Boise State Trio Highlights Latest AppleSox Roster Additions

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This past week, head coach Kyle Krustangel announced five new additions to the AppleSox 2019 roster: three from Boise State, one from George Fox and one from Montana State University Billings.

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Tyler Detloff (Montana State University Billings)

Junior, 2019: Batting .231 with three home runs, 9 RBI and 12 runs as of April 12… Homered twice in a 19-5 win over Saint Martin’s on April 6…

Sophomore, 2018: Batted .348 with one home run and 40 RBIs for Yakima Valley College… Stole eight bases…Played in 41 games and tallied 155 at-bats…scored 43 runs to rank third on the team.

Freshman, 2017: Batted .338 and drove in 15 runs for Yakima Valley College… Stole 16 bases in 38 games… Earned second-team all-conference honors following the season.

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Cameron Sommer, Boise State

Junior, 2018:  Made seven appearances out of the bullpen for University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, and logged six innings of work.

Sophomore, 2017: Posted a 4-1 record with one save, 1.18 ERA, and 0.824 WHIP in 30 1/3 innings for Clark College... Recorded 2.86-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Freshman, 2016: Registered 2-2 mark with three saves in 15 relief appearances for Clark College... Fanned 30 hitters in 27 innings of work.

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Gavin Gorrell, Boise State

Freshman 2018:  Appeared in eight games, including four starts, for Northern Colorado... Recorded a 0-2 record with 21 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.

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Grant Gorrell, Boise State

Senior, 2019: Batting .304 with 10 extra-base hits (four home runs), 30 runs and 20 RBI through 26 games at Mesquite High School.

Junior, 2018: Batted .333 with eight doubles, 27 runs and 16 RBI in 34 games.

Sophomore: Batted .290 with three extra-base hits and six runs in 33 games.

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Landon Schirer, George Fox

Sophomore, 2019: Is 6-0 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) in 57.1 innings pitched… Has struck out 48 batters and tossed two complete games, including a four-hit shutout of Whitman on March 30.

Freshman, 2018: Went 1-5 on the mound with a 9.32 ERA in 11 games (seven starts) in 37.2 innings pitched… Struck out 18 batters.

The AppleSox will announce new players to the roster each week on social media for the next two months.

Each Friday afternoon, all of the players added from the previous seven days will be recapped on the AppleSox website. For the most up-to date roster additions, please follow the AppleSox on Twitter and Instagram and like them on Facebook.

The 20th season in Wenatchee AppleSox history begins on June 3. With promotions like cap night, two bobblehead giveaways and fireworks night, this promises to be a season you won’t want to miss. Guarantee that you have seats for all the exciting games by purchasing season tickets. They run as low as $115 and can be purchased at the team’s office at 610 N Mission St #204 in Wenatchee. The full schedule can be viewed below.

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VonDracek Excited to Join AppleSox

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Turnover in summer-league college baseball is nothing new.

Each season, the large majority of players from the previous season do not return to their club from the previous summer. Teams are left to pick up the pieces and assemble a brand-new team seemingly each year.

That hunt for new talent is crucial.

New pitching coach Tyler VonDracek may be the biggest addition that the AppleSox make in terms of compiling their coaching staff and roster for the 2019 season.

The AppleSox have a history of producing above-average pitchers. Of the 11 players in team history to appear in a major-league game, eight of them have been pitchers.

VonDracek joins his fellow coaches from Yakima Valley College, head coach Kyle Krustangel and assistant coach Cash Ulrich, who have been with the AppleSox since 2017. It’s a tight-knit trio that is excited to continue coaching together in the summer.

“I know Cash and Kyle so well,” VonDracek said. “We work on the baseball scheme of things so well. We’re true friends with being in each other’s weddings and all.”

The AppleSox, winners of six league championships, five of which have come in the 15-year lifespan of the West Coast League, have been absent of the postseason since 2014. Making it back this year is something Krustangel has been talking about since last season ended.

Krustangel is hoping to mimic the success that his coaching staff has had a Yakima Valley, where the Yaks have appeared in the NWAC Championship three times and won it once, in 2016.

“I’m fired up about continuing to coach alongside Tyler essentially year-round now between the Yaks and the Sox,” Krustangel said. “I think that the three of us coach similarly and are all on the same page. We’re eager to get the Sox back into the playoffs.”

VonDracek brings prior West Coast League coaching experience to the table this summer. Last year, he was an assistant pitching coach for the Cowlitz Black Bears, but essentially served as the head pitching coach since regular pitching coach Jason Mackey missed time due to health complications.

(left-to-right) VonDracek, Krustangel and Ulrich won the NWAC Championship as coaches in 2016.

(left-to-right) VonDracek, Krustangel and Ulrich won the NWAC Championship as coaches in 2016.

Though he’d only expected a light burden of responsibilities, VonDracek was pushed into a bigger role with more baggage. It served him well in that he was also moving from assistant pitching coach to head pitching coach in the spring with Yakima Valley. This summer will be the third different team in a year that VonDracek has been the pitching coach for.

The man who Ulrich and Krustangel affectionately call “Vondy” is open to any ways that can improve his pitchers. Instead of sticking to one ineffable approach, VonDracek determines how to handle a pitcher based on their own capabilities and personality.

“I’d say I’m a good combination of ‘new school’ and ‘old school,’” VonDracek said. “I can agree with a lot of things and will definitely be seen doing some new age things, but also, I wanna see my guys pitching with some fire and emotion, kinda Nolan Ryan-esque.”

During AppleSox home games, fans will often notice Sox catchers looking to their left. They will be looking to VonDracek in the dugout to get the signs for which pitch to signal to the pitcher. Most catchers at the college level do not call their own game in the way that most major-leaguers do (except for AppleSox catcher Cory Meyer, who will return to the Sox this summer).

In-between flashing signals from the dugout, VonDracek hopes to see noted growth from his players as athletes and as people. Like Krustangel and Ulrich, he knows that the summer experience is about more than just improving their players on the field. It’s an approach that’s served them well at Yakima Valley and that has perfectly played in line with the AppleSox legacy of fielding both sensational ballplayers and human beings at the same time since 2000.

“Even though they come from different colleges,” VonDracek said, “the summer will be something that they can draw on when they go back to their team. They can improve not only as baseball players, but also as men and as a students.”

AppleSox Announce First Members of 2019 Roster

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Friday afternoon, head coach Kyle Krustangel announced the first six players of the AppleSox 2019 roster. Johnny Sage, Cole McKenzie, Logan Chase, Alec Gomez, Kody Darcy and Cory Meyer will all wear the red, white and blue again this summer for the Sox.

All six players appeared in at least one game with the AppleSox last season. McKenzie will be spending his third consecutive summer in Wenatchee after also playing here in 2017.

All class designations are their current classes in this semester.

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Johnny Sage (Junior, Purdue)

Junior, 2019: Batting .213 with 3 doubles and 1 triple for Purdue as of April 3… Appeared in 25 games, 20 as a starter…

Last summer: Batted .326 with 22 runs and 19 RBI in 38 games… Led the team and tied for the WCL lead with 28 walks… Went on a nine-game hitting streak July 20-28… Reached base safely in all but three games that he played in…

Sophomore, 2018: Batted .386 with 24 doubles, 5 home runs, 70 RBI, 46 walks and 56 runs scored in 49 games for Yakima Valley… NJCAA first-team All-American and NWAC Player of the Year…

Freshman, 2017: Appeared in 13 games, four as a starter for Washington State… Went 2-for-18 (.111) with three runs scored, one RBI and three walks.

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Cole McKenzie (Junior, Purdue)

Junior, 2019: Batting .260 with 14 runs, 9 BB and 7 RBI as of April 3… Appeared in 27 games, all as a starter.

Last summer: Appeared in two non-league games, June 5 and 6… Collected four hits in nine at-bats, walked once, scored two runs and stole two bases…

Sophomore, 2018: Batted .358 with 25 extra-base hits, 37 walks, 38 RBI and 72 runs scored in 48 games… NJCAA third-team All-American.

Summer, 2017: Batted .193 in 30 games… Posted four multi-hit games… Drove in a season-high four runs in a two-double performance on July 26 against Port Angeles.

Freshman, 2017: Batted .396 with 13 extra-base hits, 33 walks, 28 RBI and 41 runs scored in 38 games… NJCAA first-team All-American and Region MVP as a freshman.

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Logan Chase (Sophomore,Yakima Valley)

Sophomore, 2019: Holds an 0-2 record with a 9.00 ERA in seven innings spanning three appearances, all starts, through April 3…

Last summer: Went 0-0 with a 6.35 ERA in 5.2 innings spanning four appearances, all in relief… Tossed a scoreless innings against Yakima Valley in his final outing of the season on July 23.

Freshman, 2018: Went 4-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 39.1 innings spanning 20 appearances, all in relief… Saved a team-high five games and struck out 36 batters.

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Alec Gomez (Sophomore, Yakima Valley)

Sophomore, 2019: Holds a 4-0 record with a team-high 1.35 ERA in 40 innings spanning six appearances (four starts) through April 3… Currently leads the NWAC with 49 strikeouts.

Last summer: Went 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 27 innings spanning seven appearances (four starts)… Picked up the win in each of his final three appearances… Struck out a season-high seven batters in a season-high seven innings in an Aug. 4 win over Victoria.

Freshman, 2018: Went 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 44.1 innings spanning 12 appearances (three starts)… Struck out 46 batters and tossed a complete game shutout against Edmonds on May 25.

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Kody Darcy (Freshman, Xavier)

Freshman, 2019: Batting .171 with 2 HR, 2 RBI in 11 games through April 3… Hit his first two collegiate home runs on March 23 against Evansville.

Last summer: Batted .232 with three extra-base hits and 9 RBI in 27 games… Posted four multi-hit games… Drafted by the New York Mets (39th round) in the 2018 MLB First Year Player Draft, but did not sign and elected to attend school.

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Cory Meyer (Senior, Boise State)

Senior, 2019: Sat out per NCAA student-athlete transfer policy.

Last summer: Batted .296 with three home runs and 21 RBI in 29 games… One of four players to represent the Sox in the WCL All-Star Game in Port Angeles in which he went 1-2 with a single and a walk…Made AppleSox history on June 27 when he two grand slams and drove in eight runs in a 13-2 victory over the Bend Elks. Before that night, no AppleSox player had ever matched Meyer’s effort in a league game.

Junior, 2018: Made one appearance off the bench for Washington State.

Sophomore, 2017: Batted .290 in 45 games, including 35 starts...Added five doubles, a homer and 20 RBI with .409 on-base percentage.

Freshman, 2016: Registered team-best .333 batting average with seven doubles, two home runs, 19 RBI and 20 runs...Named to ABCA/Rawlings Pacific Division All-America Third Team.

The AppleSox will announce new players to the roster each week on social media for the next two months.

Each Friday afternoon, all of the players added from the previous seven days will be recapped on the AppleSox website. For the most up-to date roster additions, please follow the AppleSox on Twitter and Instagram and like them on Facebook.

AppleSox Accepting Applicants for Two Positions

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With the 20th season in team history just 60 days away, the AppleSox are looking to add two more important members to their team. However, these two members won’t be taking grounders or collecting base hits for the club.

The AppleSox are now accepting applications for an official scorer and marketing intern for the 2019 season.

The official scorer can be any age, but must be able to score a baseball game and be comfortable scoring on a computer. This person will score the game on Pointstreak, the official statistic site of the West Coast League. He/she must be able to make quick decisions in the event of tough plays and potentially stay late to fix any issues that may arise over the course of scoring a game. The official scorer must be able to work all 32 AppleSox home games plus any postseason games and arrive at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium at least one hour prior to the start of each home game.

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The marketing intern will be expected to perform the following…

• Analyze effectiveness of on field promotions and develop ideas about new promotions.

• Analyze effectiveness of ads and develop ideas for new campaigns. • Develop and execute a marketing and sales plan for our Cashmere Night Event. Monitor on the night of the event and report results.

• Propose new promotions and help with the execution if approved. • Answer phone inquiries, direct calls, and provide basic company information; help with mail deliveries, receive and ship packages.

• Research on teams in our league and our community.

• Attend team functions and networking events

• Help update and post supervised social media and website content; respond to web correspondence, social media posts, and emails.

• Reports to Assistant General Manager. Intern Requirements and Qualifications

• High school degree or equivalent; must be enrolled in an accredited university/college program that provides credit hours for internships.

• Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).

• Must be 18 years of age.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

• Self-directed and able to work without much supervision.

• Energetic and eager to tackle new projects and ideas.

While the internship is unpaid, interns will have the opportunity to work on the AppleSox Guest Services crew during home games which pays $12.00 an hour.

For more information on either position or to apply, please email info@applesox.com, call 509-665-6900 or visit the team office at 610 N Mission St. #204 in Wenatchee.

The 20th season in Wenatchee AppleSox history begins on June 3. With promotions like cap night, two bobblehead giveaways and fireworks night, this promises to be a season you won’t want to miss. Guarantee that you have seats for all the exciting games by purchasing season tickets. They run as low as $115 and can be purchased at the team’s office at 610 N Mission St #204 in Wenatchee.

New Volunteer Assistant Coach Prater Excited to Coach for Sox

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Yesterday, former AppleSox utilityman and new volunteer assistant coach Jacob Prater spoke with Don West on the Don West Show on News Radio 560 KPQ.

Head coach Kyle Krustangel added Prater to the AppleSox staff last month. Once he graduates from Seattle U in May, Prater will work with AppleSox hitters and aid assistant coach Cash Ulrich in working with Sox infielders. Krustangel is excited to add a coach fresh off his playing days to the team’s staff.

“His presence and competitiveness will be felt amongst the players,” Krustangel said. “He brings a winning mentality and a grinder approach.”

Prater started off by telling West about his senior season at Seattle U as well as what it’s like to play in the West Coast League.

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“The West Coast League,” Prater said, “is basically like if you took all of the players in all the different divisions in the United States and put them into a bin and took a few out and put them on different teams to play each other. It’s a really unique experience that you get to meet a bunch of players from all across the nation, play a bunch of different guys, travel to a bunch of places on the West Coast.”

Prater also commented on his excitement about returning to Wenatchee this summer. After graduating from Wenatchee High School, Prater played for the AppleSox in 2015, 2016 and 2018. He hit a combined .289 in his AppleSox tenure, including a team-high .359 in 2017. Last year, Prater won the inaugural Tommy Watanabe Award, given to the player who best exemplifies our late former player’s passion for the game of baseball.

“The AppleSox have been a great place for me to come back to in the summer to be home and develop my skills as a baseball player and I’ve developed a really close relationship with Coach Krustangel,” Prater said. “Being that the AppleSox have provided so much for me in the past four years, it was a no-brainer for me to come back and have an impact on the program in a different way.”

With his playing career coming to an end, Prater wanted to continue his involvement in the game via coaching. He was grateful for the opportunity to coach with Krustangel.

“It’s hard thinking of myself not having some kind of connection with baseball,” Prater said. “The game of baseball has never owed me anything, so it’s nice for me to give back to the game in this way.”

Listen to the full interview between Prater and West below.

The 20th season in Wenatchee AppleSox history begins on June 3. With promotions like cap night, two bobblehead giveaways and fireworks night, this promises to be a season you won’t want to miss. Guarantee that you have seats for all the exciting games by purchasing season tickets. They run as low as $115 and can be purchased at the team’s office at 610 N Mission St #204 in Wenatchee.

Become a 2019 AppleSox Host Family

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Summer college baseball is a blast for fans and players alike, but not all of the players are from this area and can simply go home after a game at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

The AppleSox are looking for host families for the 2019 season from early June through mid-August.

The players are terrific role models for kids in youth baseball programs. They can also be helpful around the house for senior citizens. We consider the AppleSox players to be a real asset for our community during the summer

“Hosting an AppleSox player for the summer is a one-of-a-kind experience,” AppleSox general manager Ken Osborne said. “We play almost every day, and half the games are on the road, so the season keeps them really busy. They also help instruct our youth clinics, make community appearances, and are at the gym every day. Our host families don’t have to worry about always keeping them entertained.”

Host Family Benefits Include:

  • Season tickets. You can cheer on your player at every game!

  • Invitation to the annual host family appreciation dinner.

  • Free registration for host family children to the AppleSox youth instructional clinics.

  • Recognized on field at the final regular season home game.

  • Gain lifelong relationships!

If you live in the Wenatchee/East Wenatchee area, have a spare room, and would be interested in housing a player, please call our team office at (509) 665-6900 or email info@applesox.com.

Gonzales To Become First Sox Pitcher to Start MLB Opening Day

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History will be made in the wee hours of March 20, 2019.

When the 2019 MLB season begins with the Seattle Mariners facing the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo, Japan, at 2:35 a.m. PST, Marco Gonzales will get the nod as the Mariners starter, thus becoming the first former AppleSox pitcher to start Opening Day.

Gonzales, who played for the AppleSox in 2010, went 13-9 with a 4.00 ERA last season. In addition to setting career-highs in wins and ERA, Gonzales' 1.22 WHIP was also a single-season best and he tossed his first career complete game on June 29.

With only 11 players returning from last season’s Opening Day roster, the Mariners are looking for leaders this season. Gonzales, 27, will be thrust into a leadership role despite making over 11 major-league appearances for the first time last year.

Regardless, he’s embracing the opportunity and looking to build off a stellar 2018.

“I always enjoy taking on a leadership role and I’ve got a great chance to do so this year,” Gonzales said at the Mariners Caravan stop in Wenatchee in January.

Gonzales was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals 18th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft and made his major-league debut the next season. After a torn UCL in his left elbow wiped out his 2016 season, Gonzales was traded to the Mariners in 2017 and has made his mark there ever since.

This past offseason, Gonzales agreed to a two-year, $1.9-million contract to buy out his two final years of team control in which he could have made the major-league minimum. Gonzales does not become a free agent until 2024.

“Marco is excited,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said to Mariners.com. “He’s earned it. There’s nothing better than getting awarded for something you’ve actually earned. And he has.”

In his sole season with the AppleSox, Gonzales was a part of the fourth West Coast League Championship squad in team history. Gonzales most notably went 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA and a league-high 66 strikeouts but also hit .256 in 82 at-bats and hit a home run in Game 2 of the East Division Series against Kelowna.

After the AppleSox defeated the Bend Elks in three games to claim the West Coast League Championship, Gonzales went to Gonzaga where he continued his successful work in the state of Washington. He had a 2.30 ERA over three seasons and racked up West Coast Conference hardware, winning Player of the Year twice, Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year. He was also an All-American and the recipient of the John Olerud Award.

“We’re thrilled to continue to watch Marco excel at the Major-League level,” AppleSox general manager Ken Osborne said. “Marco was a first-class ballplayer and person in his time with the AppleSox and he’s continued to be as his notoriety has grown. He embodies the type of young men that we want to play for us.”

Along with Gonzales, 10 other former AppleSox players have moved on from Wenatchee to MLB. Others of note include Jason Hammel, who won the World Series with the Chicago Cubs in 2016. The number of AppleSox players in the pros will only grow this season with others like Keston Hiura, the top-ranked prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, on the way.

AppleSox Add Four Non-League Opponents To Schedule

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The Wenatchee AppleSox have finalized their complete schedule for the 2019 season. While West Coast League games were already determined in November, management still wanted to add more home games to the schedule.

The 2019 AppleSox schedule features 32 home games and 27 road games.

The 20th season in AppleSox history will now begin a day earlier, thanks to a non-league game with the Cascade Collegiate League Showcase. This team will comprise of players from the CCL, a summer college baseball league.

“I’m ecstatic for the 2019 season to begin,” AppleSox owner Jose Oglesby said. “Obviously, it is still a few months away, but now, at least it comes one day sooner!”

On June 22 and 23, the AppleSox will face the Highline Bears for the third straight season. This is the first time that they will play multiple non-league games against Highline and the first time that the Sox will play multiple non-league games against the same opponent since 2017.

The third non-WCL opponent is a very special one as the AppleSox will welcome the United States Military All-Stars team to Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium. on July 15. The AppleSox will wear their special stars-and-stripes caps for this game, one of only four games in which the Sox will don those hats this season.

Finally, the non-league schedule concludes on July 31 with a home date against the River City Athletics. This will be the third straight season in which the AppleSox and Athletics meet on the ballfield.

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Last season, the AppleSox played four non-league games. After dropping the first one, the Sox took each of the final three by a combined score of 22-5.

“We always enjoy welcoming non-league teams to Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium,” AppleSox general manager Ken Osborne said. “There’s lots of talent across the West Coast, some of it just isn’t in the West Coast League. We look forward to every game, regardless of the opponent.”

All home games will start at 6:35 p.m., except for Sundays and July 3. Home games on Sundays will start an hour earlier at 5:35 and first pitch for the July 3 fireworks night will be at 7:05.

For the first time in team history, the AppleSox will have a bobblehead giveaway night. However, there won’t be just one given away, but two this season. First, on July 9, the first 400 fans in attendance will receive a bobblehead of AppleSox team mascot Coyote, presented by Denny’s. The AppleSox will also be giving away a bobblehead of former pitcher and current Seattle Mariner Marco Gonzales. Date and sponsor of the Gonzales bobblehead to be determined.

Another new promotion for the 2019 season will be ‘$2 Off Tuesdays.’ For all five of the AppleSox Tuesday home games (June 4, 11; July 2, 9; Aug. 6), fans will be able to purchase general admission tickets for $5, instead of $7, and premium seats for $10, instead of $12. The savings don’t stop there; select concession items will also be decreased in price by $2.

Other promotions and the dates of their giveaway for the 2019 season will be announced at a later date. The AppleSox are also planning a cap night and rally towel night among other giveaways.

To ensure your seats for fireworks night, both bobblehead nights and all the other exciting games coming up this summer, purchase season tickets today by visiting the AppleSox team office on 610 N Mission St #204. Season tickets run as low as $115.

AppleSox Unveil New On-Field Gear

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Thursday morning on “Wake Up Wenatchee Valley” on NCW Life, the Wenatchee AppleSox unveiled new on-field gear for the 2019 season. The Sox will have new home jerseys for their 20th season as well as stars-and-stripes hats.

The jerseys were created by BSN Sports and the hats by New Era. AppleSox assistant general manager Allie Schank was actively involved in the design process for both products.

For the jerseys, Schank wanted to intertwine classic parts of previous AppleSox uniforms with slight modifications to create a simple, clean look.

“We wanted to connect popular elements of our older jerseys while also implementing new features,” Schank said. “I’d seen piping on previous home jerseys, but never red. I really liked the way it popped and I think it will make our players stand out even more.”

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Another element that was brought back with the new home jerseys was the script AppleSox logo, first seen on the team’s original blue and red jerseys that were the only jerseys worn by the AppleSox until a white jersey was added in 2007.

The script logo has only been used on a white AppleSox home jersey twice before, 2009 and 2014, the teams’ 10th and 15th anniversary seasons, respectively. Similar to those two previous anniversary jerseys, the AppleSox season anniversary patch is on the left sleeve.

The 20th-season jerseys will serve as the team’s primary home jerseys for the 2019 season, replacing the previous whites with the club’s “diamond” logo on the left patch. Those jerseys can be purchased by visiting the team’s office on 610 N Mission St in Wenatchee. The 20th-season jerseys will be auctioned off following the 2019 season.

The stars-and-stripes hats will similarly have the script “Sox” logo like the all-blue hats worn last season and the previously released all-red hats revealed earlier this offseason. With one new hat already added to the on-field attire repertoire, Schank wanted another special one to commemorate one of the AppleSox series of the season: the Fourth of July series.

“Each year, our games surrounding the Fourth of July are packed with fans,” Schank said. “Fireworks night is everyone’s favorite promotion of the season and baseball and America go hand-in-hand.”

The hats, similar to the new home jerseys, are primarily white, but incorporate the team’s other two primary colors of red and blue plenty to create a patriotic homage.

Schank, a Georgia native, drew inspiration for the hat design from one of her hometown teams.

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“As an Atlanta Braves fan, I’ve seen them play one of their division rivals, the Washington Nationals, a lot,” Schank said. “Plenty of major league teams wear stars-and-stripes caps, but I seemed to constantly see those Nationals jerseys with the stars and stripes on their logo. The stars really stood out to me, so we applied them to our specials hats for this season.”

The stars-and-stripes caps will be worn each night of the AppleSox’ July 2-4 series against the Kelowna Falcons. The teams’ 2019 Fireworks Night, presented by Numerica Credit Union, is scheduled for July 3.

The AppleSox red and blue on-field hats, in addition to other fitted and adjustable styles by New Era, are on sale at the team’s office on 610 N Mission St in Wenatchee. The stars-and-stripes hats will go on sale starting July 1.

Fans will have the opportunity to see the new jerseys and hats for themselves on March 4 at the AppleSox Hot Stove Party at Abby’s Legendary Pizza from 5:30-7 p.m. Secure your spot today by calling 509-665-6900.

The 20th season in Wenatchee AppleSox history begins on June 4. Season tickets run as low as $115 and can be purchased today at the team’s aforementioned office location.

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AppleSox Announce Coaching Staff Additions

(L to R) Tyler Von Dracek, Kyle Krustangel and Cash Ulrich coached yvc to the 2016 NWAC Championship in 2016 and now look to bring home hardware as AppleSox coaches. Von Dracek will join the Applesox coaching staff in 2019.

(L to R) Tyler Von Dracek, Kyle Krustangel and Cash Ulrich coached yvc to the 2016 NWAC Championship in 2016 and now look to bring home hardware as AppleSox coaches. Von Dracek will join the Applesox coaching staff in 2019.

Yakima Valley Community College pitching coach Tyler VonDracek has been hired to take the same role with the Wenatchee AppleSox, head coach Kyle Krustangel announced on Tuesday.

VonDracek previously coached in the West Coast League with the Cowlitz Black Bears last summer.

Additionally, Krustangel announced that former AppleSox player Jacob Prater will return to the team in 2019 as a volunteer assistant coach. Prater will assist both offensive and defensive strategy, Krustangel said.

VonDracek, like the AppleSox other assistant coach, Cash Ulrich, has spent the last four seasons on Krustangel’s Yakima Valley coaching staff. The trio hopes to replicate some of the recent success that they’ve had with the Yaks over the last few years with the AppleSox in 2019 and beyond.

“I have worked with Tyler for four years and he is a very knowledgeable, hard-working coach,” Krustangel said. “He is as loyal as they come and is a huge addition to the AppleSox. I expect him to have an immediate impact with our pitchers.”

After coaching alongside Krustangel and Ulrich for the duration of the Yaks’ 2019 season, VonDracek will join his fellow coaches in Wenatchee in late-May.

Since joining Yakima Valley College in 2016, VonDracek has been an instrumental part of the teams’ recent success. In his three years as an assistant pitching coach there, the team has posted a 3.09 ERA and won the NWAC in his first season. In 2019, he will move up to be the primary pitching coach.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn this summer with an organization that has a fantastic reputation,” VonDracek said. “I can’t wait to go to work with a new crop of ballplayers from all around the country. Establishing new relationships with players and coaches within the team really excites me for the summer.”

VonDracek played at Yakima Valley College for two seasons (2011-13) and was a two-year starter. He went on to play at Whitworth University for his remaining two years. In his senior year, Whitworth won the NWC tournament and went to the NCAA Regional in Texas for only the second time in school history. VonDracek graduated from Whitworth with a degree in Kinesiology.

In the summer of 2015, VonDracek was the pitching coach of the Spokane Bandits AAA Senior American Legion team that was head coached by Krustangel. The team was 27 games over .500 and finished 3rd in the Washington State Tournament.

VonDracek played high school baseball for RA Long High School and was a two-time letter winner and All-GSHL in Longview, WA.

After spending three seasons with the AppleSox as a player, Jacob Prater will return as a coach in 2019.

After spending three seasons with the AppleSox as a player, Jacob Prater will return as a coach in 2019.

Prater has just begun his senior season at Seattle University and is pursuing a coaching career following his collegiate tenure. Through seven games, Prater is hitting .357 and is tied for second on the team with two stolen bases. He’s batted second and played second in all seven of the Redhawks games. Prater has reached base safely in all but one game and five consecutive.

The Wenatchee High School graduate played for the AppleSox in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and played every position except for center field, pitcher and catcher in that time. The utilityman hit a combined .289 in his AppleSox tenure, including a team-high .359 in 2017. Last year, Prater won the inaugural Tommy Watanabe Award, given to the player who best exemplifies our late former player’s passion for the game of baseball.

Fans will get an opportunity to meet VonDracek at next Monday’s AppleSox Hot Stove Party from 5:30-7 p.m. at Abby’s Legendary Pizza. RSVP today by calling 509-665-6900 or emailing info@applesox.com.

2019 Hot Stove Party Rescheduled for March 4

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The 20th season in Wenatchee AppleSox history is less than four months away and excitement is building for the big campaign.

Brush off the snow on your car and head over to the AppleSox Hot Stove Party to talk some baseball on March 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Abby's Pizza in Wenatchee. 

Team owner Jose Oglesby, head coach Kyle Krustangel and other members of the AppleSox front office will be on hand to chat with fans. The AppleSox will also be giving away prizes to fans in attendance.

The AppleSox Hot Stove Party is free to season ticket holders and sponsors. All other fans can attend for $15 per person, including a pizza and salad buffet. Beer and wine is available.

Please call 509-665-6900 or email info@applesox.com to RSVP.

AppleSox Hot Stove Party POSTPONED

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Due to the accumulation of snow in the Wenatchee Valley and surrounding areas, the AppleSox Hot Stove Party, originally scheduled for Feb. 10 at Abby’s West, has been POSTPONED.

Stay tuned as any more information will be posted on the AppleSox website.

Continue to follow the AppleSox on social media by “liking” them on Facebook and following them on Instagram and Twitter.

Purchase a 2019 MVP Card Today!

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With the football season ending this coming weekend, baseball is now visible on the horizon.

The AppleSox' 2019 season-opener against the Victoria HarbourCats at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium is nearly four months away. While the team is still being assembled, the anticipation of Opening Day only grows with each sunrise.

However, seats continue to quickly fill up for the big 20th-season in team history. Lock in yours today by purchasing an AppleSox MVP Card, sponsored by PAK-it-RITE

MVP Cards give you four tickets to any 2019 AppleSox game for just $20 (a savings of $8). As an extra perk, the MVP Cards include a $5 discount on the back for your next shipment at PAK-it-RITE.

AppleSox MVP Cards are also a very popular way for youth groups, service clubs and non-profits to raise money. Your group gets to keep half of the retail sale price for every MVP Card sold. The best part is that the AppleSox will buy back any MVP cards that you don’t sell!

Purchase yours today at PAK-it-RITE today on 36 N. Chelan Ave. in Wenatchee. They are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Season tickets are flying off the shelves but still on sale as well. Secure seats to Opening Night, Fireworks Night and other great promotional nights with seats to all 31 home games. Season-ticket plans run as low as $115 and can be purchased at the AppleSox team office on 610 N. Mission St. #204 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

While you're purchasing tickets, be sure to suit yourself up in the hottest AppleSox gear. Whether it's a cap or socks, we've got the Sox swag for you! We've partnered with prominent brands like New Era and Strideline and we know that we've got the perfect product to help you rep the Sox. 

If you have any questions, email info@applesox.com or call 509-665-6900.

APPLESOX 2019 WEST COAST LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Mariners Caravan Returning to Wenatchee on Jan. 15

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A fan-favorite event is once again returning to Wenatchee.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Seattle Mariners will be stopping in Wenatchee for one of the nine stops on their “Mariners Caravan.” Fans are encouraged to come down to Pybus Public Market for the free event from 4:00-5:15 p.m.

Mariners pitchers Shawn Armstrong and Marco Gonzales (a 2010 AppleSox alum), broadcaster Dave Simms and the Mariner Moose will all be on hand to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.

Gonzales is fresh off a breakout season with the Mariners in which he set career-highs in wins, ERA, innings-pitched and strikeouts as well as many other categories. After having his first healthy season since debuting in 2014, Gonzales will look to buoy that success into becoming a top-of-the-rotation starter in 2019.

He was a part of the AppleSox 2010 West Coast League Championship team and set the single-season record for strikeouts that year with 26 punchouts. This will be the second straight year in which Gonzales will help represent the Mariners for their Caravan stop in Wenatchee.

Armstrong only appeared in 14 games with the Mariners this season and didn’t make his season debut until late August. Nonetheless, he made his presence felt, posting a 1.23 ERA. Armstrong did not allow any runs in his first 10 appearances (a span of 11.1 innings-pitched) and struck out at least one batter in all but two of his 14 appearances.

Armstrong figures to have an opportunity to pitch in prominent, high-leverage situations in 2019 thanks to several trades of workhorse relievers from the 2018 season.

The AppleSox will be sponsoring the event and team mascot Coyote will be on hand to take part in the festivities and greet fans.

For more information on the Mariners Caravan, visit mlb.com/mariners/community/mariners-caravan

APPLESOX UNVEIL 20TH SEASON LOGO

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The Wenatchee AppleSox unveiled a new logo to mark their 20th season on Thursday night at a sponsor appreciation event at Highlander Golf Course in East Wenatchee.

“Next summer will be a fantastic season in Wenatchee yet again,” team owner Jose Oglesby said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the rich tradition of baseball in the Valley and look forward to continuing it.”

“I hope in another 20 years we will have another commemorative logo to unveil,” Oglesby said.

The logo was designed by Tom Roche with feedback from the AppleSox front office. This is the third commemorative logo in team history along with 10th and 15th anniversary logos.

Merchandise with the teams’ new 20th anniversary logo will soon be on sale ahead of the landmark season.

“We already have a variety of new items on sale this offseason, from knit hats to holiday ornaments,” AppleSox assistant general manager Allie Schank said. “We’re excited to get the 20th anniversary gear in ahead of another memorable summer.”

It’s not too early to purchase season tickets either. Opening Day is 175 days away but season tickets can be yours today. Visit the team office at 610 N. Mission St. #204 or call 509-665-6900 today to purchase merchandise or season tickets today.

APPLESOX 2019 WCL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

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2019 WEST COAST LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Thursday, the West Coast League announced its 2019 schedule for league play ahead of its 15th season.

While the AppleSox’ 2019 league schedule has been released, the full team schedule has not been announced yet. There are open dates on the schedule that the team hopes to fill with non-league opponents.

“We are still looking to add some games against non-league opponents,” AppleSox general manager Ken Osborne said. “As we do every year, we look forward to adding other opponents to our schedule to give our fans as many home games as possible and our players more time on the field.”

The 20th season in AppleSox history begins on June 4 with a three-game series against the Victoria HarbourCats. This will be the third straight season where the AppleSox either begin the season and/or their home schedule with a series against the HarbourCats.

After a three-game series in Yakima immediately following the season-opening set, the Sox return to Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium for a six-game homestand beginning on June 6. The homestand kicks off with three games against the Port Angeles and then, following an off-day, three against the Walla Walla Sweets.

Once the AppleSox play three in Port Angeles on June 18-20, there are four open dates on the schedule before the team’s second-longest road trip of the season. June 25-30 has the Sox first crossing the border and traveling to Victoria for three games before returning to the States and playing the Cowlitz Black Bears for three more.

For the second straight year, the AppleSox will be home on the Fourth of July as they host the Kelowna Falcons from July 2-4.

Afterwards, the Sox battle the Bend Elks in a home-and-home series. The battle begins with three games in Bend from July 5-7 and then three more in Wenatchee from July 9-11.

The final three against the Elks in Wenatchee represent the beginning of a six-game homestand, which concludes with three against the Bellingham Bells from July 12-15.

Following an off-day on July 15, the AppleSox embark on their longest road trip of the season. The nine-games-in-11-days grind begins on July 16 with three games in Kelowna and then three more at Bellingham prior to the two-day All-Star Break on July 22 and 23. The Sox play three games in Walla Walla immediately after the Break to conclude the arduous road trip.

The first home games in the post-All-Star Break schedule are July 27-29 against the Portland Pickles. The Sox have three consecutive open dates after that series, followed by back-to-back home league series against the Yakima Valley Pippins (Aug. 2-4) and the newest members of the WCL, the Ridgefield Raptors (Aug. 6-8), to wrap up the home schedule.

The regular season concludes on the road against the three-time defending champion Corvallis Knights from Aug. 9-11. The WCL playoffs begin on Aug. 13 and the latest possible date for a Championship Series game to be played is Aug. 20.

Follow the AppleSox on Twitter and like them on Facebook for the latest information regarding the release of the full schedule.

APPLESOX STAY BUSY IN OFFSEASON

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With the 2018 season in the rear view window, preparations have already begun for the 2019 season.

If you thought that the AppleSox front office spent mid-August until May on vacation, then you were gravely mistaken.

While no baseball games are played from the fall until next summer, that doesn’t mean that the AppleSox aren’t still hard at work.

With the AppleSox’ season finished and the Seattle Mariners wrapping up their season soon, baseball may not currently be on everyone’s mind in Wenatchee. However, it is never too early to begin thinking about next season.

“The work in the offseason is really what pays the bills,” General Manager Ken Osborne said. “The sponsorship sales, the season ticket sales, all of those things make sure that we can put a team on the field in the summertime.”

While everyone at the teams’ office on 610 North Mission Street Suite 204 is counting down the days until the 2019 season begins, we’re sure that many fans are doing the same. With many exciting nights planned for next summer, ensure that you won’t miss a moment by purchasing season tickets today.

If you are a business looking to expand your advertising reach, then look no further. The AppleSox have a strong history of successful partnerships with a variety of businesses and are always looking to add more to the team. Our sponsors are truly the foundation of our organization.

Whether it’s a sponsored night at the ballpark, an outfield billboard, a radio advertisement or something else, the AppleSox have the advertising abilities to properly showcase your business’s selling points. Reach out today to achieve the perfect advertising plan for you!

To learn more about season tickets or how to become a sponsor, contact us now! Call 509-665-6900 or email info@applesox.com.

KRUSTANGEL ALREADY LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019

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Wenatchee AppleSox head coach Kyle Krustangel recently got some well-deserved time off.

After working with little time off for the better part of the last nine months, Krustangel recently got time to do something that most people take for granted during the summer: going on a vacation.

"I took my wife to Disneyland!" Krustangel said. "I wish the trip had been after a WCL dogpile but it was nice to get away with Katie and have some fun! We also went to Dodgers and Angels games. It just wouldn’t be right if baseball wasn’t included somehow."

Krustangel understandably enjoyed the downtime, no matter how short it was.

While also coaching at Yakima Valley College, Krustangel's coaching season doesn't begin in February when the first pitch of the season is thrown. Instead, he's hitting the fields in mid-September for early-season practices. 

While this may seem early to most, it's crucial that Krustangel gets started as early as possible to lay down the fundamentals that could decide a game in May. 

"The previous nine months were an absolute grind," Krustangel said, "so it is needed to turn the phone off and spend some quality time with family and friends. Being a college baseball coach and summer coach is extremely demanding with the amount of time spent recruiting and all the practices and games."

Whether it was working at Yakima Valley or with the AppleSox, Krustangel had his hands full.

After concluding the long stretch of work by just missing out on a West Coast League playoff berth for the second consecutive year, Krustangel has finally had some time to sit back and reflect on the past season.

Even after finishing short of the ultimate goal in 2018, Krustangel still took a lot away from this season’s team. Not every season ends with a championship, so it’s important to take a look at the positives and negatives from each campaign.

Krustangel knows this and will use what he saw this summer to help him prepare to assemble next season’s team.

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"We made every league game count, we were in the playoff hunt till the bitter end," Krustangel said. "Most people thought with 20 games to go we had no shot of even being in the playoff talks, but we rattled of series win after series win and put ourselves in a spot to clinch. 

"I loved the guys and they truly competed and played hard day in and day out and I was extremely proud of how they played and represented themselves and the Applesox community." 

Krustangel has kept the AppleSox in playoff contention until the final weekend of the season in each of the last two summers. This year, he nearly did qualify for his first postseason spot by going 12-5 to conclude the season.

Whether it has been disagreement or confusion over the league’s playoff qualifications, the AppleSox have been kicking but have been unable to knock down the door.

Another issue that plagued the AppleSox in 2018 was the eventual roster was not full of players that Krustangel initially expected to have.

"Fans don’t realize that we lost 15 full contract players in the month of May this year," Krustangel said. "Most were due to injuries in the month of May or 5 that were hurt in NCAA regionals. Also, a bunch of those were pitchers that were banged up or pulled from their contracts to protect them. We were scrambling to find quality replacements to still be able to compete."

Krustangel looks back at that as almost a fluky incident and believes his third season at the helm will be different.

"We had good talent last year," Krustangel said, "but I want championship type of talent which to me means proven D1 players as the nucleus of our team. I am targeting the going to be seniors and juniors from big D1 programs with a great amount of playing time under their belt."

The goal is to be an older team. The Corvallis Knights, the 2018 and back-to-back-to-back WCL Champions, had a league-high nine incoming seniors on their championship roster. 

While they were only three off that number, the AppleSox want to have even more experience on the 2019 squad. Krustangel is making that the focus of his recruiting. 

"I am so fired up with the guys we already have committed for next summer!" Krustangel said. "It is already a clear upgrade across the board in terms of quality arms and bats."

BAFUS NAMED WCL CO-PITCHER OF THE YEAR, THREE OTHERS MAKE ALL-WCL TEAMS

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Wenatchee AppleSox pitcher Curtis Bafus has been named the West Coast League’s Co-Pitcher of the Year for his work in the 2018 season.

The announcement came along with the WCL’s end-of-the-season All-WCL teams and awards announcements on Wednesday morning.

Along with sharing the award with Corvallis’ Landen Bourassa, Bafus also appeared with first baseman Connor McCord on the All-WCL First Team.

Additionally, outfielder Johnny Sage and pitcher Hunter Boyd appeared on the Second Team. Infielders Joey Magro, Jake Taylor, Mason Marenco, catcher Cory Meyer, utilitymen Jacob Prater, Michael Spellacy and Jeremy Yelland were all honorable mentions.

Bafus, an incoming senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, went 4-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 11 games, 10 starts, this past summer with the AppleSox.

This is the third time that Bafus was honored for his work in the 2018 season. Bafus won the WCL Pitcher of the Week award for July 2-8 and represented the AppleSox as the starting pitcher in the WCL All-Star Game.

He joins Owen Jones (2011) as AppleSox pitchers to earn WCL Pitcher of the Year.

The right-hander proved himself early on as the AppleSox’ ace. Seven of Bafus’s first eight starts of the year were quality starts. He led the league in strikeouts (72) and innings-pitched (65.2) and tied for the league-lead with 10 starts.

In his only relief appearance of the season, Bafus was still a workhorse, tossing the final six innings of an 8-7 victory over Port Angeles on June 24 to pick up his second win of the season at the time. Bafus retired 13 of the final 16 batters that he faced and seven of those 13 went down via strikeouts.

McCord, an incoming junior at Western Oregon, finished third in the WCL in both batting average (.346) and RBIs (37). He led the AppleSox in those categories as well as home runs (six), hits (56), extra-base hits (16) and runs (27).

McCord reached base via at least one walk or base-hit in 35 of his 42 games played. He reached base in 18 consecutive games from June 22 to July 19 for the longest streak on the team.

In addition to his work at the plate, McCord also was a force on the mound. The southpaw went 3-5 with a 4.00 ERA and only allowed four earned runs over his final 18 innings-pitched in the season.

Second-team members Sage and Boyd also proved their worth in 2018. Sage tied for the league-lead with 28 walks, finished third with a .442 on-base percentage and hit a seventh-best .326 at the plate. His 10 doubles were tied for second-most on the AppleSox.

The incoming junior to Purdue reached base in 17 of his final 18 games of the season. Sage never went more than a game without reaching base in 2018.

Boyd tied Bafus and several others for the most starts (10) in the WCL this summer. His five wins, 57 strikeouts and 63.2 innings-pitched finished tied for first, tied for fourth and third, respectively, in the WCL.  

The right hander and Moses Lake native also tossed one of two complete games in the West Coast League this season. He entered the ninth inning on July 18 in line for a shutout and, though he didn’t get it, still went to the distance. Boyd struck out eight in that game, one of four times this summer in which he matched his season-high in punchouts.

Voting for the All-WCL teams and award-winners was done by each team with one vote coming from each of the 11 franchises. The full list of West Coast League 2018 season award-winners and all-league teams can be found here: http://www.westcoastleague.com/news/?article_id=495

BOYD PLAYED 'FOR LOVE OF THE GAME' IN 2018

Photo via Columbia Basin Herald

Photo via Columbia Basin Herald

College-baseball careers do not typically come to an end in the summer.

Players competing in associations such as the West Coast League are meant to sharpen their skills with a summer-ball team, then return to their university a better player.

For Hunter Boyd, this summer was the end of his playing career.

Boyd, a right-handed pitcher from nearby Moses Lake, is finished playing baseball and will instead pursue a career in law enforcement.

“Just not a big school guy,” Boyd said. “The classes were a lot harder than they needed to be for my career choice for the police. I don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree, so I just wanted to call it done and start my career with the police.”

Boyd would have been entering his senior year at the College of Idaho, but has opted to go a different route. It’s not the atypical route for a college athlete, rather, it’s the route Boyd has chosen.

That he chose to spend one last summer competing speaks to both his love of the game and his love of the Wenatchee AppleSox.

“I love Wenatchee, I’ve got a lot of friends here, a lot of family around,” Boyd said. “It’s nice to play in front of friends and family for a coach who I’ve had for three years.”

After graduating from Moses Lake High School in 2015, Boyd went to Yakima Valley College and experienced early success with his collegiate career. The Yaks won the 2016 NWAC Championship and Boyd went 4-5 with a 3.05 ERA as a freshman.

The next season, Boyd and the Yaks finished runner-up at the NWAC Championship. Boyd punched out 77 batters, 31 more than the previous season. He also tossed seven quality starts, two of which were complete-game shutouts.

Boyd left Yakima Valley to play for the College of Idaho in 2018. Though he put up strong numbers, Boyd did not find the same passion for baseball that he had previously.

“A big part of it was my last school I came from,” Boyd said. “Just kind of lost the love of the game.”

Boyd’s enthusiasm for pitching had been high after spending the 2017 summer with the AppleSox. He said he enjoyed continuing to play for head coach Kyle Krustangel, who was also his head coach with the Yaks.

“He doesn’t play favorites,” Boyd said. “He’s not necessarily a friend, but a coach who is a good idol for me. I love playing for him. He plays the game the right way and he always wants to win, so that’s nice to play under.”

Between juggling classes and baseball, Boyd realized as a junior that baseball was not in the cards for his future. He knew that the spring semester in 2018 would be his last in the classroom.

However, it wouldn’t be the end on the mound.

Instead of getting out of baseball as fast as he could Boyd wanted to return to a place that he loved to pitch at. That made returning to the AppleSox an easy decision.

“As soon as the season ended last summer,” Boyd said, “I think the last day of the season, Krustangel said ‘we’d love to have you back here.’ I said I’d love to come back and here I am.”

Boyd threw five quality starts this summer, including one of two complete games thrown in the West Coast League. In that effort against Portland on July 18, Boyd took a shutout into the ninth inning and matched his season-high with eight strikeouts.

Now that his baseball career is over, Boyd is looking to the future. He’s focusing on his law enforcement career right now, but is open to potentially getting back into coaching.

Regardless of where Boyd ends up, this much is certain: he rediscovered his love of the game in 2018 and ended his career the way he wanted. How many players simply take the field for pure love of the game?

“I came here and have one more fun summer and end it on a good note,” Boyd said.

It’s safe to say that he did.