Portland Native and Oregon Outfielder to Join Pippins

Roadrunner, Duck poised for great year following ‘fowl’ 2020 season

YAKIMA, Wash. – Adding to his already-talented roster, Pippins head coach Kyle Krustangel has added sophomore left-handed pitcher Kellen O’Connor and freshman outfielder Connor Bane to the list of athletes that will call the Yakima Valley home this summer.

O’Connor, a 5-foot-10 Portland native, got off to an early tear at California State Bakersfield in 2020 before the season was shut down. Earning himself a 1-1 record with a 2.53 ERA, he pitched in seven of the Roadrunner’s 14 games as a freshman. He was also scheduled to play for the Pippins in 2020 before the West Coast League was forced to cancel its season.

“I’m excited that he’s back with us,” Krustangel said. “He is a promising left-handed arm that got innings. They’re definitely counting on him being an elite guy whether he’s starting or coming out of the bullpen at Bakersfield.”

Taking a different home-to-school route from O’Connor, Bane is a Southern California native attending the University of Oregon. Bane, a 6-foot-4, 206-pound freshman outfielder, was part of a Santa Margarita Catholic High School team in 2019 that won the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship. He was named the No. 19 outfielder coming out of California by Perfect Game in 2020 following his junior season, during which he posted a blistering .488 on-base percentage.

“He’s going to be physical and he’s going to hit,” Krustangel said of Bane. “His coaching staff is really excited for his spring this year, which then obviously fires me up to have him and see him perform this summer.”

The Pippins are scheduled to open their seventh WCL season at Yakima County Stadium in June. Season tickets, mini season ticket plans and ticket vouchers are already on sale at PippinsTickets.com. Single-game tickets for all 32 Pippins home games will go on sale early this spring.

By Chris Rosato Jr.

February 18, 2021