Southpaw, Chaffey College Duo Added to Pippins Roster

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Pippins’ ninth season is right around the corner, and roster additions continue to round out the 2023 squad.

Left-handers Evan Hamberger of Spokane Falls CC joins catcher/utility player Matthew Chavez and outfielder Michael Woodward heading to Yakima this summer. Chavez and Woodward are teammates at Chaffey College in California.

Hamberger, a freshman joining the fold, and is currently in the middle of a quality first year with Spokane Falls. He is 1-1 through five appearances, throwing 20.1 innings in that span while striking out 20 and compiling a 3.54 ERA.

The southpaw from Belgrade, Montana, hasn’t gone the distance he has been hoping for from start to start. Though successful, Hamberger hasn’t lasted longer than 5.1 innings in a game this season. However, he’s always looking to improve and embraces the work that needs to be put in.

“I am always looking forward to getting better,” Hamberger said. “I’m working on lowering my pitch count so I’m able to go deeper in games. That is important for me.”

A pair of teammates who are ripping the cover off the ball at Chaffey will hope to bring that same lumber to The Orchard. The sophomore duo of Chavez and Woodward have led Chaffey to a 21-11 record and a 15-2 conference record this spring.

Chavez has played in all 32 games for the Panthers. In 113 at-bats so far, he is batting .283 with a team-leading six home runs and 36 RBIs. Chavez enjoys the individual success he has had, but wherever he is playing, he only has one thing on his mind.

“Bringing championships home,” he said. “At Chaffey and with the Pippins, I want to bring a championship home to both teams. Winning games is always the goal. I think I can help the Pippins achieve that.”

Woodward isn’t much different, and has been hitting well in 2023. Woodward doesn’t possess the power that Chavez has, but almost always puts the ball in play. The Rancho Cucamonga, California, native is hitting .386 with 21 RBIs in 114 at-bats.

Woodward has the speed to be dangerous both on the basepaths and in the outfield. He has 13 stolen bases this year and has picked up 32 outfield assists. For Woodward, the best ability is availability, as he looks to transition from one team to the next.

“I want to keep my body healthy all year,” he said. “Going from a college season to a summer season can be hard on any athlete’s body, so hopefully I can improve on maintaining my body for the long haul.”

The Pippins open the 2023 campaign with a three-game series against the Cowlitz Black Bears beginning June 2. Single-game tickets for all 32 regular-season home games are now on sale at

By Logan Peter

April 19, 2023