After a brief three-game break from West Coast League play, the Pippins return to league action tonight at home against the Port Angeles Lefties, opening up a 4-games in 3 days series. Friday’s opener is Military Appreciation Night at the Orchard, with a special 7:05 PM first pitch and fireworks to follow the game. Ryan Jameson will start for the Pippins opposite Port Angeles righty Nate Weeldreyer. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 6:50 PM at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
PIPPINS COMPLETE CLEAN SWEEP IN NON-LEAGUE GAMES: The Pippins took a quick break from West Coast League play on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and completed a 3-0 stretch against non-league teams with an 11-10, walk-off win over the Northwest Honkers on Thursday night. In a crazy game, the lead changed hands and the score was tied several different times in the late innings, leading to a 10-inning game. In the bottom of the tenth, the Pippins’ Aidan Welch took a 2-2 fastball through a hole in the left side of the infield, and Eddy Pelc (who led off the frame with a walk) came around to score the winning run, ahead of a throw from left fielder Paul Bryniarski. The Pippins improved to 4-0 on the year in non-league games with the win. They have just two non-league games remaining this season.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Ryan Jameson will make his fourth start of the summer on Friday to open up the series against the Lefties. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander from Cal Poly last started a week ago on July 5 in Portland, where he took a no-decision despite putting together his best start of the year. In 6.2 innings of work, the Hollister, California native struck out a season-high 10 batters and allowed just 1 hit and no runs, while walking 3. On the season, Jameson has an 0-2 record and 3.17 ERA in 17 innings of work, striking out 27 and walking 9.
FOR THE PICKLES: Right-hander Nate Weeldreyer is set to make his second start of the season for the Lefties on Friday in the opener against the Pippins. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound right-hander from Auburn, Washington, has made one start on the year, allowing an earned run in 3 innings of work against Bend on June 29 at home. In that start, he struck out four batters and walked 2. The right-hander will be a freshman at the University of Washington in the fall.
JACK ATTACK: Jack Gonzales continued his stellar stretch of relief outings on Sunday in Portland, tossing another 1.1 of scoreless relief, striking out 2 and walking 1, while allowing just one of three inherited runners to score. The outing was Gonzales’ sixth consecutive without allowing an earned run, dating back to June 24 against Corvallis. In that span, Gonzales has tossed 15.2 scoreless frames to lower his ERA to 1.56. In those innings, he has 15 strikeouts to just 4 walks.
HOMER DROUGHT: It has been over three weeks since the Pippins last hit a home run in any competition, with the last coming from Henry Gargus on June 20 at home. The Pippins’ 5 homers on the year in WCL play are the fewest of any team in the league, with only Cowlitz (8) also in single digits in homers. The Pippins are also last in the league in doubles (32), and tied for last in triples (2) on the season.
A LOT OF DUDES: The Pippins have had 43 different players suit up in West Coast League games this season through their first 29 games, and three more are expected to debut this weekend against Port Angeles. Returning outfielder Kyle Dean, returning pitcher Anthony Alvarado, and new infielder Tyler Dean all appeared this week in non-league games, and will bring the total up to 46 when they debut in WCL play. A litany of injures has led to larger-than-expected roster turnover early in the season.
ODDS & ENDS: The Pippins fell behind, 5-0, to Portland on Sunday after 2 innings; they have now been outscored 44-25 in the first two innings of games this season, a -19 run differential…Sunday’s game took 3 hours and 14 minutes, the fourth straight game that has gone at least 2:50…on Thursday against the Northwest Honkers, the Pippins set a season high in walks drawn (15) and a low in strikeouts (1).