Four Sweets Named to the 2018 WCL All-Star Game

Walla Walla, Wash. – The 2018 West Coast League All-Star Game rosters have been announced. Four members of the Walla Walla Sweets have been selected to the team. The quartet is headlined by now three-time WCL All-Star Nick Nyquist (IF), two-time WCL All-Star Darius Vines (RHP), and a pair of first-time WCL All-Stars in Cesar Lopez (OF) and Zach Penrod (Utility).

“We are extremely proud of the recognition that Nick, Darius, Cesar and Zach are receiving,” said Sweets manager Frank Mutz. “Not only has their on-field play been worthy of the recognition, but their contributions off the field in the clubhouse and the community have been significant factors in creating a winning culture.”


Name:   Nick Nyquist
Team: Walla Walla Sweets School: Gonzaga University Year (2019): (RS) Senior
Hometown: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lbs
Position:    3B, 1B Bats:    Right Throws:    Right

Nick Nyquist has been nothing short of exceptional in his third year with the Walla Walla Sweets and fourth year in the West Coast League overall. Currently on the season he holds a .317 batting average, a .449 on-base percentage, 17 runs scored, nine RBI and seven stolen bases. Since his arrival back in Walla Walla, Nyquist has been firmly planted into the number three spot in the Sweets lineup. As a result, he is frequently keyed on by opposing teams as they try to limit the damage that he can cause. Despite those efforts by opposing teams Nyquist has continued to roll at the plate all season long, which is a big reason as to why he is back in the WCL All-Star game for the third consecutive year.


Name:   Darius Vines
Team: Walla Walla Sweets School: Arizona State University Year (2019): Junior
Hometown: Oxnard, California Height: 6’1” Weight: 180 lbs
Position:    RHP Bats:    Right Throws:    Right

It does not take more than an inning of watching Darius Vines pitch to know that he is the real deal with a big-league ready arm. On the season with the Walla Walla Sweets, Vines carries a 3-0 record with a 0.50 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. His arsenal of pitches is one of the best in the West Coast League, which is a big part of why he was named the number eight prospect in the WCL after the 2017 season with Walla Walla. Vines comes at hitters with a low 90s fast ball, a filthy slider, and a devastating curveball that can fool even the most prolific hitters. At every turn, he has proven that he is ready to play at the next level and will have a chance to showcase that on the mound in the WCL All-Star Game for the second consecutive year.


Name:   Cesar Lopez
Team: Walla Walla Sweets School: Cal Poly Pomona University Year (2019): Sophomore
Hometown: Downey, California Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs
Position:    OF Bats:    Left Throws:    Right

It is becoming increasingly hard to figure out how it is possible that so many collegiate coaches missed out on the incredible talent of Cesar Lopez. A walk-on at Cal Poly Pomona, Lopez impressed all year long with the Broncos, and he continued that roll right into the 2018 season with the Walla Walla Sweets. On the year he is hitting .382 with a .962 OPS, 17 runs scored, 12 RBI, five doubles, a homerun and seven walks. He also may very well be the hottest hitter currently in the WCL. Over his last 14 games, Lopez is 22-47 at the plate for a gaudy clip of .468. His ability to hit to all parts of the field out of the left-handed batter’s box is invaluable and is undoubtedly a big reason as to why he has been selected to the WCL All-Star Game in just his first year in the league.


Name:   Zach Penrod
Team: Walla Walla Sweets School: Northwest Nazarene University Year (2019): Senior
Hometown: Nampa, Idaho Height: 6’2” Weight: 220 lbs
Position:    OF, 1B, LHP Bats:    Left Throws:    Left

Zach Penrod is the epitome of a two-way player, as he can swing it and throw it with the best of them. At the dish for the Walla Walla Sweets this season, he carries a .273 batting average with 17 runs, 15 RBI, six doubles, 13 walks and seven stolen bases. On the mound for the Sweets, he has an 0-1 record with a 0.94 ERA and an impressive 26 strikeouts in just 19 innings pitched. Penrod is an extra-base hit waiting to happen with great power and tremendous speed from the left side of the plate. His arsenal when pitching is nothing short of electric, running in a low 90s fastball with a slew of off-speed pitches to keep hitters off balance. The utility man from Northwest Nazarene University, Penrod is a five-tool player and has shown them off all season long to earn himself a spot in the 2018 WCL All-Star Game.


By: Brandon Pavlina

Date: July 10, 2018