After dropping the series opener to the Corvallis Knights on Sunday, their second consecutive loss, the Yakima Valley Pippins are back in action tonight at the Orchard as they try to even the series with the Knights. First pitch is set for 6:05 PM PT, with right-hander Tyler Frazier scheduled to make his first start of the summer for the Pippins. He will be opposed by Corvallis southpaw Tevita Gerber, making his third start of the summer. Pregame coverage with Miles Klotz begins at 5:50 PM at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
PIPPINS DROP SERIES OPENER TO CORVALLIS: The Pippins collected three of their five hits and all four of their runs on Saturday night in the second inning, and it was not enough in a 7-4, series-opening loss to Corvallis. The Knights took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, but a big 4-run bottom half for the Pippins, capped off by a two-run single by newcomer Noah Andrews, in his first game as a Pippin, gave Yakima Valley a 4-2 lead. Despite Ryan Jameson’s 8 strikeouts over 4 innings, the Pippins were nota ble to hold on, as Corvallis chipped away throughout, with 1 or 2 runs in four of the final seven innings, while the Pippins managed just one hit after four in the first two innings. Timothy Josten was stellar for the Knights, fanning 9 and not allowing an earned run, and the Pippins stranded 7 runners in 3 innings against the Corvallis bullpen.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Tyler Frazier is set to make his first start of the summer tonight against Corvallis. The 6-foot-1, 150-pound righty from Oregon made his season debut for the Pippins in relief on Thursday against Victoria, throwing 21 pitches in the 6th inning. After entering with the bases loaded and nobody out, Frazier allowed all 3 runners to score, but did not allow an earned run of his own in the frame, surrendering two hits and a walk, while striking out one. As a freshman at Oregon this past spring, Frazier had an 0-2 record and 6.91 ERA in 27.1 innings of work. He made 11 appearances on the year, which included six starts.
FOR THE KNIGHTS: Left-hander Tevita Gerber will make his third start of the summer for Corvallis tonight against the Pippins. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound southpaw native to Salt Lake City, Utah, has a 1-1 record on the year for the Knights with a 2.45 ERA. He won his last start last Sunday against Cowlitz, allowing one earned run over 6.1 innings on 4 hits and a walk, while striking out four. On the season, he has struck out 7 and walked 4 in 11 innings of work. At Dixie State in the spring, Gerber had a 6.56 ERA, splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen.
WHERE ARE THE EXTRA BASES?: Despite another poor performance on the mound from Pippins pitching on Saturday, they did not allow the Knights to collect an extra-base hit, holding Corvallis to 13 singles on the night. It was yet another performance by the Pippins pitching staff in which they limited extra-base hits. On Thursday, 15 of Victoria’s 17 hits were singles. On the flipside, Pippins hitters have largely struggled to collect extra-base hits so far this season. The Pippins’ 20 doubles are tied for last in the WCL (Kelowna), their 1 triple is tied for 2nd-to-last, and their 5 home runs are tied for 7th. As a team, the Pippins’ .312 slugging percentage is 3rd-worst in the WCL, just ahead of Cowlitz (.290) and Portland (.264), two teams with losing records on the year.
PARKER PACES THE OFFENSE: Pippins infielder Tanner Parker continued his early-season hot stretch with another multi-hit game on Saturday, going 2-for-5 with a double. The two hits extended Parker’s hitting streak to 11 games, the last 5 of which have come from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Over that stretch, Parker has collected 8 extra-base hits (6 doubles and 2 home runs). His .379 batting average ranks 6th in the West Coast League, and 3rd-best amongst players from the WCL’s North Division.
ODDS & ENDS: After Josh Hahn’s 8th-inning strikeout on Saturday, Pippins pinch-hitters are now 0-for-9 on the year…the Pippins committed a season-high four errors, their fifth consecutive game with multiple fielding miscues.