Following an off day on Friday, the Pippins are back in action at the Orchard tonight at 7:05 PM to continue their 7-game homestand and open up a three-game series with 3-time reigning league champion Corvallis. Fireworks will take place after tonight’s opener. Right-hander Ryan Jameson makes his first start of the summer for the Pippins, while the Knights will send southpaw Timothy Josten to the mound for his third start. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz starts at pippinsbaseball.com/live at 6:50 PM.
PIPPINS FALL BEHIND EARLY, DROP FINALE TO VICTORIA: In the resumption of a three-game series that began a week prior, the Victoria HarbourCats jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and never looked back to clinch the series at Yakima County Stadium on Thursday with a 13-4 win. The HarbourCats struck for 7 runs in 3 innings off of Pippins starter Darius Garcia, and despite 12 hits from the offense, the Pippins lost big for the second time in a week. Victoria batted around in the first, and later added 6 more runs off of a Pippins bullpen that used five different arms. Seven different hitters for Victoria recorded multi-hit games. The Pippins were led offensively by a nice day from Henry Gargus, who homered once and narrowly missed a second homer off of the wall in a 3-hit day, and James Bell, who went 2-for-3 and had his first multi-hit game in a Piippins uniform.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Ryan Jameson will make his first start of the summer tonight against Corvallis. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound righty from Cal Poly made his Pippins debut in relief on Tuesday against Kelowna and took a tough-luck loss in one inning of work, allowing an unearned run on 2 hits and a walk, while recording all three outs by way of the strikeout. The Hollister, California native appeared in 13 games in relief for the Mustangs as a freshman in the spring, posting a 4.43 ERA over 20.1 innings of work.
FOR THE KNIGHTS: Left-hander Timothy Josten is set to make his third start of the summer today for Corvallis. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound southpaw from Cal State Fullerton won his last start on June 14 against Cowlitz at home, tossing 6 scoreless innings with 6 strikeouts. On the season, he is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA, striking out 7 batters and walking 3 in 11 innings of work. A rising junior at Cal State Fullerton in the fall, the Santa Clarita, California native pitched to a 4.14 ERA in 67.1 innings of work this past spring.
A LOOK AT THE KNIGHTS: After a slow start to the year, the three-time reigning league champion Knights are starting to round into form as their roster fills out. The Knights enter the weekend series at .500 (6-6), but have won six of their last nine games after being swept on the road by Walla Walla to start the year. The Knights picked up a road series win at Victoria before opening at home by sweeping Cowlitz. Most recently, they dropped two out of three at home to WCL North Division-leading Bellingham. Corvallis is hitting .277 as a team, 2nd-best in the WCL (Victoria), while their 4.15 team ERA ranks 6th.
HOMETOWN BOY HEATS UP: After a slow start to the year, Yakima’s own Henry Gargus has seen his bat heat up over the last 9 games. In those 9 games, he has collected a hit in each game, the second-longest hitting streak on the Pippins this season (Tanner Parker, 10). Over that stretch, Gargus is hitting .343 (11-for-32), which has raised his batting average from .133 to .279. On Thursday, he added his first two extra-base hits of the summer with a first-inning solo homer and a 7th-inning double off of the wall.
THE HITS ARE COMING: The Pippins collected 12 hits on Thursday, tying a season-high in that category. It was their second straight game collecting 10 or more hits, and their third game in the last 4 with at least 8 hits. The Pippins are now hitting .248 as a team, which ranks 9th in the West Coast League.
ODDS & ENDS: The Pippins homered in consecutive games for the 2nd time this season, and the first since doing since on June 5 and June 6 in Ridgefield…the Pippins used a season-high six pitchers on Thursday; the previous high was 5, against Victoria on June 13.