APPLESOX (14-22, 3-7 second half)
Yakima Valley Pippins (21-18, 10-2 second half)
Yakima County Stadium
AppleSox: Curtis Bafus (3-4, 2.72 ERA)
AppleSox: Sam Wong (1-0, 2.38 ERA)
Pippins: Hunter French (4-2, 3.44 ERA)
AppleSox: Alec Gomez (1-0, 3.72 ERA)
The AppleSox dropped the series finale with the Portland Pickles, 9-3, on Friday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.
Scouting the Opponent
The Pippins are red-hot since the start of the second half. After an 11-16 record led to a last-place finish in the six-team North Division, the Pippins are 9-2 in the second half and have won eight in a row.
Yakima Valley has racked up the wins by improving offensively. They’ve scored five or more runs in nine of their last 12 games.
Kyle Dean has led the way offensively for the Pippins. He’s batting .489 (23-for-47) and has 13 RBI since July 6. The Pippins outfielder has eight multi-hit efforts in his last 12 games and has reached base safely at least once in 22 of the 23 games that he has played.
Snap the Streak
The Sox enter Saturday’s game losers of three straight. They dropped both games of the doubleheader with the Pickles on Thursday before falling last night.
This is the second time this season that the AppleSox have lost a trio of games and they look to stop the bleeding tonight.
Curtis Bafus, one of the Sox’ four All-Star representatives, has been stellar in his last two outings but has picked up losses both times.
The right-hander from Virginia Commonwealth University has tossed back-to-back outings of six-plus innings and has allowed a combined two earned runs, but the AppleSox have lost both times because they were shut out both times.
Bafus, who is second on the AppleSox in strikeouts (43) and innings-pitched (43.0) will look to buck the trend tonight.
Familiar Territory for Gomez
Sunday’s probable pitcher, Alec Gomez, will toe the rubber in familiar territory on Monday. Gomez goes to nearby Yakima Valley College, where the AppleSox coaching staff also coaches at.
Gomez went 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA this past season with the Yaks. He will make his fifth appearance of the summer on Monday.