Sunday, December 6, 2009
WALLA WALLA — Roster building is in full force in Walla Walla, as the Sweets continue to add talent to their roster in preparation for the inaugural 2010 campaign.
The Sweets have added four players from the Cal Poly Mustangs, a Division I program from the prestigious Big West Conference. Pitchers Jeff Johnson and Joey Wagman, infielder Denver Chavez, and catcher Elliott Stewart have all agreed to contracts to play for the club in 2010, the first for the Sweets in the West Coast League.
The announcement was made by team general manager Zachary Fraser.
"Cal Poly has a history of producing major league quality players," Fraser said. "We are thrilled that Coach Larry Lee has entrusted us with these young men, and we look forward to them helping us compete for a championship in 2010."
Johnson, a right-handed pitcher from Thousand Oaks, Calif., saw action as a freshman for the Mustangs, posting and 0-1 record with 11 appearances and 4 starts.
Stewart, from San Jose, Calif., is a sophomore transferring to Cal Poly from West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif., where he led the Vikings in batting average, slugging percentage, and on base percentage, while finishing in the top three on the team in hits, RBIs, and home runs.
Chavez, from Santa Barbara, Calif., and Wagman, from Danville, Calif., are both incoming freshman who are expected to contribute as the Mustangs look to return to the top of a conference that regularly features programs in the Top 25, competing for and winning national championships.
Cal Poly also has another tie to Walla Walla baseball.
Former Walla Walla Padre and Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith was a Mustang from 1974-1977, having earned an academic scholarship before walking onto the Mustangs squad, where he played for legendary coach Berdy Harr. Smith played in Walla Walla in 1978 before going on to a Major League career that saw him enter the Hall of Fame in 2002.
In addition to Smith, Cal Poly has had 11 players make it to the Major Leagues, including current Seattle Mariners pitcher Garrett Olson.
The Sweets, an expansion franchise in the West Coast League, will open up the 2010 season by hosting defending league champion Wenatchee AppleSox at Borleske Stadium on June 8. Season tickets are now available by calling 509.522.BALL (2255) or by visiting www.wallawallasweets.com.