WENATCHEE, WA - Kyle Krustangel informed AppleSox management that after three seasons at the helm, he will not return to the AppleSox in 2020.
Krustangel cited the grueling calendar year between both coaching the Yakima Valley Yaks of the NWAC and then the AppleSox in the summer as the primary reason behind his decision.
“First off, I want to thank all the fans, season-ticket holders and host families,” Krustangel said. “I’d also like to thank team owner Jose Oglesby, general manager Ken Osborne, assistant general manager Allie Schank and every single person that has made my wife, Katie, and I feel at home. It’s been an unbelievable three years to work for an arms-open community. It’s one of the toughest decisions I‘ve ever had to make. Having this job in addition to my Yakima Valley College head-coaching job makes it tough to stay championship-caliber at both places. I didn’t want to only give 80-percent to both organizations, I wanted to give 100-percent and be all-in. I didn’t feel that I could give that by continuing to coach both team. It’s been exciting to see the new direction that the organization is going under Jose’s ownership and it was a pleasure getting to the know all the great people of the Wenatchee Valley.”
In each of his first two seasons, Krustangel kept the AppleSox in contention for a postseason berth until the final weekend of the season. Krustangel broke through this past summer with his first playoff berth at the helm and the team’s first since 2013. The 2019 AppleSox set single-season WCL team records in home runs (36), RBI (275), stolen bases (102), runs (348) and consecutive home wins (12). Krustangel’s 83 wins are the second-most in AppleSox coaching history.
“We’d like to thank Coach Kyle for his three years with the AppleSox,” Osborne said. “I was very proud of the young men who he brought in. They not only were exceptional ballplayers, but also great people off the field that represented the organization well. Returning to the playoffs was a huge goal and we were thrilled to get there this past season. We understand his decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Krustangel coached three players to the WCL All-Star Game in his first season before sending four more in each of his two successive seasons. Curtis Bafus won co-WCL Pitcher of the Year honors under Krustangel in 2018 and both Colby Nealy and Troy Stainbrook were two former AppleSox to be drafted after playing for Krustangel.
“We are thankful for Coach Krustangel’s years of service with the AppleSox,” Oglesby said. “It’s said that baseball teams take on the personality of their coaches. During Kyle’s tenure, the AppleSox showed resiliency, competitiveness and sportsmanship. They played the game the right way. We will miss him but know he will remain part of the AppleSox family.”
AppleSox management has begun the search for the fifth head coach in team history.