Five Bulldogs, including two signed for 2020, on Pippins roster
YAKIMA, Wash. — Two Gonzaga Bulldogs and another who’s headed to the university next fall will play for the Yakima Valley Pippins next summer.
Redshirt sophomore infielder Mason Marenco and redshirt freshman outfielder Alex Shanks, who both saw playing time for Gonzaga in 2020 before COVID-19 shut down the season, will make The Orchard their 2021 summer home. Liam McCallum, a left-handed pitcher from Sydney, Australia, will enter Gonzaga as a true freshman next fall.
“I’m excited to continue a great relationship with Gonzaga — their focus on development and winning go hand in hand with what we are wanting to accomplish in Yakima,” Pippins head coach Kyle Krustangel said. “I have coached many Zags in my summer career in the WCL, and not only are they great athletes, they are great people. The players we are getting will be elite and should be fun players for the crowd to rally behind all summer long.”
Marenco started 29 games for Gonzaga in 2019, and 12 in 2020 before the season ended, batting .258 over the two years with 20 hits and 21 RBI. Shanks played in seven games for the Zags in 2020, starting four, in limited playing time. McCallum has played on the U15 Australian World Cup team and the Australian Junior League World Series team, and was named the Australian Player of the Tournament during the Asia Challenge in Japan in 2017.
Krustangel previously coached Marenco on the Wenatchee AppleSox, and currently coaches Mason’s younger brother, Spencer, at Yakima Valley College.
“I’m excited to coach Mason again. He’s a fantastic player who plays hard,” Krustangel said.
McCallum is the second player the Pippins have hosted from Australia. Mitch Ellis, who played college ball at Western Illinois and was a member of the 2017 Pippins, hailed from Diamond Creek, Australia.
McCallum is the fourth true freshmen who will join the Pippins next year. The WCL allows each team six true freshmen on a team each year.
The Pippins are scheduled to open their seventh WCL season at Yakima County Stadium on June 4. 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 in early 2021.