After falling in walk-off fashion on the road for the third time this season in Friday’s series opener in Kelowna, the Pippins return to action tonight against the Falcons, looking to even the series at a game apiece. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM PT. Bo Henderson will start for the Pippins against a to-be-determined starter for Kelowna. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 6:20 PM PT at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
PIPPINS FALL IN EPIC OPENER IN KELOWNA: The Pippins played Kelowna tough from start to finish in Wednesday’s series opener, but ultimately couldn’t generate the pitching needed to pull away, falling 9-8 in ten innings to the Falcons in walk-off fashion. The Pippins jumped out to an early 4-0 lead against Kelowna right-hander Zach Jacobs, when six men came to the plate and four scored in the top half of the inning, but the lead was quickly surrendered when the Falcons’ Jake Fischer capped off a 4-run 5th inning with an RBI single off of Tyler Frazier. After the Pippins took the lead back in the sixth inning on a go-ahead wild pitch, Kelowna responded with a 2-run bottom of the inning against reliever Mark Woinarowicz. The game’s back-and-forth nature continued again in the 8th inning, when the Pippins struck for a run in the top half of the inning on a Brett Wells RBI fielders choice to tie things up, but Kelowna brought home two runs on a Jake Fischer single and an error in the bottom half to give the Falcons the lead back. With the Pippins down to their final out in the top of the ninth, Christian Padilla singled home two runs to tie up the game and send it to extra innings. In the extra frame, however, the Falcons’ Richi Sede hit an opposite-field single over a drawn-in infield, scoring Brad Norton (who drew a leadoff walk) and giving Kelowna the 1-run, walk-off victory.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Bo Henderson will make his second start of the season on Thursday in the second game of the series against Kelowna. Henderson’s first start came in spot duty on July 3 against Bellingham, and he did not allow a run over 4 shutout innings, striking out one and allowing two hits. Henderson, who pitched in four games for Kelowna a year ago, pitched on Saturday in Victoria, walking five batters over two innings, but only allowing one hit and one run. On the season, the redshirt freshman from Cal Poly has a record of 1-0 and a 5.71 ERA. Over 17.1 innings of work, the Palos Verdes Estates, CA, native has struck out 11 batters, walked 13, and allowed opponents to hit .219 against him.
FOR THE FALCONS: Kelowna has not announced a starting pitcher for Thursday’s second game of the series.
DANDY DICARLO: With his 1-for-5 performance on Sunday, infielder Nick DiCarlo extended his season-long hitting streak to 8 games. In that stretch, DiCarlo is hitting .367 (11-for-30), with a double, a home run, 7 RBIs, and has walked 3 times to just three strikeouts. DiCarlo has had two of his four multi-hit games on the season in this span, and has raised his batting average by over 70 points (.214 to .286).
PADILLA PRODUCES: The hottest hitter in the Pippins’ lineup for the past week has been outfielder Christian Padilla, who led the way on Tuesday with a 4-for-5 performance. In his last six games, Padilla is hitting .524 (11-for-21), and has raised his batting average from .200 to .286. He has three multi-hit games in that stretch after collecting just two in his first 18 games of the summer.
FINE IN THE FIELD: After completing the final two games of last weekend’s serise in Victoria error-free, the Pippins allowed 3 errors on Wednesday, but did not commit a miscue until a pair of errors in the 6th inning. That extended a season-high errorless streak to 25 innings before it was snapped. The Pippins remain in last place in the West Coast League in both errors (70) and fielding percentage (.952).
ODDS & ENDS: Wednesday was the first time all year in which the Pippins lost a game after scoring 8 or more runs.