In the midst of a season-long four game losing streak, the Yakima Valley Pippins return home today to open up a 7-game homestand. The long home stretch begins with a three-game series against the Kelowna Falcons, who currently hold the WCL’s worst record at 2-7. First pitch for game one tonight at the Orchard is set for 6:35 PM, with the Pippins sending right-hander Mark Woinarowicz to the mound to oppose Kelowna right-hander Jonathan Clark. Pregame audio and video coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 6:20 PM PT at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
PIPPINS PIPPINS STRUGGLES, SWEPT IN BELLINGHAM: The Pippins lost their fourth straight game on Sunday after falling to Bellingham in a daytime affair, 19-2. The Pippins were competitive for the first half of the game, down just 1-0 after 4 innings, but starter Dylan Barkley began to struggle for the first time in the fifth inning, which turned into a breakout, 8-run frame for the Bells. Barkley was tagged for 5 runs in 4.1 innings, while reliever Bo Henderson allowed 7 earned runs in his 1.2 innings of work. The Pippins failed to muster anything offensively until the 8th inning, when Owen Cobb and Luke Schwartz added RBI singles, but the Bells responded off of Pippins outfielder-turned-reliever Riley Gill with 7 more runs in the bottom of the 8th.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Mark Woinarowicz is set to make his first start of the summer for the Pippins tonight against Kelowna. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander from Cal State East Bay has appeared in 3 games this summer in relief, recording a decision in all three appearances, good for a 2-1 record and 1.69 ERA. He has struck out 9 batters and not issued a walk over 10.2 innings, while opponents are hitting .132 against the Yorba Linda, California native. Each of his three relief appearances this season have been two innings or longer, with a high of five innings last Wednesday against Victoria.
FOR THE FALCONS: Right-hander Jonathan Clark is scheduled to make his third start of the summer for Kelowna. The 6-foot, 180-pound righty from San Jose State has a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 2.61 in his first two starts this summer, striking out 12 and walking 4 in 10.1 innings of work. He last started on June 9 against Ridgefield, taking the loss after allowing 2 runs in 5.2 innings of work, while also striking out a season-high 9. The start tonight will be his first start of the season away from home.
PARKER PACES THE OFFENSE: Tanner Parker, the Pippins’ everyday second baseman, continued his early season hot stretch on Sunday with a 3-for-5 performance. Hitting in the 2-spot for the second time all year, Parker collected his fifth consecutive multi-hit game, as well as his first 3-hit game of the year. After collecting just 2 hits in his first five games, Parker is hitting .545 (12-for-22) over his current 6-game hitting streak. His .382 batting average is good for 11th in the West Coast League.
A LOOK AT THE FALCONS: Despite picking up a walk-off win in extra innings last night against Victoria, the Falcons have still slumped to the WCL’s worst record early in the year, sitting at 2-7 through 9 games. They’ve been swept at home by Ridgefield, lost a home series to Victoria, and lost a road series at Bellingham so far. The poor record comes largely on the strength of the league’s weakest offense, with the Falcons averaging just 2.4 runs per game. Kelowna hits a league-worst .186 as a team, and their .276 OBP is also league worst. On the mound, Kelowna has a team ERA of 5.27, second-worst in the WCL.
BARKLEY’S WALK-FREE NATURE: For the third consecutive start, Pippins left-hander Dylan Barkley did not issue a walk on Sunday against Bellingham in 4.1 innings. Over 15.2 innings this season, the southpaw has still yet to issue a free pass. Barkley is one of four qualified WCL pitchers without a walk so far this summer, and the only one who has thrown more than 15 innings.
ODDS & ENDS: The Pippins’ 17-run loss on Sunday tied the worst loss in franchise history, a 25-8 defeat in Wenatchee on June 12, 2017…2,090 fans attended the Father’s Day day game in Bellingham, the largest crowd the Pippins have played in front of this season.
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