WNC quartet headed to D-1 schools
Four more Western Nevada College baseball players — Joey Crunkilton, Rayne Raven, Spencer Greer and Tony Roque — have accepted scholarship offers from Division I schools.
Two other WNC standouts — Sam Hall and Spenser Dorsey — have signed on with Division II schools.
“It’s part of their unwritten contract that if they work hard all season and they do everything we ask, they’ll get rewarded to continue their careers,” said coach D.J. Whittemore, who’s helping all 11 of his sophomores find new addresses. “Fortunately, everyone in our program has that opportunity this year, and every year.”
Crunkilton, a Region 18 first-team selection, will play at UC Santa Barbara. Raven moves on to Cal State Northridge, while Greer and Roque are headed to University of Texas-Pan American.
“Crunkilton is one of best hitters who has played for us,” Whittemore said. “I can’t remember anybody who sees the ball better than Joey, and he has a short swing; I feel like he can hit the best pitching in the country.”
The outfielder batted at a .315 clip and led the Wildcats in a number of power-hitting categories. His eight homers, 16 doubles, .562 slugging average and 44 RBI led the club.
Raven began his WNC career in 2012, the last time the Wildcats qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. After missing most of his second season in 2013, the versatile Raven culminated his Wildcat career this spring with a .317 batting average and a 7-4 pitching record, earning second-team honors for the region.
“Raven did everything we asked of him: hit for power, got on base, started games, closed out games,” Whittemore said. “Raven is up to the challenge.”
University of Texas-Pan American of the Western Athletic Conference has ensured pitcher Spencer Greer and shortstop Tony Roque can remain teammates for at least two more years.
“Greer was one of the best postseason pitchers and had some of the biggest postseason wins in our history,” said Whittemore, citing Greer’s 4 2/3-inning, two-hit relief effort in an 8-4 region title-clinching a win over Salt Lake Community College on May 10 and his 7 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in a 9-5 comeback win against Lamar Community College in the Western District Tournament in 2013.
The right-hander tied for second on the Wildcat staff with seven wins and had the second-lowest earned run average at 2.67. He struck out 56 hitters in 60 2/3 innings. Greer was a Region 18 second-team selection.
Roque committed just 22 errors in more than 100 games during his Wildcat career, getting to balls that many shortstops wouldn’t have.
“Tony was as good a defender as we’ve seen, especially over a two-year career,” Whittemore said. “They needed someone ready to play defense every day at that level, and Tony definitely fits that bill.”
Hall (.303, 24 RBI) has signed with Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, joining former Wildcats Donald Glover Jr., Evan Parker and Mike Umscheid.
Meanwhile, Dorsey (.260, five homers, 23 RBI) has signed with Central Washington University.
“He’s a physical offensive presence,” Whittemore said.