YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins will move to the West Coast League’s North Division in 2018, and will open their fifth season against their sister team, the Walla Walla Sweets, at home on Friday, June 1.
The Pippins’ 59-game schedule includes 32 home games at Yakima County Stadium, starting with the three-game series against the Sweets. Both the Pippins and Sweets are owned and operated by Pacific Baseball Ventures.
The June 1 opener is the fourth time in five years the Pippins have started their season at home.
“We really like the way our schedule is set up this year,” general manager Jeff Garretson said. “We open with weekend series that will be great for families with kids still in school during those weeks, and with our earlier start times most days, that also will be more family-friendly this year.”
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., an hour later than prior years, to help deflect the midafternoon heat.
Joining Yakima and Wenatchee in the North Division are Bellingham and Port Angeles, and Victoria and Kelowna in British Columbia. The Pippins replace Walla Walla in the North; the Sweets will move to the South Division.
Walla Walla is joined in the South by Cowlitz, Corvallis, Bend and the Portland Pickles, who are replacing the Gresham GreyWolves in the West Coast League this year. Portland has been in the Great West League the past two seasons. The Pippins will travel to Portland for a three-game series, but by scheduling rotation, the Pickles won’t play in Yakima this summer.
The Pippins’ home schedule includes five nonleague games. The league has extended its regular season by three days, and will conclude on Wednesday, Aug. 8, followed by the division and championship series.
Season tickets sales, mini plans and ticket vouchers are now on sale at the Pippins’ holiday kiosk at Center Court of the Valley Mall, the team offices at 12 S. Second St. in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487, or online at PippinsBaseball.com. The Pippins promotional schedule will be announced early next year.
The Pippins’ 2018 schedule:
June 1-3: Walla Walla; 5-7: at Victoria; 8-10: Bend; 11: TBA (nonleague); 12-14: at Portland; 16-17: TBA (nonleague); 19-21: Kelowna; 22-24: at Kelowna; 26-28: Cowlitz; 29-30: Bellingham.
July 1: Bellingham; 2-4: at Wenatchee; 6-8: at Port Angeles; 10-12: Corvallis; 13-15: at Bend; 18-20: Port Angeles; 21-24: Wenatchee; 25-26: TBA (nonleague); 27-29: at Cowlitz; 31: Victoria.
Aug. 1-2: Victoria; 3-5: at Walla Walla; 6-8: at Corvallis.