Walla Walla, WA – When an offensive player slugs at a clip of .523 and is responsible for creating nearly a run a game, a team does all that it can to make sure he will return to the lineup. The Sweets have been able to do just that in the process of building the roster for the 2018 season. Outfielder Jake Suddleson, a sophomore with the Harvard Crimson, will return to Walla Walla for the upcoming campaign.
“I’m ecstatic to be back in Walla Walla and have the opportunity to bring a WCL championship to such a great city,” said Suddleson. “They have welcomed me with open arms.”
Suddleson was one of the top producing bats in the Sweets lineup, while manning right field and spending time as a DH. He hit .295, led the team in homeruns (6) and RBI (39), and his OPS (.888) was third-best in the lineup. He was named an All-Star for the North and finished the year with All-WCL Honorable Mention honors. His offensive production is more impressive when considering he missed nearly 2 weeks of games early in the season while in concussion protocol.
“I am so pleased to have Jake back with our club this summer,” said Sweets manager Frank Mutz. “He is a tremendous player and person. He has power to all fields, works tirelessly on his game, and brings leadership to our clubhouse.
“We are very fortunate to have a quality bat in the middle of our lineup, particularly a returning All-Star.”
The Sweets new general manager, Dan Ferguson, has made bringing returning contributors back a priority when the opportunity exists.
“Returning players have been a significant contributor to our success over the years,” said Ferguson. “Jake made a connection with the Walla Walla community. To match that connection with a player that produces the way Jake did – knowing he will only be better with another year of college baseball under his belt – is exciting for our fans.”
The 2018 season will open with the Sweets on the road, taking on the Yakima Valley Pippins (both teams are owned and operated by Pacific Baseball Ventures). The home opener at Borleske Stadium is slated for June 8, 2018 vs. the Corvallis Knights. In earlier announcements, it was noted that the Sweets have flipped spots with the Pippins and now play in the WCL South Division (after 8 seasons in either the North or the East Division).