Pippins Preview: July 3 vs. Bellingham

Following a 5-0 win to open up a series with the Bellingham Bells at Yakima County Stadium on Tuesday night, the Pippins return to action trying to take the series against the Bells with a 7:05 PM first pitch. Right-hander Bo Henderson will make his first start of the summer for the Pippins, to be opposed by Bellingham righty John Kelly. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:50 PM.

Full Game Notes

PIPPINS PITCHING DOMINATES IN STREAK-SNAPPING WIN: The Pippins snapped their nine-game losing streak on Tuesday by jumping on the Bellingham Bells early and dominating on the mound. Mark Finkelnburg threw 6 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts to earn his first win, and the Pippins pounced for two runs in the first innings to give Finkelnburg a cushion throughout the rest of his start. The Bells were held to just five hits and one walk as the Pippins put a dent into Bellingham’s first half playoff hopes.

FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Bo Henderson will make his first start of the summer for the Pippins as Yakima Valley goes for the series win. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander from Cal Poly has a 10.56 ERA in 4 appearances out of the bullpen this year, but has allowed just 2 ER over his last 6 innings of work, striking out 7 to 3 walks in that span. A native of Palos Verdes Estates, CA, Henderson redshirted as a true freshman at Cal Poly this spring.

FOR THE BELLS: Right-hander John Kelly will make his first start of the season for Bellingham on Wednesday. The 5-foot-11, 173-pound righty from Rutherford, NJ, has an 8.30 ERA in 2 appearances out of the bullpen so far this summer, striking out 3 and walking 4 in 4.1 innings of work. A rising sophomore at Oklahoma State in the fall, Kelly has allowed opponents to hit .267 off of him.

THIS STREAK IS OVAH: With Tuesday’s win, the Pippins laid rest to their nine-game losing streak, which was both the longest by any team in the West Coast League and the longest in team history. The previous team record for longest losing streak was four games, which occurred four times, including during the 2018 season.

BULLPEN BULLETS: The two relievers that the Pippins used on Tuesday, left-hander Jack Gonzales and righty Joe Magrisi, were both electric in keeping Bellingham off the scoreboard in the final three frames, allowing just two baserunners, both singles, and striking out four combined hitters. The two threw a combined 36 of their 42 pitches for strikes, which equates to 85.7%.

HITS ON THE COBB: Owen Cobb led the charge on offense for the Pippins on Tuesday with a 3-hit day, including his first inning, go-ahead RBI double. Over the last 3 games, Cobb has collected 6 hits in 11 at-bats, good for a .545 batting average, and has drove in a run in each game. His 26 hits this season are tied for most on the Pippins (Tanner Parker), and tied for 8th in the West Coast League. Additionally, Cobb leads all incoming freshmen in the WCL in hits.

A LOT OF DUDES: The Pippins had another new addition to the starting lineup on Tuesday in the series opener with Bellingham, with infielder Nick DiCarlo becoming the 41st different player to appear in a Pippins uniform so far this season through 24 games. He also became the second returning player from last year’s team on the 2019 roster, joining Jack Gonzlaes. A litany of injures has led to larger-than-expected roster turnover early in the season.

ODDS & ENDS: The 12 hits for the Pippins on Tuesday were the most since collecting 12 in a 10-7 loss to Corvallis on June 23…the shutout win was the first for the Pippins since holding Cowlitz scoreless on August 1, 2017, in a 1-0 win…Jack Gonzales extended his scoreless innings streak to 12 with his 2 shutout innings…the Pippins 3 strikeouts on offense set a season low.

By Miles Klotz

July 3, 2019