Following a 6-run comeback win over the Bend Elks on Wednesday night to clinch the 3-game series, the Pippins return to the Orchard tonight, looking for their third consecutive series sweep against the Elks. First pitch for the series finale is set for 6:35 PM, with a pair of right-handers – Yakima Valley’s Ryan Jameson, and Bend’s Michael Hansell – set to square off on the mound. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:20 PM.
PIPPINS TOP BEND IN BACK-AND-FORTH CONTEST: In a thrilling game two of a three-game series on Wednesday at Yakima County Stadium, the Pippins came out on top of the Bend Elks, 13-11, to clinch the series and head into Thursday with a chance for a series sweep. After jumping ahead, 3-0, after one inning, when the first five men reached for the Pippins, Bend scored 2 runs in the top of the second and seven in the top of the fourth to take a 9-3 lead. But the Pippins slowly and furiously chipped away, with Nick DiCarlo blasting a 3-run homer in the fifth inningto cut the lead to one, and Aidan Welch singling home the go-ahead run in the sixth. After Bend retook the lead with 2 runs in the top of the seventh, the Pippins answered back with an RBI groundout from Kyle Dean and a Tanner Parker RBI single. Nick Brown closed the door out of the bullpen with two innings of scoreless relief, pushing the Pippins to their fourth win in their last five games.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Ryan Jameson will start for the Pippins in Thursday’s series finale. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound righty from Cal Poly is a tough-luck 0-3 on the season, with a 2.86 ERA over 5 appearances, including four starts. In 22 innings of work, Jameson has struck out 32 batters (tied for 7th-most in the WCL) and walked 11. Opponents have hit .213 on the season off of the Hollister, California, native, who lost his last start on Friday against Port Angeles (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).
FOR THE ELKS: Right-hander Michael Hansell will make his seventh start of the season for the Elks to close out the series on Thursday. A 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander from Sammamish, Wash., Hansell has an 0-3 record and 5.75 ERA in 20.1 innings this season for the Elks. The righty from Mesa (Ariz.) Community College has struck out 16 batters and walked 18 this year, while opponents have hit .301 off him.
NOT BUCKING THE TREND: After three and a half innings on Wednesday, with Bend leading the PIppins 9-3, it seemed like the Elks would snap their seven-game losing streak against the Pippins, which dates back to 2017. But Yakima Valley’s wild comeback win continued their more than two-year long winning streak over Bend, and gives the Pippins a chance to complete their third consecutive sweep of Bend on Thursday. All-time, the Pippins have swept Bend three times in a three-game series, with all three sweeps coming within the past two seasons.
NICK IS NICE: The hottest hitter in the Pippins lineup is infielder Nick Israel, who collected two hits and a season-high 4 RBIs in Wednesday’s win. Over his last five games, in which Israel has a hit in all five, Israel is hitting .438 (7-for-16), a stretch that has raised his batting average from .267 to .318. Over those five games, Israel has six RBIs, and 1 walk to 0 strikeouts. He has not struck out since July 5 in Portland, a streak that goes back seven games.
A LOT OF DUDES: Within the past week, the Pippins have had three new players debut for the team in WCL play, brining their total number of players to appear in a game this season, through 35 games, to 46. Brothers Kyle and Tyler Dean, both position players, debuted early last weekend against Port Angeles, while left-hander Anthony Alvarado made his season debut on the mound on Sunday. A litany of injures has led to larger-than-expected roster turnover early in the season.
ODDS & ENDS: Wednesday’s game went a season-long 3 hours and 38 minutes…Nick DiCarlo’s fifth-inning homer was the Pippins’ first since June 20, a stretch of 27 days and 19 league games.