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Ulrich

APPLESOX FINALIZE 2017 COACHING STAFF

The Wenatchee AppleSox have named Cash Ulrich as the team’s assistant coach, and Riley Drongesen as the pitching coach, head coach Kyle Krustangel announced, Thursday. 

Krustangel, who was named the fourth all-time coach of the AppleSox, Sept. 14, 2016, is excited to bring a baseball-savvy staff to the Wenatchee Valley this summer.

“The common thread between Cash, Riley, and I, is that we were all catchers at the collegiate level,” Krustangel said. “It fires me up to have three guys on staff who have all spent time behind the dish.”

Ulrich is no stranger to working with Krustangel. Currently, the two coach together at Yakima Valley Community College, and the duo helped bring an NWAC Championship to the school during their first seasons at YVCC, last spring. 

“Cash is a guy I can trust and is a guy who is a great teacher of the game,” Krustangel said. “Also, it is neat to have a coach who I’ve coached with and won a championship with. He’s the only person I’ve met who I think is more competitive than I am. We both want to win and provide a great experience for the AppleSox players and fans.”

Ulrich coached the Spokane Bandits AAA American Legion team last summer, and is a native of Spokane, Wash. He graduated from Eastern Washington University, and was previously the head coach of the Eagles. 

He coached at Gonzaga Prep High School for three years and also coached for Prep’s summer legion program, before he was named the head coach of the Eastern Washington baseball team. 

In the past twenty-six years, Eastern has made the playoffs three times, all three while Cash was the head coach. He coached seven players who earned All-American honors during his four seasons at Cheney, Wash.

Drongesen, is a former Division I catcher from the University of the Pacific (Calif.) who just wrapped up a two-year playing career in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.

“Having a guy like Riley on the staff will be invaluable,” Krustangel said. “Not only does he have great Division-I experience, but he is coming to us straight out of professional baseball – a place where many of our players are dying to be in a couple of years. When you talk about developing players and getting them ready for the next level, having a coach like Riley on the staff is a no-brainer.”

The Granite Bay, Calif. native was a career .258 hitter for Pacific, and owned plus-.300 slugging and on-base percentages. As a professional, he picked up 21 hits and drove in 11 runs during his two-year minor league career. He spent time with the Johnson City Cardinals, GCL Cardinals, State College Spikes, and Peoria Chiefs.

Krustangel, Drongesen, and Ulrich make up the first entirely-first year AppleSox coaching staff since long-time coach Ed Knaggs took the reigns with Bud Murray in the team’s second season in 2001.

The collegiate roster that will play for the trio was established in September, and the team will begin to release that roster, April 3.

The Wenatchee AppleSox open their 18th season of play June 2, 2017 at Walla Walla, and play their home opener in Wenatchee Thursday, June 8, 2017. For more information, fans can visit applesox.com.

About the Wenatchee AppleSox:
The Wenatchee AppleSox Baseball Club is part of the West Coast League, one of the premier wood-bat summer collegiate leagues in the country. The AppleSox provide affordable family entertainment for baseball fans throughout North Central Washington, and an excellent environment for college players from around the country to develop their skills.
 
The AppleSox were founded in 2000. The team has won five WCL Championships (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012) and one PIL Championship (2003). Nine AppleSox alumni have reached the major leagues, and multiple currently play at the MLB level, including Jason Hammel (Kansas City Royals), Blaine Hardy (Detroit Tigers), and Trevor Brown (San Francisco Giants). In 2016, the AppleSox had 18 current, former, or future players taken in the MLB Draft; it was the highest total of WCL teams which turned out a record 83 picks applesox.com .

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