|AppleSox Round Out 2011 Roster|
The AppleSox have put the finishing touches on the 2011 roster with the commitments of six players from schools across the country. Joining the AppleSox is University of Kentucky left handed pitcher Alex Phillips, Pacific Lutheran University first baseman Brock Gates, Pomona-Pitzer outfielder Erik Munzer, Los Angeles Pierce College catcher Travis Forbes, Lewis-Clark State catcher Aaron DeGuire, and Paradise Valley Community College right handed pitcher Jackson Goulder,
Phillips will be reuniting with AppleSox pitching coach Rob Hippi, who he played for at Lower Columbia College in 2009 and 2010. He was named the MVP of the 2010 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Tournament, earning the victory in the championship game for the Red Devils. In his first season at the University of Kentucky, the 6-foot-4 southpaw is 1-2 with a 2.37 ERA and leads the Wildcats in appearances with 24. He will be the first player from an SEC school to play in Wenatchee since Ryan Davis of Vanderbilt played for the AppleSox in 2007.
“We plan to have him as a starter this summer,” said Hippi. “He has a really good changeup and his fastball sits 85-87 mph. He has good control and rarely gives up walks.”
Gates is very familiar with the West Coast League after playing for the Moses Lake Pirates in 2008 and 2009. The junior from Federal Way was named a Division III preseason player to watch by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He earned All-Northwest Conference first team recognition this season after starting all 39 games for the Lutes and leading the team in hits (51), RBIs (28), and home runs (4).
“We’ve been lucky to get some quality players from Geoff Loomis at PLU,” said AppleSox head coach Ed Knaggs. “He knows our league after coaching in it for years with the Knights organization when they were based in Aloha before moving to Corvallis. When he calls and says he has a player for us, we take them.”
Forbes is returning to the AppleSox after appearing in five games as a temporary player in 2010. The Granada Hills, CA, native is committed to play at Gonzaga next season.
“I actually coached his Dad when I was an assistant at Gonzaga back in the 80s,” said Knaggs. “It’s neat to be able to bring a player back who was a temporary guy last year. He’ll give us depth at catcher and has the versatility to also play in the outfield.”
Munzer, from Beverly Hills, CA, is a two-sport athlete at Pomona-Pitzer playing both baseball and soccer. The sophomore started all 39 games for the Sagehens, hitting .331 with 4 home runs and 24 RBIs.
“We heard about him during the middle of last season when we were looking to fill an outfield position,” said Knaggs. “We tried to get him last year, but he wasn’t able to come up. He will be a top of the order guy for us who can play in left and center field.”
DeGuire is in his first year at Lewis-Clark State after transferring from El Camino College. The junior has played in 34 games for the powerhouse NAIA program and is hitting .295.
“He is an extremely good defensive catcher,” said Knaggs. “His coaches say he is as good of a catcher as they’ve ever had at L-C State, which is saying a lot.”
Goulder is following new AppleSox assistant coach Sean Winston from Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix to Wenatchee. The Cave Creek, AZ, native is signed to transfer to the University of Utah in 2012.
“He is coming to Wenatchee based on the suggestion of our new assistant coach,” said Knaggs. “He said he had a really good pitcher that he wanted to bring with him if we had the room.”
The AppleSox open the 2011 season June 3rd with a three-game home series against the Kitsap BlueJackets. Tickets are available now at www.applesox.com or by calling (509) 665-6900.