While the season’s first snow has yet to coat the outfield grass, the Yakima Valley Pippins are already well on their way to assembling next year’s summer team.
And the first wave of commitments has a distinctly local influence.
Dylan Bishop, the Selah graduate who had a stellar season pitching for Pippins last season, is set to return with several Yakima Valley College players for the 2022 campaign, which gets started on June 3 with Yakima Valley hosting five-time reigning West Coast League champion Corvallis.
Bishop, who pitches for Whitworth in the spring, was 6-1 with a 3.89 ERA last summer and helped the Pippins win the WCL’s North Division title.
At least eight players are slated to return from that squad.
In addition to Bishop, the Pippins’ pitching staff will return Kirby Robertson, Julian Taudin Chabot and YVC’s Dann Blanchard.
Pippins manager Kyle Krustangel is also returning former YVC shortstop Connor Coballes, who is now at Gonzaga, infielder Spencer Marenco, catcher Josh Davis and outfielder Blake Dickman.
“These guys played important roles in our success on the field and helping to establish a positive culture in the clubhouse,” Krustangel said in a release. “We’ll build on that strong foundation with that core.”
Krustangel added that additional players from the 2021 could also return next summer.