Current, Former Yakima Valley College Players Join Pippins

YAKIMA, Washington — Former Yakima Valley College infielder Spencer Shipman and new YVC outfielder Jesse Mazziotti are joining the Yakima Valley Pippins this summer.

Shipman is a two-year returning player who could bring a lot of offense to the Yakima Valley lineup. The Newman Lake, Washington, native finished top-5 in hits and was tied for second in home runs last year for the Pippins. Though he struggled early in the 2023 summer, he hit .333 (6 for 18) in his final four games.

He is spending his junior season with Whitworth University, where he got off to a fast start during the Pirates’ opening weekend, hitting .364 (4 for 11) with two doubles and two RBIs while starting all three games. He also walked twice and was hit by a pitch, for an on-base percentage of 1.045. The Pirates won all three games.

Shipman said he is excited to bring his experience in the West Coast League back for another year with the Pippins.

“Last year I was a returner — I’ve been there and done that,” Shipman said. “I’d like to do that again this year by lighting the fire on offense and getting everything started for us. We had a really slow start last year, so I’d really like to pick it up this year quick.”

The 5-foot-10 infielder joked about how the weight room has really helped his power game over the last year. However, hitting the ball far has a lot to do with being selective at the plate for Shipman.

“The last few years I’ve kind of been a high strikeout, but at the same time I feel like I’ve done pretty well at getting the pitches that I can drive and not settling for other pitches,” he said. “I do really well at hitting mistakes. I think pitchers, especially in summer ball, are going to make a mistake every at-bat. I really try to jump on those pitches.”

Mazziotti, a 6-foot-2 freshman outfielder,  is excited about his first season with the Pippins.

“They’re going to get somebody who is going to play their heart out; somebody who is willing to do everything and anything in the nine innings I’m playing,” said the Maple Valley, Washington, native about what Pippins fans can expect out of him in his first season.

This summer will be a chance for Mazziotti to grow as a player among a group of veterans. This is one of the main improvements he is looking to make as he continues to develop. Maturing on and off the field was one of Mazziotti’s main goals when speaking about the upcoming season.

These two additions to Yakima Valley’s roster will be on display in just a few months, as the Pippins open their 10th West Coast League season on May 31 at The Orchard. Yakima Valley hosts the Springfield Drifters in the first game of a three-game series. Single-game tickets for all 32 home games will go on sale in April.

By Jake Schrantz

February 19, 2024