Six Sweets heading to All-Star game as East Region selections

Three Sweets pitchers and three position players will represent Walla Walla on Tuesday.


WALLA WALLA - Fan choice Brett Watson will join pitchers Ryan Richardson and Tim Culligan and position players Alex Stanford, Elliot Stewart and Andrew Mendenhall for the West Coast League East Division All-Star squad.

The six selections are the fourth most amongst the teams in the WCL behind Wenatchee (10), Corvallis (8) and Cowlitz (7). Players were selected by fans, coaches and the Major League Scouting Bureau.

The game will be played in Corvallis on Tuesday.

Watson was one of nine players in the league that was selected to the All-Star game through fan voting. The left-hander from Walla Walla Community College received a majority of the nearly 4,000 votes cast either online at or in person at Borleske Stadium.

On the season, Watson has helped the Sweets pitching staff post a 2.69 earned run average, good enough for third in the league. He's 2-2 on the year with a 1.80 ERA, fifth best in the league, and has given up only 24 hits in 35 innings this summer.

A second-year Sweet, Richardson started the summer with a bang, tossing five scoreless innings on opening night and has been just as good since. He's 2-2 with a team-low 1.46 ERA, third best in the league, over 37 innings and has walked just four batters all summer.

Culligan made his first appearance as a reliever, and since then the right-hander has emerged as a top-line starter for the Sweets. His ERA of 1.86 puts him sixth in the league and his three wins put him two off the league lead. Over 38.2 innings he has struck out 27 and opponents are hitting just .232 against him.

The Sweets' most consistent hitter this summer, Stanford's .316 average leads the Sweets, all middle infielders in the WCL and is the fifth-highest average overall. Stanford also leads the Sweets in runs (14), doubles (7) and stolen bases (6).

Arriving to the Sweets two weeks into the season, Mendenhall immediately made his presence known in his first game with the game-deciding, two-run single in the eighth inning against Klamath Falls on June 14. His .271 average places him second on the Sweets and he has already set a franchise-record by hitting in 13 consecutive games.

Another late arriver, Stewart returned to the Sweets with a bang this summer. In his second start of the summer on June 16, the catcher from Cal Poly went 3-for-5 with two home runs, a triple, four RBI and three runs scored. His four home runs are second in the league and he also has collected three doubles.

The six Sweets and the 16 other members of the East Division face the West Division at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday at Goss Stadium in Corvallis. There will be a home run derby prior to the All-Star game that will feature one player from each team in the league, and in case of a tie after nine innings each team will choose a player for a swing-off to determine the winner.

The game will be broadcast live by Sweets play-by-play broadcaster Tristan Hobbes and Wenatchee play-by-play man Chris King.


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