To help celebrate a record-breaking inaugural season, the Yakima Valley Pippins are inviting fans to a special "happy hour" from 5:30 to 6:30 before tonight's playoff opener against the Bellingham Bells at Yakima County Stadium.

“We came up with the idea of a happy hour to show appreciation to our fans,” Pippins general manager Danny Tetzlaff explained in a news release issued by the team Monday. Opening the gates half an hour early gives fans extra time to get their tickets and get ready for the game, Tezlaff added.

During happy hour, fans can get jumbo hot dogs or 32-ounce drinks for $3 from the Big Apple Concession Stand, and some draft beers will be available for $3 at the beer window. Hub’s Grill, Lefty’s, The Dugout Bar and Smalls are opening at 6 p.m.

Some tickets for tonight's game still remain, but they're going quickly, according to the front office. Fans can visit or call the office at (509) 575-HITS, order tickets online at or buy general admission passes at Banner Bank offices throughout Yakima and Sunnyside.

Prices are the same as regular season tickets -- $5, $6 and $7 in advance, or $6, $7 and $8 at the box office.

The Pippins closed out the regular season Sunday night with a 4-1 win over the Wenatchee AppleSox that brought Yakima's regular-season record to 35-19 -- the most wins by an expansion team in West Coast League history.

As the WCL's East Division champions, the Pippins are taking on the Bellingham Bells -- who won the West Division with a league-best record of 37-17 -- in a best-of-three series. The next game (and a third, if needed) would be in Bellingham later this week.

Meantime, the other WCL playoff series, the wild card Bend Elks (31-23) square off with South Division champion Corvallis (35-19).

First pitch is at 7:05 tonight, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:55 on 1460 ESPN Yakima.