For the fifth straight year, the Western Nevada College baseball team has received a Top 20 ranking by Collegiate Baseball. The Wildcats are ranked 14th in the preseason poll for NJCAA Division I. WNC is one of only four teams in the entire country that have been ranked five times in a row. The others are Central Arizona, Iowa Western, and San Jacinto of Texas.
Head Coach DJ Whittemore said he is honored for the Wildcats to be mentioned along with the best junior college teams in the country.
“Our program has come a long way in the last six years because of all the talented and hardworking players we have been able to coach,” he said. “The success of the 2012 season will rest on the work ethic of our team. I’m optimistic, primarily because of our outstanding sophomore leadership.”
The Wildcats are the highest ranked team in their region and one of four West Coast teams to be ranked. They include Scenic West Conference rival Salt Lake Community College, which is 17th.
Whittemore said the Wildcats’ non-conference schedule is possibly the most difficult in the country. WNC will play four games in Las Vegas against second-ranked Central Arizona College, runners-up in the 2011 NJCAA World Series.
“We lost many key contributors from last season’s record-setting team, including seven position starters,” Whittemore said. “Replacing those bats in the middle of the order and our outstanding catchers will be the two key indicators for this team.“
WNC opens the season on January 27 in Las Vegas against South Mountain College from Phoenix. The Wildcats will play their first home game on March 9 against College of Eastern Utah.
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