April 9, 2009

Former Wildcats Move Up in College and Pros

Western Nevada College is developing a lot of baseball talent, if the number of players going on to the pros and Division I colleges is any indication.

Six former Wildcats are in minor league spring training right now and hoping to move up in their organization. They include Kyle Farrell and Cole Rohrbough with the Atlanta Braves organization, Mason Tobin with the Los Angeles Angels, Stephen Sauer with the Chicago White Sox, Justin Garcia with the Tampa Bay Rays and Jose Barajas with the Baltimore Orioles organization.

"It's not just that Western players have been able to move up to the next level. Several of them are making a huge difference on their new teams and really contributing to their success," Wildcats Coach DJ Whittemore said.

"Dan Grubbs is a solid pitcher for University of New Mexico with 14 strikeouts against one walk and an ERA of 0.61. At New Mexico State, Chuck Howard is hitting .326 in nine games and has the team's third highest slugging percentage at .698," Whittemore said. "Both of those teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally."

To date, seven Western alumni are playing on Division I teams, including Aaron Henry, Tyson Jaquez and Jesse Rasner at University of Nevada, Reno. Other Division I players are Cliff Shepard at Centenary College in New Jersey and James Crockett at Southern Utah University.

Those playing Division II or NAIA baseball include:
Kyle Gutchewsky, New Mexico Highlands, Las Vegas, N.M.
Thomas Miller, Texas A&M, Kingsville
Brad Carlsen, College of Idaho, Caldwell
Jake Bottari, College of Idaho, Caldwell
Taylor Mieras, Western Oregon University, Monmouth
Andrew Reid, Western Oregon University, Monmouth
Josh Creveling, Harding University, Searcy, Ark.
Kevin Schlange, Coker College, Hartsville, S.C.

"I'm pleased to see this kind of success for our former players," Whittemore said. "It's always been our goal to recruit talented, highly motivated individuals who reflect well on Western while they are here and build a good reputation for our college when they go on to four-year colleges and the professional leagues." The team is in its fourth season of play.

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