WALLA WALLA - Local talent will be on display again this summer as duo Ryan Richardson and Kody Young return to the Walla Walla Sweets for their second seasons.
The pair increases the number of returners to the West Coast League collegiate team from three to five.
Elliot Stewart (Cal Poly), Denver Chavez (Cal Poly) and Scott Gottschling (UC-Irvine) re-signed in previous weeks.
Richardson, a junior right-handed pitcher at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., spent two years at Walla Walla Community College and is originally from Spokane.
Despite going 1-3 last season for the Sweets, the 5-foot, 10-inch, 160-pounder had an ERA of only 3.39 in 13 games, good for fourth best on the team for pitchers with 17 or more innings.
The North Central High School product was 5-6 with a 3.39 ERA in his final season at WWCC, where Sweets manager J.C. Biagi is an assistant coach.
"Ryan is a prime example of someone who took hold of an opportunity with both hands and never let go," said Biagi. "He was originally a 10-day contract guy who turned into one of our top pitchers. We're extremely happy to have him as part of our staff again this season."
Kody Young, a sophomore right-handed pitcher at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, was 2-2 with an ERA of 2.90 in nine appearances (seven starts) for the Sweets during their inaugural season, good for third on the team.
The 6-5, 215-pounder out of Kamiakin High in Kennewick was named to the 4A Columbia Basin League first team in 2009 and was one of the top pitchers in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges last spring. With his 5-1 record and 2.29 ERA, Young led CBC to the NWAACC East Regional title.
"Kody is an athlete that just has the ability to get it done," said Sweets pitching coach Mark Michaud. "Everywhere he has pitched, he's done well. He has a great frame for the position and great mechanics to go along with it. We're looking forward to another quality season from him this summer."