January 23, 2009

Top prep players heading for Western next fall

14 High School Players Commit to WNC Baseball

Fourteen high school baseball players from Nevada and the Northwest have committed in writing or verbally to wear Western Nevada Wildcats blue next fall.

Cody Stevens, shortstop, from Damonte Ranch High School, and Casey Yocom, SS, Reed High School are the northern Nevada student athletes who have signed letters of intent. Tyler May, pitcher/outfielder from Douglas High School, and Ryan Baker, pitcher, from Bishop Manogue High School, have verbally committed.

"We are extremely happy to successfully recruit the best players in the Northern Nevada," Western Coach DJ Whittemore said. "Cody Stevens, Casey Yocom, and Tyler May are all outstanding two-way players that lead some of the top high school programs in Northern Nevada. Ryan Baker will again have major role on the mound this year for Bishop Manogue as the Miners are hoping to make a run at the state championship."

"Recruiting Coordinator Kevin Edwards scoured the state of Nevada and the Pacific Northwest to land an outstanding group of student athletes," Whittemore said.

The new crop includes three pitchers, five infielders, one catcher, and five outfielders - with several of the players capable of both hitting and pitching. The Wildcats will beef up their left-handed hitting considerably. The current roster has two left-handed positional players, but five of the 11 positional players joining the program next fall are southpaws.

Many of the position players will be expected to play pivotal roles as freshman, the coach said, because as many as seven of this year's starters will be lost to graduation. He said the class is light on pitching due to the outstanding crop of freshman hurlers the Wildcats have on the 2009 roster.

Three players are from Las Vegas: Kody Gordon, pitcher/outfield, and Taylor Doyle, outfield/pitcher are from Cimarron Memorial High School, and Brooks Klein, outfield, is from Sierra Vista High. This marks the fifth straight year the Wildcats have signed a Sierra Vista player.

"Some of the best Wildcats of all-time have come from Coach Selby's outstanding program," Whittemore said, "including: 2006 Team MVP Thomas Miller, 2006 Pitcher of the Year and 2007 Wildcat Award Winner Justin Garcia, 2008 Team MVP and NJCAA All-American Chuck Howard, and current Wildcats Andrew Garcia and 2008 All-Region XVIII performer Lance Ray just to name a few."

The rest of the players are from Oregon and Washington. "The out-of-state players represent some of the best talent WNC has ever landed. Included in the group are two players who represented the Northwest at the prestigious AREA CODE games in Long Beach, Calif.: Kevin Taylor and Patrick McMeel.

"Jeff McKay and Mike Brooks of Baseball Northwest have been instrumental in helping us to identify and recruit this great group of players. Pete Wilkinson of the Wilkinson Academy has also provided the Wildcats with a fertile ground for recruiting players out of Washington."

A complete list of the players who have signed letters of intent to play for Western beginning Fall 2009 follows:
From the State of Nevada:
Cody Stevens - SS - Damonte Ranch High School. 5'9 160 Throws R Bats L
Casey Yocom - SS - Reed High School 5'10 170 Throws R Bats R
Brooks Klein - OF - Sierra Vista High School 6'1 180 Throws R Bats L
Kody Gorden - LHP/OF - Cimarron Memorial High School 5'11 165 Throws L Bats L
Taylor Doyle - OF/RHP - Cimarron Memorial High School 6'1 205 Throws R Bats L

From the State of Oregon:
Kevin Taylor - INF - Sunset High School - Portland OR - 6'1 190 Throws R Bats L
Jonathan Sigado - INF - South Salem High School - Salem OR - 5'11 185 Throws R Bats R

From the State of Washington:
Tyler McLeod - OF - Burlington-Edison High School - Burlington WA - 6'2 210 Throws R Bats L
Patrick McMeel - C - North Thurston High School - Lacey WA - 5'11 210
Zach Hendrix - 2B - Emerald Ridge High School - Puyallup WA - 5'10 165 Throws R Bats R
Kyle Conwell - CF - Tahoma High School - Maple Valley WA - 6'1 195 Throws R Bats R

Other players who have verbally committed to play for the Wildcats next fall:
Tyler May - RHP/OF - Douglas High School 5'10 170 Throws R Bats R
Ryan Baker - RHP - Bishop Manogue High School 5'11 180 Thows R Bats R
Kris Bliven - OF - Snohomish High School - Snohomish WA 5'9 175 Throws R Bats R

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For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu


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