Three former Western Nevada College baseball players got the call to play professional baseball. Alums Chris Garrison (2011), Kyle Conwell (2010) and Logan Odom (2009) were selected Tuesday in day two of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.
Garrison was drafted in the 28th round by the Chicago Cubs. He was one of Western's top pitchers in wins in 2011 and Region XVIII Relief Pitcher of the Year. He recently signed a letter of intent with University of Kentucky.
Of Garrison, Whittemore says, "Chris had a dream when he came to Western to become a professional pitcher, and now he will have that opportunity. He also has the opportunity to pitch in the country's top collegiate baseball conference for one of the top developers of pitching talent, head coach Gary Henderson. Chris has worked extremely hard to get where he is today, and he deserves every opportunity. His character and leadership are the only things that match his work ethic and drive. We are very proud to call him an alumni of Western Nevada."
Conwell was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 22nd round. He is signed to play for Abilene Christian next year, but it is not known whether he will be offered a professional contract. Conwell was one of the leading hitters for the Wildcats and was part of a record setting group that won 41 regular season games and finished as the Region XVIII runners-up in 2010.
Whittemore says, "Kyle has a knack for hitting with very good power. He was a great competitor and someone that never accepted less than his best. We are extremely excited for Kyle and wish him the very best next season in professional baseball, if that is what he chooses.
Odom was recruited to WNC from North Medford High School where he played for legendary coach Brett Wolfe. He led the Wildcats to a third place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series, a NJCAA Western District Championship, a Region XVIII Championship and a Scenic West Conference Championship. He was a NJCAA Spring Academic Team of the Year Award recipient. After spending two seasons playing for WNC, Odom signed to play at University of Southern California in the PAC-10 Conference. In Odom's senior season he was tied for the team lead in victories, led the starters in opponent batting average, and was second in innings pitched. For his efforts he was drafted in the 8th round of the MLB draft to the Anaheim Angels. He was the 255nd player taken in the draft, the exact same spot that former Wildcat and teammate Lance Ray was selected by the Twins during the 2010 MLB draft. Odom is expected to sign shortly. When he does he will become the twelfth Wildcat to sign professionally in the past five years.
Coach DJ Whittemore says, "Logan Odom was one of the best teammates this program has ever seen. He was also one of the hardest workers and best students to ever come through our program. All of his hard work and his life long dream have come to fruition today. We are very proud of his accomplishments and thankful to count him among our alumni."
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