The Yakima Valley Pippins officially welcomed three more Gonzaga baseball players to the team on Friday.
Redshirt sophomore infielder Mason Marenco and redshirt freshman outfielder Alex Shanks will join Liam McCallum, a left-handed pitcher from Australia who plans to enroll at Gonzaga next fall. Marenco hit .258 while starting 41 games over the past two seasons and Shanks played in seven games last spring, starting four.
“I’m excited to continue a great relationship with Gonzaga — their focus on development and winning go hand in hand with what we are wanting to accomplish in Yakima,” Pippins manager Kyle Krustangel said in a release. “I have coached many Zags in my summer career in the WCL, and not only are they great athletes, they are great people. The players we are getting will be elite and should be fun players for the crowd to rally behind all summer long.”
General manager Jeff Garretson said it was that strong relationship with Gonzaga coach Mark Machtolf and his staff, rather than any local connections, that helped bring in Riverside Christian pitcher Reagan Haas. Another Zags pitcher, Owen Wild, will also be on the 2021 roster.
McCallum will be the second Australian ever to play for the Pippins, following in the footsteps of Western Illinois infielder Mitch Ellis from the 2017 team. McCallum previously competed internationally for Australia in the U15 World Cup, the Junior League World Series and the 2017 Asia Challenge in Japan.