June 4, 2009

Wildcats Join Nation's Elite for 2009

WNC Baseball Players Earn All American, Gold Glove Awards

Brian Barnett
Brian Barnett

The honors continue to roll in for the Western Nevada College baseball team, following its third place finish in the junior college World Series last week. Two Wildcats players were awarded national honors today: Second baseman Mike Stiles was named a winner of the 2009 NJCAA Division 1 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, and left-fielder Brian Barnett was named a Division 1 Honorable Mention All-American by the NJCAA.

This marks the second time in as many years that the Wildcats have had an honorable mention All-American - last year, catcher Chuck Howard received the distinction.

Stiles, a freshman from Las Vegas, compiled a .992 season fielding percentage. He was known for his quick turns and heroic double plays throughout the season. He also tallied 48 hits and 42 runs scored.

Barnett, a sophomore from Reno, was near or at the top of several offensive categories, and tallied a .959 fielding percentage. He led the team in doubles (21), and was second in a number of categories: hits (72), RBI (52), slugging percentage (.596), runs scored (57) home runs (10), and total bases (127).

Head Coach DJ Whittemore said both players are deserving of the honors.

"Mike Stiles is a freshman and he played a really big part in our success this year. His defense made a difference all year," he said.

"Brian Barnett is the best hitter in the history of our program," the coach said. "He was the best in our conference and the best in Region 18. It's an honor that's very well deserved."

Whittemore credited defensive coach Jerahmie Libke and hitting coach Aaron Demosthenes for their player development efforts.

Looking ahead, he said, Stiles will be back to help the Wildcats in 2010, and Barnett will play at the University of Nevada, Reno. "Nevada is getting a great player in Barnett. He'll make a difference," Whittemore added.

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Mike Stiles    
Mike Stiles    
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