Where Are They Now? Series: 2015 Edition

Walla Walla Brings On New Manager, Marking New Era in Sweets Baseball

By Brandon Monty | Apr 02, 2021

The next edition of the “Where Are They Now Series” looks at the 2015 Walla Walla Sweets, the sixth team in the history of Walla Walla baseball.

2015 brought in a new era of Sweets baseball under new manager Frank Mutz. Mutz brought with him great experience and a wealth of professional baseball knowledge.

Mutz enjoyed great success as a player and coach prior to Walla Walla. He played baseball at the University of Hawaii and was drafted in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the California Angels following his college career. He pitched three seasons in the Angels organization, played briefly with the Oakland Athletics in 1994, and was a scout for both the Diamondbacks and A’s from 1994 to 1998.

In between his professional playing and scouting stints, he served as the manager of the Kenai Peninsula Oilers, where he was named ABL manager of the year in 1991.

Up until August, the Sweets played .500 baseball and were in the WCL playoff picture. The end of the season did not bring as much luck, however, as the Sweets lost nine of their final ten games to finish 22-31. Walla Walla placed fourth in the East Division.

Pitchers

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
3 AJ Carkner R/R 6-1 165 Pikeville Col Senior Ellensberg, Wa
20 Jack Freedman L/L 5-10 200 Sophomore Los Angeles,CA
22 Micah Gorman R/R 6-0 195 Virginia Military Institute Senior Richmond,VA
29 Alex Jondal R/R 6-8 220 Hawaii (U of) Spokane,WA
23 Easton Lucas L/L 6-3 170 Pepperdine U Freshman Simi Valley,CA
12 Kyle Molnar R/R 6-3 205 California Los Angeles (U of) Freshman Aliso Viejo,CA
44 Cooper Powell L/L 6-1 170 Nevada Reno (U of) Freshman Las Vegas,NV
24 Cam Richman R/R 6-0 175 Portland (U of) Freshman Walla Walla,WA
15 Travis Ulvestad L/R 6-1 205 San Francisco (U of) Sophomore Woodinville,WA

Catchers

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
9 Juan Gamez R/R 6-0 215 North Dakota St U Senior Tucson,AZ
8 Willie MacIver R/R 6-1 200 Washington (U of) Freshman Pleasant Hill,CA
4 Dylan Wilbert L/R 5-10 200 Walla Walla CC

Infielders

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
18 Clayten Ayres R/R 6-2 200 Georgia Col & St U Junior Kennewick, WA
2 Parker Coss R/R 6-0 165 California Irvine (U of) Sophomore San Juan Capistrano,CA
13 Adam Eskil R/R 5-11 165 St Martin’s Col Sophomore Walla Walla, WA
6 Myles Hager R/R 6-0 185 Cal St Monterey Bay Sophomore Tarzana,CA
34 Nick Halamandaris L/L 6-1 230 California Berkeley (U of) Senior Monterey,CA 2012 SEA 8th Rd

Outfielders

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
19 Jon Hechtner R/R 5-10 175 North Dakota St U Senior Omaha,NE
40 Alex McKenna R/R 6-1 190 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Freshman Mission Hills,CA
21 Dyllin Mucha L/L 6-0 160 Southern Illinois U Carbondale Junior Centennial,CO
31 Kyle Nixon R/R 6-2 200 Bakersfield, CA

Staff

# Name
Nathan Fry Trainer
36 James Milkovich Hitting Coach
39 Frank Mutz Manager
14 Parker Osborne Assistant Coach
10 Jim Ozella Pitching Coach
30 Justin Speer Assistant Coach
East Division W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Kelowna Falcons 34 19 0.642 4W 6-4
Yakima Valley Pippins 29 25 0.537 5.5 1W 7-3
Wenatchee AppleSox 24 30 0.444 10.5 1L 4-6
Walla Walla Sweets 22 31 0.415 12 3L 1-9
West Division W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Bellingham Bells 33 21 0.611 1L 5-5
Victoria HarbourCats 29 24 0.547 3.5 1W 8-2
Kitsap BlueJackets 23 30 0.434 9.5 1L 6-4
Cowlitz Black Bears 21 33 0.389 12 1W 3-7
South Division W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Bend Elks 35 16 0.686 2W 5-5
Corvallis Knights 32 22 0.593 4.5 1L 8-2
Medford Rogues 25 27 0.481 10.5 1W 6-4
Klamath Falls Gems 12 41 0.226 24 2L 3-7

Walla Walla had five players on the WCL honorable-mention list in 2015- Parker Coss (UC Irvine), Joe DeMers (Washington), Nick Halamandaris (Cal) and Easton Lucas (Pepperdine). Coss led the Sweets with a .308 average while accumulating 48 hits and 13 RBI’s. DeMers posted 27 strikeouts in 30 innings and held an ERA of just 2.07 in 12 appearances.

Despite playing in just 24 games, Halamandaris made his presence felt with the Sweets. He batted .330 and led the team in home runs with 3. He also hit eight doubles, two triples and drove in 17 RBI’s.

Rounding out the list, Lucas was the most effective starting pitcher in the Sweets’ rotation. In 12 appearances and 8 starts, Lucas allowed 13 earned runs in 48 innings while striking out 44 batters.

Where are they now?

Easton Lucas was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 14th round of the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft. He made it to lower Single-A as recently as 2019.

Juan Gamez was a spring training invite for the Chicago Cubs.

Willie MacIver was a spring training invite for the Colorado Rockies. He spent the 2019 season with the Single-A Asheville Tourists.

Alex McKenna is a member of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, the Low-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

 

 

 

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