Eleven different opponents and a series of intrasquad games highlight Western Nevada College’s upcoming fall baseball season.
The Wildcats begin their two-month fall scrimmage campaign with intrasquad games on Friday and Saturday at John L. Harvey Field.
Intrasquad games are also set for Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 27-29 at John L. Harvey Field. All intrasquad games begin at 11 a.m.
For many of their doubleheaders this fall, the Wildcats will play two different opponents.
“The concept of the three-way is designed to see lots of different styles of play and compete against different pitchers,” said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore. “Most of the time we go to California to play the schools where we’re already scheduled to play a doubleheader, and who were kind enough to allow us to join them on that day.”
WNC’s doubleheader format starts Saturday, Sept. 12, when Feather River College and San Joaquin Delta colleges visit John L. Harvey Field.
Other home dates are Saturday, Sept. 19 vs. the Reno Astros; and Saturday, Oct. 3, vs. Feather River College.
The Wildcats will play road doubleheaders against Yuba and Folsom Lake colleges on Sept. 18 in Folsom, Lassen Community College and Shasta College on Sept. 26 in Susanville; Feather River College on Oct. 2 in Quincy, Chabot and Sierra colleges on Friday, Oct. 9 in Rocklin, San Joaquin Delta and Reedley colleges on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Stockton, and Lane Community College on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Medford, Ore. That final trip to Medford will allow family and friends to watch WNC players from the Pacific Northwest.
“The trip will be a tremendous way to finish the fall, and we are thankful for the opportunity,” Whittemore said. “Lane has one of the premier JC programs in Oregon, and the stadium we are playing in at Medford is great. Having so many Northwest players is a great excuse to drive up and play. Their parents and former players will be able to come out and watch our team compete.”
Like they have in past seasons, the Wildcats will wrap up their fall slate with the Players’ World Series Oct. 21-24 at John L. Harvey Field.
With Carson City often unsuited to baseball in January, February and March, Whittemore wants his team to be game ready by the end of fall. Of the 31 players on the Wildcats’ fall roster, only 13 played for the team a year ago.
“We need to work on every aspect of playing championship baseball in the fall,” Whittemore said. “There is no guarantee that we will even have a chance to practice on our field before the first game of the season.”
From his pitchers learning to command the strike zone to his hitters learning plate discipline, the fall season gives the Wildcats the opportunity to make dramatic improvements before the season actually begins in late January.
“We have to learn how to play baseball the Wildcat way; we call it 90-foot warfare, where every inch is important,” Whittemore said. “The single most important pieces to the fall are learning how to be a team and learning how to win.”
For a complete list of games and starting times, go to http://wildcats.wnc.edu/schedule.