WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox will add two players – one from Northwest Nazarene University, and another from Central Washington University – Head Coach AJ Proszek announced Tuesday.
Andrew Helmstadter, a sophomore catcher from NNU, and Dustin Hamilton, a junior left-hander from CWU will bring some collegiate baseball experience to the diamond this season.
Helmstadter, a native of Palm Desert, Calif., will settle behind the dish for the AppleSox in 2015. He played his high school baseball at Desert Christian Academy.
“Coach [Jason] Krohn, who was with the AppleSox last year and is the recruiting coordinator at NNU, gave me a call,” Proszek said. “Andrew and Colton [Loomis] will be together a little bit and have a chance to get comfortable, and it makes that transition a little easier. Coach Krohn recommended him and knows what kind of kids we’re looking for, on and off the field, and Andrew will be a great addition.”
As of April 4, Helmstadter is batting .331 and has started 37 of NNU’s 38 games. He ranks third on the Crusaders with 48 hits, and leads the team with 15 doubles. He has driven in 28 runs, and belted two home runs. He also is tied for fewest strikeouts amongst NNU’s everyday starters, with 19.
Hamilton, a native of Castle Rock, Wash., just south of Cowlitz, is slated to be the lone southpaw in Wenatchee’s rotation. He was previously at Hawaii Pacific University.
“I talked to Dustin on the phone briefly,” Proszek said. “He’s really fired up. I know Coach [Rob] Hippi was really high on him. He’s a really likable kid with a great arm. I’m excited to have him with us.”
Hamilton, a First Team All-State selection and Trico League MVP at Castle Rock High School, owns a 4.30 ERA and a 1-1 record through eight appearances and five starts for the Wildcats. He has struck out 22 batters over his 23 innings of work this season.
Wenatchee opens its season with a two-game nonleague series against the San Francisco Seals, June 4-5, at Paul Thomas Sr. Field. Tickets can be purchased by calling 509-665-6900, or by visiting: http://www.applesox.com/tickets/