Three Division I Freshmen Join Pippins

By Zach McKinstry | Apr 15, 2022

YAKIMA, Wash.- Two pitchers and an outfielder are headed this summer to the Pippins, with the addition of CSU-Bakersfield’s Ryan Verdugo and University of the Pacific teammates Caden Duke and Owen McWilliam.

All three are currently in their true freshman season at their respective schools, and bring more depth to the Pippins roster.

Verdugo is a right-handed pitcher from South El Monte, California. After a high school career which saw him win First-Team All-League and four straight conference championships, he took his pitching talents to the Roadrunners of Bakersfield.

Verdugo already has nine appearances this season, which is tied for 3rd most on the squad. The righty also sports a 1-1 record with 2 saves out of the bullpen.

About 3 1/2 hours up the California coast is where Verdugo’s summer teammates play at the University of the Pacific. Duke is also a freshman pitcher from California who has provided a big impact in relief this season for the Tigers.

After Duke graduated from Millennium Charter School with a career 1.59 ERA and 202 strikeouts, he has started his college career with 9 appearances for UOP with scoreless outings in 6 of them.

His teammate McWilliam is a Bainbridge Island, Washington, native, who was ranked the ninth-best outfielder in Washington out of Bainbridge High School.

The freshman has had plate appearances in six games this season for the Tigers, and will look to show his abilities in Yakima this summer.

The first game for the Pippins is June 3 against the Corvallis Knights. Tickets are available at

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