All-WCL Teams and Honors Announced

The 2017 all-West Coast League teams were unveiled this morning, as well as the league’s annual awards, as announced by new WCL president Brian Sloan.

In the summer of the long ball, West Virginia rising redshirt sophomore catcher Chase Illig of the Bellingham Bells was named MVP of the West Coast League. Illig put on a power display like no other WCLer as the left-handed hitting slugger from Bluefield, West Virginia set a WCL single-season record for home runs with 15 and also won the WCL All-Star Game Home Run Derby.

For the summer, Illig hit .360 with 52 RBIs. In total, 398 home runs were hit during the 2017 WCL regular season.

Southpaw Jack Owen, who got his first taste of college baseball this summer with the Victoria HarbourCats, earned WCL Pitcher of the Year honors. Owen will pitch this spring for the Auburn Tigers in the SEC.

The lefty from Coto De Caza, California was dominant over 8 appearances, 7 starts and 44.1 innings pitched for Victoria. He went 4-1 with a 1.02 ERA and struck out 48 while holding the opposition to a paltry .186 batting average.

Coach of the Year honors went to Brooke Knight of Corvallis. Knight’s Knights won the South Division first half and second half, posted the league’s top record at 34-20 and repeated as WCL champions.

Cowlitz Black Bears owner Tony Bonacci was named Executive of the Year. Bonacci is the league’s vice president and was the WCL’s interim president before president Sloan joined the WCL in June.

The Bellingham Bells were the recipient of the Jim Dietz Team Sportsmanship Award.

The Yakima Valley Pippins were the most represented club on the all-WCL first team, featuring four selections.

First-Team All-WCL

C – Chase Illig (West Virginia, soph), Bellingham Bells
1B – Lucas Denney (Seattle, senior), Yakima Valley Pippins
2B – Brad Beesley (Cal Poly, soph), Yakima Valley Pippins
3B – Nick Nyquist (Gonzaga, junior), Walla Walla Sweets
SS – Taylor Wright (Maryland, junior), Kelowna Falcons
OF – Jordan Qsar (Pepperdine, senior), Corvallis Knights
OF – Evan Johnson (Northern Colorado, senior), Wenatchee AppleSox
OF – Devlin Granberg (Dallas Baptist, senior) Cowlitz Black Bears
UTL – Austin Shenton (Florida International, soph), Bellingham Bells
SP – Kris Jackson (Corban, senior), Bend Elks
SP – Collin Maier (Washington State, senior), Wenatchee AppleSox
SP – Jack Owen (Auburn, frosh), Victoria HarbourCats
SP – Taylor Dollard (Cal Poly, frosh), Yakima Valley Pippins
SP – Andrew Hansen (St. Mary’s, junior), Gresham GreyWolves
RP – Connor White (Portland, junior), Yakima Valley Pippins
RP – Chase Kaplan (Kansas, senior), Corvallis Knights

Second-Team All-WCL

C – Shane McGuire (San Diego, frosh), Victoria HarbourCats
1B – Dillan Shrum (Nevada-Reno, soph), Corvallis Knights
2B – Colin Runge (Portland, junior), Bend Elks
3B – Mitch Ellis (Western Illinois, senior), Yakima Valley Pippins
SS – Mark Pearson (Abilene Christian, junior), Cowlitz Black Bears
SS – Ernie Yake (Gonzaga, frosh), Bellingham Bells
OF – J.J. Hancock (Washington State, senior), Walla Walla Sweets
OF – Hunter Vansau (Mississippi State, junior), Victoria HarbourCats
OF – Ryan Kim (Portland, soph), Cowlitz Black Bears
UTL – Nyles Nygaard (Western Oregon, senior), Cowlitz Black Bears
SP – Cal Hehnke (Nebraska-Omaha, junior), Kelowna Falcons
SP – Adam McKillican (Univ. of British Columbia, soph), Victoria HarbourCats
SP – Holden Powell (UCLA, frosh), Bellingham Bells
SP – Jordan Horak (Portland, senior), Corvallis Knights
SP – Chris Lincoln (UC Santa Barbara, soph), Walla Walla Sweets
RP – Travis Kuhn (San Diego, soph), Victoria HarbourCats
RP – Connor Leedholm (Northern Colorado, senior), Wenatchee AppleSox

# year in school noted for fall/winter/spring, 2017-2018.

Honorable Mention All-WCL

Bellingham: Austin Pinorini (Gonzaga), Brendan McClary (Gonzaga), Max Flower (Cal), Kyle Stowers (Stanford), Zach Pettaway (UCLA), Trevor DeLaite (Maine), Arman Sabouri (Cal), Josh Zavisubin (Puget Sound). Bend: Charlie Maxwell (Northwestern), Cal Waterman (Washington State), Matt Kroon (Oklahoma State), Derek Chapman (Washington State), Grant Larson (Chico State). Corvallis: Matt Kelly (Portland), Chad Stevens (Portland), Troy Claunch (Oregon State), Emilio Alcantar (Lewis-Clark State), Cason Cunningham (Linfield), Ross Massey (Tulane), Connor Redmond (Cal Poly), Trenton Toplikar (UC Riverside), Jacob Fricke (Western Oregon), Miles Glazier (UC Irvine), Hazahel Quijada (UC Riverside). Cowlitz: Austin Merrill (Chapman), Corbin Powers (Portland), Davis Baillie (Washington State), Kragen Kechely (Dallas Baptist), Nick Strange (Tacoma CC). Gresham: Alec de Watteville (Sacramento State), Jordan Barchus (San Francisco), Robert Reaser (Lewis & Clark), Alex Roth (Western Oregon). Kelowna: Niall Windeler (Univ. of British Columbia), Sam Menegat (Mt. Hood CC). Port Angeles: Austyn Tengan (Cal State Bakersfield), Jake Portaro (Utah), Brody Kato (Arizona Western), Kevin Kendall (UCLA), Taylor Adams (Oregon), Nick Bonnikesen (Dixie State), Luke Fralely (Tiffin), Wyatt Haccou (Biola), Cam Walker (Western Oregon). Victoria: Harrison Bragg (Mississippi State), Harry Shipley (Purdue), Andrew Shaps (Chico State), AJ Block (Washington State), Isaac Mullins (Washington State). Walla Walla: John Glenn (Cal Baptist), Jacob Blas (Arizona), Vinny Capra (Richmond), Danny Sinatro (Washington State), Jake Suddleson (Harvard), Tim Josten (Cal State Fullerton), Haydn King (San Francisco), Darius Vines (Yavapai College), Matt Amrhein (Cal Baptist). Wenatchee: Adrian Dalma (UC Irvine), Jake Taylor (Seattle), Jacob Prater (Seattle), Dugan Shirer (Washington State), Hunter Boyd (Central Washington), McKabe Cottrell (Gonzaga), Cameron Kurz (San Diego). Yakima Valley: Dillon Plew (Washington State), Jonny DeLuca (Oregon), Tora Otsuka (San Diego), Steven Sordahl (St. Martin’s), AJ Landis (Colorado Mesa), Josh Tedeschi (Utah), Dustin Yates (Washington State).

2017 – Chase Illig (West Virginia) of Bellingham
2016 – Michael Toglia (UCLA) of Wenatchee
2015 – Hunter Villanueva (Fresno Pacific) of Kelowna
2014 – Vince Fernandez (UC Riverside) of Yakima Valley
2013 – Alex Calbick (Maine) of Bellingham
2012 – Mitchell Gunsolus (Gonzaga) of Wenatchee
2011 – Alex Stanford (Gonzaga) of Walla Walla
2010 – Tommy Richards (Washington State) of Bend
2009 – Richie Jimenez (Riverside CC) of Corvallis
2008 – Drew Heid (Gonzaga) of Bend
2007 – Zach Kim (San Francisco) of Moses Lake; Brandon Kuykendall (Benedictine College) of Kitsap
2006 – Darin Holcomb (Gonzaga) of Spokane
2005 – Steve Marquardt (Columbia Basin College) of Wenatchee

WCL Pitchers of the Year
2017 – Jack Owen (Auburn) of Victoria
2016 – Zach Draper (College of Idaho) of Yakima Valley
2015 – Brady Miller (Western Oregon) of Kelowna
2014 – Seth Martinez (Arizona State) of Bellingham
2013 – Nick Sabo (Long Beach State) of Klamath Falls
2012 – Cord Cockrell (Louisiana-Lafayette) of Kelowna
2011 – Owen Jones (Portland) of Wenatchee
2010 – Dayne Quist (UC Davis) of Kelowna
2009 – Matt Andriese (UC Riverside) of Corvallis
2008 – Jared Eskew (Cal Poly) of Corvallis
2007 – Paul Applebee (UC Riverside) of Bellingham
2006 – Ross Humes (Washington State) of Kitsap
2005 – Tommy Hanson (Riverside CC) of Aloha

WCL Coaches of the Year
2017 – Brooke Knight, Corvallis
2016 – Graig Merritt, Victoria
2015 – Billy Clontz, Kelowna
2014 – Jeff James, Bellingham
2013 – Brooke Knight, Corvallis
2012 – Ed Knaggs, Wenatchee
2011 – Brooke Knight, Corvallis
2010 – Ed Knaggs, Wenatchee
2009 – Brooke Knight, Corvallis; Ed Knaggs, Wenatchee
2008 – Brooke Knight, Corvallis
2007 – Gabe Boruff, Moses Lake
2006 – Steve Hertz, Spokane
2005 – Ed Knaggs, Wenatchee

WCL Executives of the Year
2017 – Tony Bonacci, Cowlitz
2016 – Jim Swanson, Victoria
2015 – Mark Nonis, Kelowna; Casey Powell, Bend
2014 – Nick Caples, Bellingham
2013 – Holly Jones, Victoria
2012 – Nick Caples, Bellingham
2011 – Eddie Poplawski, Bellingham
2010 – Zachary Fraser, Walla Walla
2009 – Dan Segel, Corvallis
2008 – Dan Segel, Corvallis
2007 – Dan Segel, Corvallis
2006 – Brent & Amy Kirwan, Moses Lake
2005 – Rick Smith & partners, Kitsap

Jim Dietz Sportsmanship Award*
2017- Bellingham Bells
2016 – Corvallis Knights; Wenatchee AppleSox
2015 – Klamath Falls Gems
2014 – Bellingham Bells
2013 – Bellingham Bells
2012 – Cowlitz Black Bears
2011 – Cowlitz Black Bears
2010 – Moses Lake Pirates
2009 – Moses Lake Pirates
2008 – Corvallis Knights

*established in 2008, and named after the league’s inaugural commissioner Jim Dietz.


The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The 13-year-old, 11-team, professionally operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences in addition to the best summer weather in North America. 82 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB 2017 June draft. In 2016, more than 230 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 28 in the major leagues, such as 2015 home-run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), 2015 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (Tampa Bay) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay), Matt Boyd (Detroit) and James Paxton (Seattle); and outfielder Mitch Haniger (Arizona, now Seattle). Overall member attendance was 379,611 in 2016.