Pickles Home Opener a Success, Despite Loss

Pickles Home Opener a Success, Despite Loss

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Pickles were handed their first loss at their home park, Walker Stadium, on Friday night at the hands of the Marysville Gold Sox by a score of 8-6. The game went 10 innings, the first extra innings contest in Great West League history.

The inaugural home game for Portland got off to  a quick start as both teams drew in the first. Marysville (5-1) plated two in their half of the inning thanks to work at the Plate from Adrian Vela and Austin Call.

The Pickles (3-3) responded in the bottom half of the inning with two of their own off a Marcus Doi two-run double.

The Gold Sox came back in full force behind starting pitcher Justin Giovannoni, scoring three off of Pickles’ southpaw Jacob Allbee in the second.

Marysville tacked on their sixth run an inning later in the third.

Portland was held scoreless after the first until the team exploded for four runs in the seventh, tying the game at six apiece.

The eighth and ninth saw failed efforts from both teams as the game went into extras, the first occurrence in League history.

The visitors wasted no time once play resumed after a fireworks delay (for more on this make sure to check out our review of Walker Stadium in the coming days), securing their first two batters on second and third in just three at bats. Three-hole Ryan Weisenberg singled both runners in, breaking the 6-6 tie.

Portland threatened in the last of the 10th after a leadoff single from Joey Cooper and one out walk from Jordan Prendez. A game-ending double play silenced the crowd just three pitches later.

Marysville’s Dalton DeVries led the team, reaching base five times in six at bats and scoring one run. Weisenberg hit 2-for-6 and drove in two.

Steven Chavez led the Pickles, hitting 2-for-6, both doubles, scoring twice, and driving in one more.

The three hour and 56 minute home opener was played in front of a faithful 1,607 Portland fans.

The Pickles continue their opening home stand against Marysville tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Walker Stadium.


Introducing the Portland Pickles

Introducing the Portland Pickles

PORTLAND, Ore. – Baseball is back, again. Six years after the Portland Beavers (2001-2010) made their final appearance at then PGE Park, America’s pastime is back in Portland proper, in the form of Pickles.

In 2014 a new summer collegiate baseball league as formed known as the Great West League (GWL), similar to the area’s West Coast League (WCL). The league opened for play last Friday, June 3, with the Pickles on the road against the Medford Rogues.

The league has six teams across Oregon and California which will compete in a 57 game season that runs from early June through mid August with two rounds of playoffs and an All-Star Game.

Medford, who the Pickles opened against, is the only other team in Oregon. The Rogues previously played a number of seasons in the WCL under the same moniker, logos, and setup.

The Chico Heat, Lodi Crushers, Marysville Gold Sox, and Sacramento Stealth round out the other four teams in the GWL, all from California.

As Pickles announcer Spencer Smith made note of during the broadcast on opening night, the Pickles and Rogues should form a natural, interesting rivalry being the only two teams from Oregon in the league.

The Rogues won the opening series with the Pickles 2-1, outscoring Portland 17-14 in the three games, proving Smith’s words to be true, so far.

The Pickles played their first six games on the road (the other three against Chico) and are set to open at home after their first off day today against the Marysville Gold Sox at 7:05 p.m.

The opening series will feature two opening nights, as announced by the team, the first on Friday and the second on Saturday to give all fans the chance to get into the park and get a good seat. The openers include post game fireworks, magnet schedule giveaways, among other promotions.

The park in this instance will be Walker Stadium, a relativiely long-standing ballfield in East Portland’s Lents Park (at SE Holgate and 92nd). As part of a deal with the City of Portland, Walker Stadium has been vigorously renovated throughout the spring in order to bring it up to league standards. Below are a few pictures of the stadium being worked on earlier this morning.

The front entrance to Walker Stadium.
View from beyond the right field (309 ft.) fence.
New scoreboard waiting to be set up.
Work being done on the bullpens.
The Portland Pickles away cap.








As part of my visit to Walker Stadium this morning I was able to step inside the team offices, a trailer located along the third base concourse. I picked up the team’s away cap (one of many Pickles hats I expect to buy) and my tickets for this season, and was also able to say hi to team owner and general manager Ken Wilson.

Wilson helped found the GWL back in 2014 and is currently the president, as well as president and CEO, among his other duties, of the Pickles. Wilson owns the Pickles with his partner  under the company name Rose City Baseball, LLC.

With GWL operations running right alongside Pickles operations 2016 should be an exciting season for Portland baseball fans as the GWL opens tomorrow. Make sure to catch all Pickles home games at Walker Stadium where more than half the tickets are just $8 or less.

Stay up to date with the Pickles by liking them on Facebook (/PortlandPickles) and following the team on Instagram (portlandpickles) and Twitter (@picklesbaseball).

After their first three games at home over this weekend the team will have a break and a road series against Lodi before returning home for a six game homestand against Medford and Chico starting June 21. Don’t miss out on post game fireworks on June 10, 11, and 25.

To stay up to date on all things Grain of the Game and Portland Pickles, make sure to follow the blog (see the menu) and the author on Twitter (@atticusrice).