Where Are They Now? Series: 2012 Walla Walla Sweets

West Coast League All-Star Game in Walla Walla Highlights Season

The third edition of the “where are they now?” series looks at the third season of Walla Walla Sweets baseball.

While things did not turn out as well as anticipated on the field, there were still plenty of memorable moments from Borleske Stadium in 2012. The Sweets hosted their first WCL All-Star Game that drew over 45,000 fans to Walla Walla for the All-Star weekend. The Sweets continued to set themselves as one of the more fun venues in the WCL.

Outside of the game, the Sweets hosted a city-wide celebration and block party that included a dunk tank for then manager J.C. Biagi. The entire weekend changed the way the WCL All-Star game was celebrated and showed that there was more than just the game on All-Star weekend.

The Sweets finished the 2012 season with a record of 24-30, placing 8th in the WCL overall. There were still plenty of impressive individual performances. Pitcher Arturo Reyes (Gonzaga) was WCL First-Team selection that year and teammates Shane Zeile (UCLA), Brett Jacobs (WSU), and Hunter Virant (UCLA) were rewarded with honorable mention choices as well.

Jacobs, an infielder, led all qualified players on the Sweets with a .311 average. This mark was also the 13th best in the WCL. He also led the team with 12 doubles while posting one home run, 25 RBI’s and 20 runs scored.

UCLA Bruin teammates Zeile and Virant put together quality seasons as well. Zeile led the team with a .324 average in 28 games while posting four home runs. Virant posted a 2.30 ERA across nine appearances and 43 innings. He also struck out 35 hitters.

Th best performance of the year came from Reyes. The Gonzaga product was 4-1 with an ERA of 2.05, which ranked second in the entire league. In 52.2 innings, he struck out 37 batters and allowed just 43 hitters.


# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
23 Simon Anderson R/R 6-5 215 North Dakota State Senior Bemidji, Minn
31 Joe Arlt L/L 6-3 195 Walla Walla CC Junior Spokane Valley, Wash,WA
55 Doug Ashby L/L 6-1 185 Baylor Junior McKinny, Texas,TX
34 Tyler Billen L/L 6-4 240 Southwest Oklahoma Senior Edmond, OK,OK
22 Zach Brandon R/R 6-0 170 Linfield Junior Cottage Grove, OR,OR
35 Matt Imhof L/L 6-5 230 Cal Poly Sophomore Fremont, CA,CA
29 Kyle Kingsley R/R 6-2 210 North Dakota State Senior Fargo, N.D.,ND
18 Connor Lawhead R/R 5-8 160 Walla Walla CC Junior Sammamish, Wash.,WA
30 Arturo Reyes R/R 6-0 165 CBC Junior Warden, Wash.,WA
8 Tyler Roberts R/R 5-10 195 Campbellsville Senior Kennewick, Wash.,WA
11 Ben Ruff R/R 5-10 195 Seattle Junior Fife, Wash.,WA
28 DJ Smith R/R 6-1 210 CC of Spokane Junior Ellensburg, Wash.,WA
27 Garrett Tygerson R/R 6-5 190 Lewis-Clark State College Senior Ashland, OR,OR
2 Hunter Virant R/L 6-3 175 Camarillo HS Freshman Camarillo, CA,CA
32 Luke West R/R 6-5 210 Utah Junior Sandy, Utah,UT


# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
12 Beau Fraser R/R 6-1 220 Portland Senior Aptos, CA
25 Kevin Hawk L/R 6-1 200 Lewis-Clark State College Senior Boise, Idaho,ID
3 J.J. Robinson L/R 6-3 195 DeSales Freshman Colfax, Wash.,WA
33 Jarrod Turner R/R 6-1 200 Walla Walla CC Sophomore Richland, Wash.,WA


# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
6 Kalani Brackenridge R/R 5-10 180 Hawaii Junior Kapolei, Oahu Hawaii,HI
9 Marc Garza R/R 6-0 205 Campbellsville Senior Othello, Wash.,WA
15 Brett Jacobs R/R 6-0 185 Washington State Junior Richland, Wash.,WA
5 Spencer ONeil L/R 6-4 175 CBC Freshman Kennewick, Wash.,WA
10 Nick Vilter R/R 6-3 220 UC Riverside Sophomore Seal Beach, CA,CA
14 Shane Zeile R/R 6-1 190 UCLA Sophomore Valencia, CA,CA


# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
16 Alex Bonczyk R/R 6-3 190 Gonzaga Senior Las Vegas, NV,NV
20 Ryan Cooper L/R 5-11 175 UC Irvine Sophomore Yorba Linda, CA,CA
24 Kris Paulino L/R 5-10 180 UC Irvine Sophomore Ladera Ranch, CA,CA

Season: Summer 2012

East Division W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Wenatchee AppleSox 37 17 0.685 4W 8-2
Bellingham Bells 32 22 0.593 5 2L 5-5
Kelowna Falcons 28 26 0.519 9 2L 3-7
Walla Walla Sweets 24 30 0.444 13 2W 5-5
West Division W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Corvallis Knights 32 22 0.593 1W 8-2
Cowlitz Black Bears 26 28 0.481 6 1W 5-5
Klamath Falls Gems 26 28 0.481 6 1L 5-5
Bend Elks 24 30 0.444 8 1L 3-7
Kitsap BlueJackets 14 40 0.259 18 5L 3-7

2012 Season Notables:

Simon Anderson played one season for the Taos Blizzard of the Independent Leagues.

Ryan Cooper played one season of independent ball following a four year career at UC Irvine.

Doug Ashby recorded 31 saves for the Baylor Bears in 2014.

Zach Brandon serves as the Mental Skills Coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks where he oversees mental performance services for players and staff across all levels of the organization.

Matt Imhof played three seasons of minor league baseball in the Phillies organization.

Kyle Kingsley played two seasons of independent ball.

Connor Lawhead was an assistant coach at Purdue Fort Wayne for five seasons.

Arturo Reyes made it as far as spring training with the Texas Rangers. He played 157 games in the minors from 2013 to 2019 and had an ERA just under 4.

Ben Ruff played one season of independent baseball.

J.J. Robinson played one season in the Appalachian League in 2017.

Nick Vilter played three seasons in the minor league baseball, making it to Double-A in the Rangers organization.

Shane Zeile played four seasons in the minors.


By: Brandon Monty

Date: February 9, 2021