Without even taking the field, yet, the Western Nevada Community College Baseball team had four players taken in the Major League Baseball draft, which was completed on Wednesday. Within a week, that number could rise to five.
WNCC Coach D.J. Whittemore said he believes he has an excellent chance to sign Mason Tobin, a right-handed pitcher from Renton, Wash. Tobin was the 467th pick taken in the draft in the 15th round by the Atlanta Braves. Whittemore said Tobin could sign a letter-of-intent with WNCC within a week.
On Wednesday, four players who have signed with WNCC were drafted: Justin Reynolds, an outfielder from Independence, Ore., taken 737th overall in the 24th round by the Atlanta Braves; Josh Brink, a right-handed pitcher from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, taken 854th overall by the Minnesota Twins, Aaron Greer, a left-handed hitting catcher from North Eugene, Ore., taken 1,057th overall in the 35th round by the Philadelphia Phillies, and Tyler Jaquez, a third baseman from Loyalton, Calif., taken in the 45th round by the Detroit Tigers.
Whittemore said he believes there's still an excellent chance that Jaquez, Brink and Greer will all come to WNCC. But Reynolds, who is also being recruited by Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, may opt to go there since his letter-of-intent at WNCC is non-binding or he could decide to sign with the Braves.
WNCC isn't shying away from a tough schedule in its opening season in 2006. The Wildcats will play 56 regular season games, including 40 in the Scenic West Conference against Community College of Southern Nevada, Salt Lake, Eastern Utah, Dixie State, Colorado Northwestern and Southern Idaho.
The team will open the season Jan. 28-30 in the Coyote Slugout against teams from Arizona in Las Vegas. WNCC will also play in the national Coyote Invitational to be held Feb. 10-12 in Las Vegas.
WNCC's home opener at its on-campus ballpark, John L. Harvey Stadium, will be the opener of Scenic West Series on Feb. 24 against Colorado Northwestern. WNCC will also host a series with Lane Community College in Oregon March 3-5. Lane won the Northwest title in 2004, which covers schools in Oregon and Washington.
The team will also travel to face four schools from the Orange Empire Conference, which is rated the second toughest conference in the country. WNCC will play in Orange County, Calif., against Saddleback, Irvine Valley, Santa Ana and Orange Coast Feb. 3-5. The complete schedule is available on WNCC's website, www.wncc.edu/athletics.