. 11, with playoffs starting two days later. The Pippins will host their sister team, the Walla Walla Sweets, on the final home weekend of the season.
Per league scheduling guidelines, the Pippins will not travel to Walla Walla or Bend this season. Likewise, Yakima Valley will not host Portland or Cowlitz this summer.
Pippins home games will begin at 6:35 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, except for special event nights such as fireworks nights. Sunday games will begin at 6:05 p.m. The Pippins promotional schedule will be announced early next year.
Season tickets for the 2019 season are available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St., in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487, or online at PippinsTickets.com. The Pippins’ holiday kiosk in the Valley Mall in Union Gap will open Nov. 17.
Tickets for Opening Night, presented by Legends Casino and Hotel, will go on sale in December, with special pricing available only that month.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. — Outfielder Kyle Dean has been crowned the West Coast League batting champion after leading all batters with a .374 average over the 54-game WCL season.
Dean, who joined the Pippins en route to their trip to Kelowna, B.C. on June 22, played in 37 games. He finished with 52 hits in 139 at-bats, including eight doubles, four triples and two home runs. Dean, who attended Brigham Young University this past spring and is transferring to Cal State Monterey Bay this fall, also had 24 RBI, 19 walks and four hit-by-pitches.
Dean’s best plate appearance was a 4-for-5 effort against Corvallis on July 10 in Yakima, in which he doubled and drove in a run. Two days earlier, Dean had an individual-best 3 RBI game at Port Angeles, and drove in multiple runs in six league games.
In nonleague play, Dean had a 4-for-5, 7-RBI game against the Gresham GreyWolves on July 26 that included a grand slam.Read Less
Jake Moberg, Cole Pofek and Chase Farrell will be representing the Pippins in Port Angeles for the 2018 West Coast League All-Star Game on July 17th.
Moberg has been a consistent bat near the top of the lineup for the Pippins this season. He is hitting .339 (1st on the team) with a home run and 11 RBI. In the Pippins last series in Port Angeles, Moberg went 5-12 (.417) with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Moberg will be attending UCLA in the fall as a freshman.
Pofek has provided power in the middle of the lineup for the Pippins. He leads the team with 4 home runs and is second on the team with 18 RBI. In his first 4 games of the season, Pofek went 8-16 (.500) with 7 runs scored, 2 home runs and 9 RBI. Pofek will be entering his sophomore year at UC Riverside in the fall.
Farrell has been a dynamic arm that has anchored the top of the Pippins starting rotation. Farrell is 0-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 4 games (3 starts). In his 19.2 innings pitched, Farrell has racked up 29 strikeouts while walking just 2 batters. He turned in his best start of the season on July 6 against Port Angeles where he went 7 innings of one run ball with no walks and 12 strikeouts. The 12 K’s broke a Pippins single game strikeout record held by Eli Morgan who struck out 11 batters on two separate occasions in 2014. Farrell will be in his sophomore year at UCLA in the fall.Read Less
Pippins pitcher Hunter French was awarded the West Coast League’s Moss Adams Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Over the past week, French pitched in two games, one start against the Bend Elks and one relief appearance against the Harbourcats. He threw a combined nine innings allowing just one unearned run on six hits while striking out ten and walking one.
He picked up a win on June 8 in the Pippins 10-2 win over the Elks. French went six innings allowing one unearned run and striking out six.
“He has just continued to get better and better in his two years with us,” said Pippins Manager Marcus McKimmy after French’s start against the Elks. “He’s obviously older and more experienced now but just with his work ethic and mentality, even facing a little difficulty there in the early innings he didn’t flinch and really settled in nicely and gave us a quality start when we needed it.”
French pitched in one game for the Pippins in 2017 throwing 6 innings of two run ball against the Bellingham Bells.
French will be a junior at Central Washington University in the fall. With Columbia Basin College this spring, French went 4-3 with a 4.34 ERA in 76.2 innings pitched.Read Less
PORTLAND — Rob Neyer, a former ESPN and Fox Sports journalist, has been named the West Coast League’s new commissioner as the league revamps its leadership structure heading into the 2018 season.
Neyer is the league’s first commissioner since ABCA Hall of Fame head coach Jim Dietz of San Diego State presided over the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League, during the circuit’s formative years.
“We are thrilled to have Rob Neyer represent the West Coast League and act as our league’s commissioner,” said WCL president Tony Bonacci. “His knowledge of the game and passion for what we are doing, not to mention his contacts in baseball, should help us elevate the league to new heights.”
“We can’t be more pleased that Rob has joined us as our commissioner.”
Neyer lives in Portland.
A baseball writer known for his pioneering use of statistical analysis and sabermetrics, Rob began his career working for Bill James and STATS, Inc. He’s also worked for 15 years as a columnist and blogger for ESPN, and was National Baseball Editor at Vox Media’s SB Nation from 2011 to 2013, then Senior Baseball Editor for Fox Sports through 2015. His recent work has been featured in The New York Times, Vice Sports, Complex Sports, and Yahoo, among others.
This October, HarperCollins will publish POWER BALL: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, Neyer’s seventh book.
“I’m a passionate, longtime fan of baseball history generally, and Pacific Northwest baseball specifically,” Neyer said. “So it’s difficult for me to imagine a more exciting opportunity, and I’m honored to be associated with such a fine organization. This summer, as I connect with the owners and visit all the beautiful ballparks, I’ll do everything I can to help this great league become even greater.”
WCL members will look to the league’s new commissioner to arbitrate and regulate during the season; to further connect the league and its teams with the baseball community, its markets and those that follow the game; and to act as a league ambassador.Read Less
West Coast League initiative aims to bring visual medium to all 11 ballparks
YAKIMA, Wash. – Pippins fans will have a new way to catch Yakima Valley’s 32 home games this summer through a new live-video option available at Yakima County Stadium.
Adding a pay-per-view and season subscription options for all home games in Yakima is part of a larger, West Coast League initiative to have all games live-streamed for fans. Both the Pippins and Walla Walla Sweets started a rudimentary Periscope broadcast for home and away games in 2014. In 2016, the Victoria HarbourCats launched a multi-camera broadcast. Earlier this year, the WCL board of directors approved an initiative to help each ballclub capitalize a video-streaming service in each park. The league anticipates that all clubs will have a live-video solution available for all games.
“We’re excited to be able to extend our reach even further with live video for our local fans, and fans outside the area who can’t come to Yakima,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “Broadcaster Kevin Vallene has experience both with radio and video broadcasts, and he’s a great asset to have on board as we launch this new medium.
The single-camera operation this year is expected to become a multi-camera setup for 2019, Garretson said. The video stream will include simulcast audio from the Pippins’ English-radio broadcasts on 1460 ESPN Yakima. Advertising options just for streaming video are available, or can be packaged with other advertising mediums, Garretson said.
Single-game and full-season passes will go on sale in May. Some games, or parts of games, may be available for free on certain platforms, such as Facebook Live. Garretson said those details are still being finalized.
The Pippins will use Boxcast, a comprehensive cloud-based solution that includes a full production suite to allow for a great viewing experience. This platform will also allow the Pippins to grow working relationships with local education facilities, as this new initiative creates paying jobs for developing multimedia and video production students.Read Less
Yaks’ Matt Driver had two stints with team in 2017
YAKIMA, Wash. – Yakima Valley’s Pippins are adding another familiar face to the 2018 roster.
Pitcher Matt Driver, a 6-foot-2 sophomore right-hander, was on the 2017 squad to start and end the season with a pair of 10-day contracts. This year, the Kennewick native has been signed to a full-season contract.
Also joining the Pippins is YVC teammate Easton Henke, a 6-3 sophomore right-hander from Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, and Bellevue College sophomore infielder Grant DeLappe from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash.
“The NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) consistently produces and develops quality players who move on to Division 1, NAIA, and professional baseball year in and year out,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said.
Driver, pitched 8.2 innings in six appearances for the Pippins last summer, finishing 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA. But he’s been impressive for the Yaks so far this spring: He’s 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings. In his past two appearances, Driver has struck out 18 batters in 9 innings, picking up a victory against Centralia CC on March 11, his most recent appearance.
“I’ve seen Matt’s fastball up to 90-91 this year, but what impresses me most is that he’s learning how to take full control of games from the rubber,” McKimmy said. “He is in great shape and mentally ready for the rigors of the WCL schedule.”
Henke has struck out seven and walked five in 8.1 innings so far this season, coming out of the bullpen in two of the three games in which he’s seen action. He’s 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.
“I’ve had my eye on Easton for some time. He will pitch out of the bullpen for us, and will have a valuable role in the middle to late innings when the game is on the line,” McKimmy said. “Easton is a quality YVC pitcher, with experience, who has earned the opportunity to put on the Pippin green. I am pumped to have him.”
DeLappe, who will attend Washington State University in the fall, is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound middle infielder for the Bulldogs and is hitting .194 in 13 games so far this spring. In 2017, DeLappe batted .300 with 12 doubles, six triples and seven home runs for Bellevue.
“He can really hit and play defense – though he’s gotten off to a slow start at the plate this year,” McKimmy said. “I like the energy he plays the game with, which for a shortstop on our team is essential. He can be a field general and solidify our defense in the middle of the diamond. WSU got a real good player here.”
The Pippins host Walla Walla on June 1 in both teams’ season opener. Tickets for opening night, presented by Legends Hotel and Casino, are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487 or at pippinsbaseball.com.Read Less
Pair from UC Irvine, infielder from Cal Poly heading to Yakima
YAKIMA, Wash. – Two freshmen infielders and a freshman right-handed pitcher are the newest additions to the Yakima Valley Pippins roster for 2018.
Nick DiCarlo, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder at Cal Poly SLO, is currently batting .300 (6 for 20) for the Mustangs in the 11 games he’s played as a true freshman. DiCarlo attended Arcadia High School in Phoenix, where he hit .372 with 12 doubles, two home runs and 19 during his senior season in 2017.
“Nick is a very talented freshman who will be an infielder who stands out immediately when he puts on the Pippin green,” Yakima Valley manager Marcus McKimmy said. “He’s very dynamic in his offensive skill set and will probably play a lot of third base for us, but can play the other two infield spots as well.
“Since he’s already seeing early action this spring for the Mustangs, he will hit the ground running when he gets to Yakima,” McKimmy continued. “Nick’s a winner, and we expect that to infect his teammates and Yakima County Stadium. He played for the Utah Marshalls out of high school, which is on the short list of best summer programs in the western United States.”
McKimmy is also looking forward to the versatility of Brendan Brooks, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound freshman infielder at Cal Irvine.
“We really like the versatility that Brendan will give us offensively and defensively,” he said. “He is just a really good, skilled baseball player. I’m confident that he can play all three infield spots in the summer, but his first college start was in the outfield.”
Brooks, from Corona, Calif., attended Norco High School in Norco, Calif., where he hit .370 with nine doubles and 12 RBI in 28 games his senior year. At Irvine, he’s hitting .297 in nine starts with the Anteaters.
Teammate Jake Lachemann, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound right-hander, also is expected to have an impact with the Pippins.
“Jake will be an important piece of our bullpen,” McKimmy said. “He is an 88- to 90-mph arm from an incredibly valuable angle, given his height.”
Lachemann was 3-1 with three saves in 20 innings pitched for San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in 2017. He’s also the grandson of former Major League Baseball player and manager Marcel Lachemann.
“One thing I’ve learned is to trust the value of baseball families,” McKimmy said.
The Pippins open their fifth anniversary season on June 1, hosting the Walla Walla Sweets at Yakima County Stadium. Season tickets for the team’s 32-game home schedule are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487 or at pippinsbaseball.com.Read Less
Right-handers Chase Farrell, Sean Mullen both hail from California
YAKIMA, Wash. – Chase Farrell, who originally signed with the Pippins prior to the 2017 season, and Sean Mullen, a pair of right-handers attending or headed to UCLA, are the newest additions to Yakima Valley’s pitching staff this summer.
Farrell, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound hurler from Valencia, Calif., was selected by the Houston Astros in the 40th round of th 2017 Major League Baseball draft. As a senior at Valencia High, he finished with an 8-2 record and a 1.43 ERA in 73.2 innings, with 83 strikeouts and one no-hitter.
“His arm really works,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said. “What most of our fans don’t remember is that Chase was signed to be a Pippin in 2017. He had a dominant senior year and didn’t play summer ball because of innings restrictions. He is even better this year, a year older, and could possibly throw some starter innings for UCLA as a true freshman. He will be in the 89-90 mph range with his fastball, and he has a really good changeup, and a slider.”
Mullen, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Bakersfield, Calif., is heading into his senior season at Stockdale High. As a junior, Mullen was 9-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 54.1 innings. He struck out 61 and walked 35. Mullen, who also plays infield, led the Mustangs with a .470 average, 47 hits and seven home runs, and was the second-leading batter with 11 doubles and 29 RBI.
“Up until this year (2017), I thought he was going to be a pitcher only in college,” Stockdale coach Brad Showers told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper last summer. “I didn’t know if he was good enough to be a two-way guy.”
After Mullen’s breakout junior season, Showers said he believes Mullen could be a two-way starter for the Bruins.
McKimmy is looking forward to having Mullen on the Pippins roster.
“I anticipate his role will be condensed to a vital bullpen arm for us, depending on how much he throws this spring, but having his versatility will be crucial for 59 games this summer,” McKimmy said. “Reports have had Mullen up to the 92-94 mph range, which will give him a great advantage in this wood-bat league if he’s a consistent strike-thrower.
“In talking with Sean recently, he’s really pumped to make Yakima Valley his home this summer.”
The Pippins open their fifth anniversary season on June 1, hosting the Walla Walla Sweets at Yakima County Stadium. Season tickets for the team’s 32-game home schedule are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com. Discounted opening night tickets are also on sale through the end of February.Read Less
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