WALLA WALLA - The first players for the 2012 season have signed with the Walla Walla Sweets.
Tyler Billen, a 6-foot 4-inch pitcher, and Kevin Hawk, a 6-foot 1-inch catcher, both members of the 2011 team, return to Walla Walla for another summer of West Coast League baseball.
Billen, a senior southpaw at Southwestern Oklahoma State University this year, appeared in 13 games for the Sweets last season, going 3-1 with an ERA of 2.65.
A senior catcher at Lewis-Clark State, Hawk played in 33 games for the Sweets. During the regular season, Hawk had a .968 fielding percentage with 32 assists behind the plate. Hawk had a nine-game hitting streak from July 18 to August 4, and during that period he hit .340. In the postseason, Hawk hit .500, including driving in the go-ahead run in the Sweets' 5-4 win over the Applesox in Game 2 of the WCL East Division Championship.