Pippins Sign Three Valley Players to 2020 Squad
YAKIMA, Wash. — A trio of recognizable baseball standouts from the Yakima Valley are the first players added to the Pippins’ 2020 roster.
Infielder Xander Orejudos of Ellensburg, pitcher Reagan Haas of Riverside Christian and pitcher Cort Dietrich of Selah will bring local flavor to the Pippins’ seventh season in the West Coast League.
Orejudos, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder who will attend Lewis-Clark State next fall, hit .358 (39 for 109) with six doubles, two triples, one home run and 19 RBI for Columbia Basin College in 2019. In 2018, he batted .356 (62 for 174) with 13 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 55 RBI for the Hawks.
“Xander is as tough as they come, and a guy to build an identity around,” Pippins coach Kyle Krustangel said. “He plays the game hard and competes as well as any infielder I have seen. He is versatile and will be seen playing a number of positions this summer.”
Dietrich, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander, pitched 20.1 innings for Spokane Falls Community College in 2019, allowing 18 earned runs while striking out 29 and walking 15. He was 0-2 for the Sasquatch before transferring to Montana State-Billings this fall.
“Cort has a plus fastball and a hard-nosed persona on the mound,” Krustangel said. “Cort will fit right in on the mound and be a contributor throughout the summer.”
Both Orejudos and Dietrich are no strangers to success at Yakima County Stadium. Orejudos starred at Ellensburg when the Bulldogs won the Class 2A state championship at The Orchard in 2017. Dietrich was on Selah’s 2A state title team in 2016.
Haas, a freshman at Gonzaga, ranked 21st on Baseball Northwest’s list of top 2019 high school prospects. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-hander from Wapato had a stellar prep career at Riverside Christian, including setting the Valley record for strikeouts in 2018 with 20 in a seven-inning game in which he faced just 22 batters.
“I am excited for the big personality righthander out of Gonzaga,” Krustangel said of Haas. “He is a strike-thrower with put-away off-speed pitches. Reagan should be able to log a lot of innings next summer. His positive attitude and high energy will be felt in the clubhouse and on the field.”
Haas also was named to the 2018 Baseball Northwest All-Tournament team and pitched in the opening night game of the 2019 Stan Musial Tournament.
“These three are not on the team because they are local, they are on the team this summer because of their talent and how they play the game,” Krustangel said. “The identity this summer will be a group of players that play hard, play the game the right way, and compete every single night for a win to set us up for a WCL championship. These three fit right into the culture, with the added bonus that the fans will recognize them from their high school days. I am excited to keep these guys in Yakima for a great summer.”
The Pippins open the 2020 campaign at home on Friday, June 5, against four-time defending WCL champion Corvallis. Discounted season tickets, mini plans, opening night tickets and other ticket options are available now at the team offices at 12 S. Second St. in the Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487, or at PippinsTickets.com.