Pippins Clinch Playoff Berth

The Yakima Valley Pippins clinched a playoff berth last night as the Gresham GreyWolves were eliminated from postseason contention by the Corvallis Knights, 10-2.

With three games remaining in the WCL regular season, the Pippins second-half record is 16-8, three games better than Gresham; and Yakima Valley owns the second-half tie-breaker as well as an insurmountable lead in overall record. The Pippins overall mark is 31-20 whereas the GreyWolves are 24-27 overall. Yakima is two games ahead of the Knights (32-19 overall, 14-10 second half) in the race for the second-half South title.

Yakima Valley will host its second playoff game in team history on Tuesday, August 9. As 2014 East Division champs, the Pippins – in their expansion season – hosted Bellingham at Yakima County Stadium in game one of their WCL first-round playoff series.

Game one of the 2016 WCL South Divisional series is set for Tuesday, August 9 at Yakima County Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Games two and three are slated for Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11 (if necessary) at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.

The Pippins are led by southpaw Zach Draper of College of Idaho and shortstop Freddy Smith of Cal State Northridge. Draper leads the WCL in wins with 8 and his 0.76 ERA is a league low (over 12 starts and 74.1 innings pitched). Smith is hitting .317, fourth in the league in batting average, and leads the Pippins in stolen bases with 16.

Yakima Valley starts a three-game series with the Victoria HarbourCats at Royal Athletic Park tonight – a possible preview of the West Coast League Championship Series. The Cats feature the league’s best overall record at 38-13 and clinched a spot in the WCL postseason with its first-half North title. Victoria has also clinched home field advantage throughout the WCL playoffs.

The Bellingham Bells can clinch the final spot in the WCL postseason with a win at Wenatchee in its final series or with a loss by the Walla Walla Sweets at Kelowna August 5-7.