Although its fall baseball scrimmage season includes one-third of the games of the regular season, that doesnâ€™t mean Western Nevada College treats opponents any differently.
D.J. Whittemore, entering his 10th season at the helm of the Wildcats, said that when the first pitch is thrown Sept. 7 against Feather River College, the club will take the same approach that it does when the regular season begins in late January.
â€œWe play to win and we try to learn from and minimize our mistakes,â€ Whittemore said. â€œThe coaches will use the games to evaluate the players and identify strengths and weaknesses that can be addressed in the offseason.â€
Whittemore welcomes back six position players and three pitchers. Thus, the fall scrimmages give the freshmen an opportunity to develop their skills and adjust to a higher level of play.
â€œFor the freshman class especially, the games in the fall allow them to catch up to the speed of the game and learn to play and compete every pitch,â€ Whittemore said. â€œThe 20 extra games are also useful so our players can learn to play as a team and get comfortable with one another.â€
In addition to Feather River, WNC will scrimmage Delta College, Sacramento City College and Sierra College, and cap the fall campaign with an intrasquad World Series on Oct. 15-18 at John L. Harvey Field.
WNCâ€™s opening doubleheader against Feather River is slated for Peccole Park in Reno, the site of six of the Wildcatsâ€™ fall games.
The Wildcats will play host to a twin bill against Sacramento City College on Sept 20 and Feather River on Oct. 5.
â€œPlaying quality programs like Delta, Sierra, Feather River and Sac City give us a measuring stick as to where we are going to stand going into the spring taking on the likes of CSN, SLCC and CSI,â€ Whittemore said. â€œItâ€™s a great time of the year in our program and something we really look forward to.â€