Catcher, Outfielder Are Latest Pair to Return to Pippins
YAKIMA, Wash. – A full-season player and a short-term addition with a towering home run from the 2022 season are both rejoining the Pippins this summer.
Catcher Jake Borst, who was with the team all last summer, and outfielder Kyle Williamson, who only played a few games in a Pippins uniform, both return to The Orchard for the 2023 season. Head coach Kyle Krustangel has a certain pedigree he looks for in his players, and these two have just that.
“Not all leaders are vocal,” the Pipps’ manager said. “These guys are high-character, high work-rate players who earn respect in the clubhouse through their play. It’s always important to have guys like that in the mix. They never complain, just get straight to work.”
Borst came onto the scene strong at Cal State San Bernardino following a two-year stint at Southwestern Community College in North Carolina. In his first year with the Coyotes, Borst was second-team all-conference, starting 52 of the 54 games in which he appeared, and hit .304.
The Imperial Beach, California, native brought that same energy to Yakima County Stadium. In 39 games with the Pipps, Borst hit .252 with nine extra-base hits and 20 RBIs. The former Mar Vista High School standout excels behind the plate, but wants to make sure he — along with the guys on the mound — takes it to the next level this summer.
“I want to develop more of a leader role behind the dish,” Borst explained. “Controlling the game better and just taking care of the pitching staff overall will go a long way.”
Williamson was a late addition for the Pippins in 2022. He only appeared in three games, but in those games the Las Vegas native hit .400 with a giant 409-foot home run at The Orchard. Williamson did, however, have an outstanding senior season at Palo Verde High School (Nevada). In 34 games, he batted .343 for the Panthers along with nine extra-base hits and 13 RBIs.
The freshman at Yakima Valley College got a little taste of The Orchard in 2022, but is more than excited to get the whole serving this time around.
“I only played one full series for the Pippins last season,” Williamson said. “Returning back for 2023 means everything to me. I have worked extensively in the outfield and at the plate to hopefully help win a ton of games next season at YVC and with the Pippins.”
Williamson is the younger brother of Noah Williamson, the Pippins outfield star in 2021 who signed midseason with the Miami Marlins organization.
The Pipps are slated to open the 2023 WCL season on the road for a three-game series in Cowlitz against the Black Bears, beginning June 2. The Pippins first home series will be at The Orchard against the defending champion Corvallis Knights starting on June 6.
By Logan Peter
February 28, 2023