"Strong Pitching Wins Championships" could be the motto for the 2006 Western Nevada Community College's baseball team. In what might be a testament to the success of the first-year Wildcats, two pitchers, Cole Rohrbough and Mason Tobin, and two incoming pitching recruits, Kyle Smit and Kevin Kreier, were chosen Tuesday and Wednesday in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft.
"The draft is a good measuring stick to see how our players are developing," said Head Coach D.J. Whittemore. "We think our program is on the right track."
Rohrbough was selected in the 22nd round by the Atlanta Braves. The starting pitcher, the 670th pick overall, finished the season with a 3.23 earned run average, 5-3 overall record, and 52 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. Rohrbough is expected to return to WNCC this upcoming season, as the Braves will retain his rights until next year's draft.
"We're very proud of Cole; he represents our program very well," Whittemore said. "He has worked very hard as an undrafted player out of high school, and made his dream a reality."
Tobin was also chosen by the Braves, in the 45th round. As a starting pitcher for the Wildcats, he compiled a 2.81 earned run average, 4-4 record, and 46 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. It is uncertain if Tobin, chosen 1,356th overall, will return to play for WNCC.
"We're very happy for Mason," Whittemore added. "This was the second time he has been drafted. He made some tremendous strides this season."
Spanish Springs High School pitcher Kyle Smit was chosen in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The WNCC recruit, the 143rd player taken, has a fastball that can reach 93 miles per hour. After initially signing a letter of intent to play for WNCC, he now plans to sign with the Dodgers.
Kevin Kreier, a pitcher from Foothill High School in Las Vegas, was drafted in the 20th round by the Chicago Cubs. He was taken 599th overall, and possesses a 90 miles-per-hour fastball. Kreier is expected to play for the Wildcats this season.
"We are excited that two of the four pitchers we recruited were chosen in the draft," Whittemore said.
The inaugural season was a success as the Wildcats finished with a 37-18 overall record, a Scenic West Athletic Conference Championship, and a top 20 ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association's final poll.
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