YAKIMA, Wash. – Taylor Dollard, who led the West Coast League with a 6-0 record during the 2017 regular season and also earned the Pippins’ first-ever playoff victory, is returning to Yakima Valley next summer.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander from Sherman Oaks, Calif., was a breakout success for the Pippins this past summer. In eight appearances, including his playoff win, Dollard struck out 27 and walked only six in 38 1/3 innings. He compiled a 2.35 ERA, surrendering only 10 earned runs in his outings.
“Taylor’s presence and poise for such a young individual really jumped off the page last year,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said. “He’s a guy who you really need to sit and watch for multiple starts to realize why his value is as a starter. He’s got a three-pitch mix, with an incredible baseball IQ.”
Dollard’s performance earned him recognition as an All-West Coast League starting pitcher, despite not joining the team until late June.
2018 is the first season in which the Pippins are bringing back multiple pitchers. In previous years, most returners have been position players.
“Any time you can have a returner back is invaluable,” McKimmy said. “He’s familiar with our community, our fans and how we want to attack things from the pitching side.”
Dollard, a freshman at Cal Poly this year, reminds McKimmy of another stellar freshman Pippins pitcher – Gonzaga’s Eli Morgan in 2014.
“When I think of Taylor and Eli, who was also undefeated through the regular season in 2014, they just really have unshakeable confidence in what they do, in their plan and their process,” the manager said. “Taylor attacks the zone with multiple pitches and does things intangibly that winners do, and that translated into a first-team all-league selection.”
Dollard joins at least five other Pippins who are returning in 2018, including Connor White, Michael Russo, William Adair and Cullen Kafka from 2017 and Chris Ceballos from the 2016 squad.
The Pippins open their fifth anniversary season on June 1, hosting the Walla Walla Sweets at Yakima County Stadium. Season tickets for the team’s 32-game home schedule are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, at the Pippins’ holiday kiosk in the Valley Mall, by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com. Ticket vouchers, mini plans, group night outings and prepaid parking passes are also available for purchase. Opening night tickets go on sale Dec. 1.
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