Sophomore pitcher, junior infielder join team
YAKIMA, Wash. – A junior infielder and a sophomore pitcher with a familiar baseball name are the latest additions to the Yakima Valley Pippins’ 2017 roster.
Right-hander Jonah Dipoto of UC San Diego, son of Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, has been a consistent force out of the bullpen for the Tritons, who are 24-7 overall and 16-5 in California Collegiate Athletic Association conference play.
In 12 appearances for the Tritons this spring, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Dipoto has a 0.45 ERA with two saves in 20 innings pitched, with 16 strikeouts and seven walks. He allowed an earned run in his first appearance on Feb. 4, but hasn’t allowed one since.
“Jonah has a very live arm, and comes from a very important baseball family to our organization,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said. “As a sophomore this spring, he has shown very well in leading the team in appearances and ERA. He will fill a similar role out of the bullpen this summer, with the ability to bounce back and impact games on the back end.
“We put a huge emphasis on playing with a lead and being strong in the late innings on the mound, and Jonah will be a big piece of that,” McKimmy added.
Mitch Ellis, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior at Western Illinois, is coming off a big week in which he was named the Summit League’s Player of the Week. In four games against Omaha last week, Ellis finished 9-for-17 with four runs, three RBI, two stolen bases and his first career triple. In his past 15 games, Ellis is batting .347.
“Mitch will primarily play the left side of the infield this summer, with a very good glove and above-average arm strength,” McKimmy said. “His age and experience will be a value to our younger guys and give leadership every successful team must have.”
Ellis, from Diamond Creek, Australia, will be the first Australian to play for the Pippins.
The Pippins host Victoria, British Columbia, on Friday, June 2, in the 2017 season opener, presented by Legends Casino and Hotel. On July 18, the Pippins will host the West Coast League All-Star Game, which will showcase the top talent from the summer league’s 11 teams in the Northwest. Season tickets and ticket mini plans – which include tickets to the All-Star Game -- are available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima. Ticket packages also can be purchased by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com.