The Pippins, fresh off of a road series win to open the season in Ridgefield, Washington, return home for the home opener against the Wenatchee AppleSox tonight to open up a 5-game homestand. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM PT, with Pippins right-hander Joe Magrisi scheduled to make his first start of the summer, opposing Wenatchee left-hander Gavin Gorrell. Live coverage, both audio and video, begins with Miles Klotz at 6:50 PM PT on pippinsbaseball.com/live
PIPPINS BATS GO QUIET IN LOSS TO RAPTORS: The Pippins were unable to complete the sweep in Ridgefield on Thursday, managing just five hits and 2 runs in a 3-2 loss to the Raptors. The Ridgefield pitching staff was sharp, starting with starter Zach Barnes, who struck out 8 and did not walk a batter over 6 innings of 1-run ball. Pippins pitching held their own throughout most the game, with starter A.J. Wood allowing 1 run in 4.1 innings, but a two-run, go-ahead homer from Cameron Repetti in the 8th inning off of Mark Woinarowicz put Ridgefield ahead. Repetti earned the win despite serving up a solo homer to Owen Cobb in the top of the 8th that originally put the Pippins ahead.
HOME OPENER HISTORY: Friday will mark the 6th home opener in the history of the Pippins, 5 years and 1 day past the date of their first game in franchise history, which was, coincidentally, also against Wenatchee at County Stadium. All-time, the Pippins are 3-2 in home openers, with the two losses coming in each of the last two years, to Walla Walla and Victoria, respectively. Both home opener losses came by one run apiece.
FOR THE PIPPINS: Right-hander Joe Magrisi will make his first start of the season on Friday against Wenatchee. Magrisi was sharp in a relief appearance on Opening Night in Ridgefield, striking out the side in the bottom of the 9th on 10 pitches. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of San Diego has a three-pitch mix, with a low-90s fastball, curveball, and changeup. As a freshman at Cal State Fullerton this spring, Magrisi appeared in 11 games, making 3 midweek starts, and struck out 22 batters over 21.1 innings of work.
FOR THE APPLESOX: Left-hander Gavin Gorrell will make his first start of the season for the AppleSox. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound southpaw from North Bend, Washington, has yet to appear in a game for the AppleSox this season. After pitching as a freshman at Northern Colorado in 2018, where he posted a 9.15 ERA in 8 games, Gorrell sat out this past season at Boise State, which is restarting its baseball program next spring. His cousin, Grant, is an infielder for the AppleSox who will be a freshman at Boise State next spring.
A LOOK AT WENATCHEE: The AppleSox are 1-2 on the season after dropping the last two games of a season-opening series against Victoria at home. Wenatchee needed 4 runs in the last two innings on Tuesday against Victoria reliever Ryan Watson to pick up a 7-4 opening day win, but fell behind early in the final two games and never recovered. Victoria jumped out to 5-0 and 4-0 leadings after two innings and sent the AppleSox into holes they never dug out of. Washington State’s Trent Sellers, who is primarily a pitcher, has led the way offensively for the AppleSox, with 4 hits in 7 at-bats so far.
STRIKEOUT HAPPY: After 3 games, the Pippins have proven to be a strikeout-happy team, both on offense and on the mound. After setting a new single-season team record in pitching strikeouts last year, the Pippins are off to a strong start in that category again, sitting third in the WCL with 29 strikeouts over 3 games, about 9.6 per game. On the other hand, the Pippins lead the league in strikeouts on offense, fanning 39 times in 3 games, an average of 13 times per game. Last season, the Pippins struck out 396 times, which was 4th-fewest in the WCL.
ODDS & ENDS: Pippins pitching has walked just 6 batters this season, tied for the fewest in the WCL (Victoria)…the Pippins are one of two teams in the WCL that have had multiple players hit a HR (Ridgefield).