The Wildcats just keep on coming. Three more Western Nevada College baseball players have committed to play at university programs in 2011-2012. This brings the total of NCAA Division I signed student athletes to nine. In the past three years, 27 WNC baseball players have signed with Division I schools, and others have moved on to Division II and III schools.
Connor Eppard has signed with the University of Utah of the Pac-12 conference. Eppard was the Wildcats' starting centerfielder and number three in the lineup. He earned the 2011 Thomas Miller Award as the team's most valuable player.
Coach DJ Whittemore said, "Connor's work ethic, leadership, toughness and performance are a big reason our team was so consistent throughout the year. We are very happy he has the opportunity to move to Utah to compete in the best conference in the country...however, we will miss him dearly."
Sean Potkay will play at Tulane University in New Orleans. Tulane is a member of Conference USA and a former College World Series participant. Potkay hit clean-up and played first base for the Wildcats.
"Sean was the best power hitter in the conference last season," Whittemore said. "He provided us with a veteran presence, and in addition to his outstanding offensive numbers, he was invaluable defensively. He had very big shoes to fill after Eric Maupin graduated in 2010, but he did the job wonderfully."
Sean Dwyer heads to New Mexico State University, joining teammate Pat McMeel, who signed with NMSU in November. Dwyer graduated from WNC with a 3.96 GPA and was named an Academic All-American in his sophomore season. He earned the Chad Walling Award as the player who most exemplifies the character of a Wildcat - the most prestigious baseball honor given at Western.
Whittemore calls Dwyer the proverbial 'total package'. "He has the drive to succeed and work when nobody is looking. He has the intelligence and diligence to succeed in the toughest of classes. He has the charisma that allows him to be a great leader. He is easily one of the best players I have ever coached."
Eppard, Potkay and Dwyer join the D-I ranks with previously signed teammates Kody Gorden and Brooks Klein, University of Nevada; Kevin Taylor, Arizona State University; Pat McMeel, New Mexico State University; and Tim Peterson and Chris Garrison, University of Kentucky.
In the past three years, Wildcats players have moved on to some of the most respected names in college baseball, including California State University Fullerton, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, University of Southern California, University of Kentucky, Tulane, University of Utah, University of Maryland, University of Houston, University of Nevada, UNLV, University of Pacific, and more.
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