YAKIMA, Wash. – Two pitchers and two infielders from Yakima Valley have been named West Coast League first-team all-league selections, and the Pippins captured a league-leading four spots on the 16-man team announced today by the league.
Starting pitcher Taylor Dollard, relief pitcher Connor White, first baseman Lucas Denney and second baseman Brad Beesley all earned first-team recognition at their respective positions, as voted on by coaches in the 11-team league. Third baseman Mitch Ellis earned second-team honors for the Pippins.
“What makes the All-WCL team special is that it reflects the views and feedback from opposing teams and coaches,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said. “It’s an incredible achievement to be recognized for their on-field accomplishments throughout the summer. Each of our players is deserving of what they earned. I’m extremely proud of that.”
Dollard, a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo from Sherman Oaks, Calif., was the Pippins’ ace, compiling a 7-0 record with a 2.35 ERA in 38 1/3 innings pitched during the season and postseason, including earning the team’s first-ever playoff victory. The 6-foot-2 right-hander struck out 27 and walked just six batters.
White, a 6-2 right-handed junior from Woodinville headed to the University of Portland, struck out 32 and walked 14 in 24 innings of work, compiling a 1.12 ERA and earning a league-leading 11 saves during the regular season.
Denney, a redshirt senior at Seattle University from Goldendale, led the Pippins with a .338 batting average, 54 hits, 15 doubles, eight home runs, and 34 RBI during the regular season. The left-handed batter also reached base getting hit by a pitch a team-high 12 times. He also hit .364 during the playoffs.
Beesley, a sophomore-to-be at Cal Poly SLO from San Leandro, Calif., hit .300 with 45 hits, seven doubles, a triple and seven home runs this summer. In three playoff games, Beesley hit .417 (5 for 12) with two RBI.
Ellis, the switch-hitting senior-to-be at Western Illinois from Diamond Creek, Australia, hit .289 during the regular season with 11 doubles and 31 RBI.
Denney, Ellis and White also were chosen as South Division All-Stars during the season.
The four Pippins on this year’s first team is the most since the Pippins joined the WCL in 2014. Yakima Valley had three players on the 2016 first team, one in 2015 and two in 2014.
Between the first and second teams, Yakima Valley tied with Victoria for the most players named to the squads, with five each. Only three other teams in the league had more than one player named to the first team.
Seven Pippins earned honorable mention honors: Dillon Plew (Washington State), Jonny DeLuca (Oregon), Tora Otsuka (San Diego), Steven Sordahl (St. Martin’s), AJ Landis (Colorado Mesa), Joshua Tedeschi (Utah) and Dustin Yates (WSU).
The full list of All-WCL teams and players can be read at www.westcoastleague.com.
Season tickets for the 2018 season are already on sale at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, or by calling 509-575-4487. The Pippins will play 32 home games during the 2018 season, which begins in early June.