APPLESOX ANNOUNCE FIRST WAVE OF 2017 PLAYERS: INCLUDING THREE 2016 RETURNERS

 Three returners headline the first eight players named to the AppleSox 2017 roster.

Three returners headline the first eight players named to the AppleSox 2017 roster.

WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee AppleSox have begun to release the team’s 2017 roster, and three 2016 AppleSox players are set for a second season in Wenatchee, head coach Kyle Krustangel announced Monday.

The first eight AppleSox roster additions of the year include players from UC Irvine, Gonzaga, and Scottsdale Community College. The AppleSox will continue to release more of the 2017 roster each Monday, throughout April.

“We’re really excited to continue the long tradition of signing players from UC Irvine and Gonzaga, and it’s been important to have connections with such talented Division I schools and their coaching staffs,” said AppleSox head coach Kyle Krustangel. “It’s also important every year to have a few key returners. The three guys we are bringing back are not only tremendous baseball players, but impressive young men who have dealt with the WCL grind, lived in Wenatchee, and had a great experience with the organization and fans last season. They are also guys who can help be on and off-the-field leaders for our team this year.”

Included among the first eight AppleSox signings is 2016 Sox catcher, Matt Reitano, a current UC Irvine sophomore.

Reitano, who logged over 100 at bats in 33 games for Wenatchee last season, figures to be a veteran leader for the team, this summer. The San Diego native came up with 18 hits, 7 RBI, and 13 walks during his first summer in the Wenatchee Valley.

He will be one-of-three 2016 AppleSox players set to return to Wenatchee for the team’s 18th season. Second baseman Parker Price, whose season ended prematurely last summer due to injury, and Alex Gonzales, a super-utility infielder and catcher, also will be back with the Sox for a second time.

Price, a GU freshman, hit .230 for Wenatchee in his first collegiate summer, before being shut down due to injury. He was Idaho’s 2015 and 2016 State Gatorade Player of the Year and drove in 8 runs for the AppleSox a season ago.

Gonzales, a freshman from Scottsdale Community College, capped a rough start to his collegiate career at the plate with standout months in July and August, to secure the fifth-best batting average of any Sox hitter, at .271. His older brother, Marco, a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, pitched for the AppleSox in 2010.

Joining Reitano is current Anteater teammate Adrian Damla, a freshman from La Crescenta, Calif., who will primarily play as a first baseman for Wenatchee this season. He is formerly a two-time All-CIF selection out of Crescenta Valley High School.

One other current Bulldog, and three future ‘Zags will join Price at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium this year.

Jack Machtolf, another Gonzaga freshman, will patrol the outfield and factor in at first base for Wenatchee in 2017. His older brother, Steven, played for Wenatchee last summer before being lost to injury. Machtolf, the son of current GU head coach Mark Machtolf, was a First Team All-State selection as a senior at Gonzaga Prep, and was also a standout on the Bullpups’ football team.

Three Gonzaga commits will also earn their first collegiate experience with the AppleSox, including pitchers Mason Millett and McKabe Cottrell and infielder Michael Spellacy.

Cottrell, from Rockford, Wash. is a three-time Cy Young Award winner for Freeman High School.

Millett is a three-year pitcher for Boulder Creek High School at Anthem, Ariz. Last summer, he pitched for Team Arizona in the Junior Sunbelt Tournament.

Spellacy, from Puyallup, Wash., drove in the game-winning run for Puyallup High School in the District Championship game of its high school postseason, last spring. He also competed at the 2016 Area Code Games, representing the Kansas City Royals.

The Wenatchee AppleSox open their 18th season of play June 2, 2017 at Walla Walla, and play their home opener in Wenatchee Thursday, June 8, 2017. For more information, fans can visit www.applesox.com.