Tacoma Rainiers

Pizzano, Rainiers bounce back from shutout in opener with 11-1 rout of El Paso

Just as the Rainiers pieced together an 11-1 win over El Paso on Wednesday night, Dario Pizzano is piecing together a career.

The Massachusetts native and Columbia University product said he has endured plenty of naysayers along what has been a “tough road.”

“I’m from the Northeast, and I’d always been told, ‘You’re not big enough, you’re not good enough,’ ” said Pizzano, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound outfielder.

Pizzano was drafted by the Mariners on June 5, 2012, a benchmark he’s reminded of every time he glances at the tattoo on his left arm — a MLB logo with the words “Dreams to reality” etched above it and the date below.

He’s been with Tacoma since the beginning of the season.

“I’m not from the West or the South, where they play all year round and play top competition,” Pizzano said. “And I didn’t have the tools — I’m not a blazing fast guy, I don’t have a strong arm in the outfield, but I thought I could always hit. If I can hit, I can get to the next level.”

That’s what he did Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium.

Pizzano contributed three of Tacoma’s 15 hits — 14 singles and a double — and drove in three runs. He’s hitting .260 on the season with two home runs and 27 RBIs.

“It was good to come out like this, on a night like this, where our whole lineup came out after a really tough game,” Pizzano said.

Eight of Tacoma’s nine batters recorded at least one hit — five had multihit games — in response to the club’s two-hit performance the night before, which tied for its worst of the season.

Pizzano drove in the go-ahead run in the second inning on a single that scored DJ Peterson. The Rainiers strung together four innings with two or more runs — including four in the second — while starter Joe Wieland (9-5, 5.71 ERA) was effective for seven innings.

El Paso’s lone run came in the fifth, when former Rainier Jabari Blash blasted a solo home run over the left field fence.

“Joe Wieland set the tone early,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said. “He had some quick innings, and he was great. He only gave up the one run — the solo homer — and you take that anytime.”


Tacoma right-hander Zach Lee (0-2, 5.16 ERA) will face El Paso righty Michael Kelly (5-1, 4.41) in the first game of a doubleheader at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday. Right-hander Donn Roach (6-5, 4.01) meets El Paso righty Bryan Rodriguez (4-3, 4.63) in the second game. Both games will be seven innings and will be broadcast on 850-AM.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12