Three Fresh Faces Join the Sweets

The Sweets sign two new pitchers and an outfielder

WALLA WALLA, Wash.  — The Sweets signed three more players Wednesday, all of whom will make their Walla Walla debut in 2024. The new faces are pitchers Nate Naccarato and Bridger Clontz and outfielder Kolby Felix.

Naccarato, a right-handed pitcher from Spokane, Washington, is a junior at Ottawa University. He transferred to the Spirit after pitching a season at Spokane Falls Community College. This summer will be Naccarato’s second season in summer ball, first playing for the Sylvan Lake Gulls out of the Western Canadian Baseball League in 2023. For the Gulls, Naccarato pitched in nine games as a reliever and made one start. Out of the bullpen, Naccarato was usually used as a middle reliever, pitchting one to two innings at a time. In relief, he posted an ERA of 4.20 and a WHIP of 1.47 while striking out 17 batters in 15 innings. His final appearance was his first start of the year, tossing six innings with three runs off six hits and six strikeouts.

With the Spirit, Naccarato has pitched in five games so far, all in relief. In his four innings pitched, he has only given up four hits while striking out seven batters. Naccarato is the third player from Ottawa University the Sweets have signed this year, joining teammates Logan Meyer and Zach Hangas.

“I’m super excited to be able to play with a few of my current teammates for the summer,” said Naccarato.

Clontz, a left-handed pitcher from Ogden, Utah, is a sophomore at Colorado Mesa University. He chose CMU because of all the opportunities the university had to offer after graduating from Fremont High School. In his freshman season in 2023, Clontz made 13 appearances in relief for the Mavericks, posting a 2-0 record and a 4.67 ERA. He also struck out 24 batters over 17.1 innings of work while only walking 10 batters. Clontz’ best game of the season was his outing against the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers March 20. Clontz entered the game in a tricky situation with runners on the corners, only one out, and the tying run at the plate. He got the first batter to pop out and then struck out the next batter to end the inning. In the next frame, Clontz worked three strikeouts while only giving up a single. He earned his first win of the season as the only Maverick pitcher who pitched an inning or more in that game to not allow a run. 

This season, Clontz has only pitched in one game so far, tossing two hitless and scoreless innings again against the Orediggers.

This summer will be Clontz’ first season of summer ball.

“I’m super excited to be playing for the Sweets this summer,” said Clontz. “Excited to make some new friends and win some baseball games.”

Felix, also a sophomore from Colorado Mesa, is an outfielder from Sun City Arizona. Felix, who is majoring in exercise science, chose CMU because of the program’s track record and the opportunity for a great education after graduating from Liberty High School. In his freshman season, Felix played in 30 games, making 17 starts as a solid fourth outfielder. Felix had a good season at the plate slashing .339/.494/.597. Of his 21 hits, seven were doubles and three were home runs. Felix posted six multi-hit games with his best game being a 3-for-4 day with five RBI in a game the Mavericks won 29-8 over the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys.

In 2024, Felix has played in eight of the 22 games for the Mavericks with seven starts again as a solid fourth outfielder. In just 26 at bats, he already has 10 hits, with three of them for doubles and four them for home runs. Felix homered in the three most recent games against the Orediggers.

This season with the Sweets will be Felix’s first in summer baseball.

Felix and Clontz become the second and third Mavericks to sign with the Sweets in 2024, joining current teammate Kennedy Hara.

“I’m stoked to be playing for the Sweets this upcoming summer,” said Felix. “I’m also excited to meet some new people and hopefully make some lasting friendships.”

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: March 20, 2024