After losing consecutive games for the first time in 2019 following a 7-6 loss at Bellingham on Friday, the Pippins look to get back into the win column on Saturday when they continue their weekend series with the Bells. Left-hander Darius Garcia will make his Pippins debut as the starter, and he will be opposed by Bellingham righty Nick Proctor, also making his season debut. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM PT. Pregame radio coverage begins at 6:20 PM with Miles Klotz at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
PIPPINS DROP SECOND STRAIGHT TO OPEN ROADTRIP: The Pippins battled in Friday’s series opener to the Bellingham Bells, but ultimately fell, 7-6, to open up their 3-game road weekend series. Cameron Liss was solid as the Pippins’ starter, allowing 1 earned run over 4 innings while striking out five, but the Pippins bullpen, fronted by Ayden Adams, was rocked in the middle innings, allowing the Bells to score 5 runs from the 5th through 7th innings. The Pippins scored 4 in the top of the 7th inning to take the lead, led by a bases loaded, 2-RBI single into left field by Tanner Parker, but quickly gave the lead back up in the bottom half off of a 2-RBI double. Jimmy Chatfield threw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win for Bellingham.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Left-hander Darius Garcia is set to make his Pippins debut as the starter in Saturday’s second game of the weekend series. A 5-foot-8, 175-pound southpaw out of UC Irvine, Garcia pitched in 8 games for the Anteaters this spring as a freshman, striking out 8 batters and walking 1 over 8 innings of work. The Cerritos, California native posted a 3.38 ERA and allowed opponents to hit .226 off of him.
FOR THE BELLS: Right-hander Nick Proctor will make his Bellingham debut when he toes the rubber for the start on Saturday. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound righty from Pleasanton, California, played his true freshman season at California in the spring. He appeared in 10 games, posting a 1-0 record and 6.92 ERA over 13 innings of work. Proctor struck out 8 batters, walked 5, and allowed opponents to hit .250 off of him in those 13 innings.
PARKER PACES THE OFFENSE: While the offense has been slow to take off for the Pippins in 2019, infielder Tanner Parker has settled in quickly at second base. After a 2-for-3 performance on Friday, including two more RBIs, Parker extended his hitting streak to four games, and his streak of multi-hit games to three. Over his last 4 games, Parker is hitting .583 (7-for-12) with 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, and 1 walk to 1 strikeout. He has raised his batting average nearly .200 points in that span, from .133 to .320.
REINFORCEMENTS ON BOARD: After making the first road trip of the year to Ridgefield with 14 players, the Pippins have a roster nearly double that size in tow for the Bellingham trip after a large group of new players joined the roster for the weekend, several of whom made their debuts on Friday. Left-hander Darius Garcia will also make his debut on Saturday as the starter. Over the past two days, Jahred Butler, Spencer Bramwell, and Josh Hahn have all made their debuts either in the field or on the mound. Hahn, who is a two-way player, grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance on Friday.
CLOSE GAMES BECOMING COMMON: The Pippins lost another close game on Friday, falling 7-6. It was their second consecutive loss by 2 or fewer runs. All three losses this season have come by either 1 or 2 runs. It was also the fourth consecutive game, win or loss, decided by 2 runs or fewer. Overall, the Pippins have had just 2 games out of their first 9 decided by more than 3 runs (an 8-3 win over Wenatchee on June 8, and a 10-3 win at Ridgefield on June 5).
ODDS & ENDS: The Pippins’ 4-run top of the 7th inning was their second 4-run inning this season, tying the most runs they have scored in one inning in 2019…at points in Friday’s game, the Pippins offense saw 14 straight balls thrown, and saw three consecutive infield throwing errors committed, both highs on the season.