YAKIMA, Wash. – Kevin Vallene, a Washington native and soon-to-be graduate of Washington State University, will be the new voice of the Pippins for the 2018 season.
Vallene is currently finishing his senior year at WSU, majoring in communications and broadcasting. During his time with the Cougars, he has called a number of WSU sports for KUGR, the student-run radio station, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer and volleyball. He called the 2016 Holiday Bowl between the Cougars and the Minnesota Golden Gophers in San Diego, and has also hosted a sports radio show on the the station throughout his college career.
A Redmond, Wash., native, Vallene drove more than 3,000 miles over the course of five days to spend this past summer in Florida to broadcast Florida Collegiate Summer League games for the Winter Garden Squeeze. His favorite moment of the summer was calling the FCSL home run derby, where a Squeeze player hit a league-record 12 home runs in the first round and 14 overall in the contest.
For his work during the summer, Vallene was named Broadcast Intern of the Year by the FCSL. He found out he won the award during the league’s championship game at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Having my name called at Tropicana Field was a really cool experience for me,” he told the online news publication OrangeObserver.com. “Just to be at a Major League park and win the award was fun.”
Vallene is counting on his experience last summer to help him in his role with the Pippins in 2018.
“It was so fun being down there and experiencing the grind of broadcasting a full season of baseball,” Vallene said. “I’m really excited to join the Pippins this summer and bring the games and storylines to those who can’t make it to the ballpark.”
In addition to broadcasting all home and away games, Vallene will be the team’s media relations manager.
The Pippins’ fifth anniversary season in Yakima begins in June 2018. Season tickets for the team’s 32-game home schedule are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, at the Pippins’ new holiday kiosk in the Valley Mall, by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com. The Pippins’ 2018 schedule will be announced soon, with mini-plans and other ticketing options available at that time.