If there is anything that comes a close second to being as predictable as a winning baseball season for Western Nevada College, itâ€™s Wildcat pitchers earning postseason honors.
For the sixth consecutive year, a WNC hurler has earned a pitcher of the year honor. WNC sophomore Conor Harber was selected as co-pitcher of the year for Region 18. Harber joins Kramer Champlin (2009-10), Chris Garrison (2011), Dylan Baker (2012) and Cody Hamlin (2013) on the Wildcat list of pitchers or relievers of the year. Harber, who has an 8-0 record and 2.23 earned run average, shared pitcher of the year honors with Salt Lakeâ€™s Jason Jourdan.
Most of Western Nevada Collegeâ€™s starting lineup received individual honors on May 7 during a Region 18 selection meeting.
Sophomores Joey Crunkilton, Christian Stolo and Harber were chosen to the Region 18 first team by the five coaches who represent Scenic West Athletic Conference teams.
â€œCongratulations to all our NJCAA All-Region selections. They have collectively spent countless hours practicing and deserve high praise for their preparation and performance,â€ WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said. â€œThe position coaches really deserve some credit as well as they are the ones that are helping the players reach their potential and make adjustments.â€
Crunkilton was tabbed as a first-team outfielder; and Stolo and Harber were first-team choices as pitchers. Stolo and Harber are only the third and fourth Wildcats to twice be selected first-team all-region. Stolo took a 5-3 record and 3.05 ERA into Fridayâ€™s Region 18 Tournament matchup with Salt Lake, while Crunkilton was hitting .321 with a team-leading seven homers, 15 doubles and 40 RBI.
Earning second-team honors were sophomore pitcher Spencer Greer (6-4, 2.14 ERA), sophomore second baseman Connor Klein (.281, 10 doubles), sophomore third baseman Rayne Raven (.317, 14 doubles and seven victories on the mound) and sophomore outfielder Jake Bennett (.325, team-leading 43 runs scored, nine doubles and 11 stolen bases).
Kleinâ€™s second-team honor duplicated his selection from a year ago. He joins Harber, Stolo and Crunkilton from this yearâ€™s club as two-time all-region choices. Only 10 Wildcats have accomplished that feat.
The Wildcats also had three players receive honorable mention: sophomore outfielder Alex Fife (team-best .336 average, seven doubles and 26 RBI), sophomore shortstop Tony Roque (.250, seven doubles and 17 RBI) and sophomore first baseman Sam Hall (.291, 11 doubles and 24 RBI).
â€œEveryone appreciates being recognized and winning individual awards are gratifying, but this group of players is collectively concerned and driven by one goal: defending their Region 18 title,â€ Whittemore said.
Salt Lakeâ€™s Eric Carter was chosen as reliever of the year, and Bruins skipper DG Nelson was selected as coach of the year.