JUCO World Series a great experience | NevadaAppeal.com

JUCO World Series a great experience

Grand Junction, Colo. – Every baseball fan needs to come to the JUCO World Series. I was told that this experience would rival the NCAA Division I College World Series and even the Major League World Series.

I hope sometime in my lifetime I’ll go to Omaha for the NCAA Division I College World Series. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to a Major League World Series game.

If I ever make it to Omaha or even to a Major League World Series game, I don’t know how those experiences could be any better than this one.

This has been a wonderful experience. The atmosphere at Sulplizio Field has been electric. The talent on the field has been most impressive.

After watching San Jacinto College of Texas dismantle Western Nevada Community College 12-5 on Tuesday, I was obviously most impressed with the Gators’ talent.

But I have to admit when I arrived here, I wondered if WNCC was a little bit over its head. But after watching these teams play, there’s no question in my mind that an argument could be made that the Wildcats are the second best team in this 10-team tournament.

Talent-wise, it appears San Jac is the class of this field. But that doesn’t mean WNCC can’t win the whole thing. I’ve followed this team for the past two years and I would never count a Wildcat club out.

I’ve also been most proud of how WNCC coach D.J. Whittemore, his players and the team’s fans have conducted themselves.

But I must say, conducting yourself with class and dignity by everyone here is the norm, not the exception. That includes the locals and all those who came to the World Series – players, coaches and fans.

It also made me proud when a local representative talked about how the Wildcats practice with passion.

If you’ve ever been to a WNCC practice, you would know what that guy was talking about. There’s never any wasted motion, but always constant motion, in Whittemore’s practices.

Even when WNCC conducts a “light” workout as it did on Sunday, I have to figure that the Wildcats’ light practices are more intense than most teams’ hard workouts. And I must say, I was impressed there were several tournament officlals at the field where WNCC practiced.

They had the field prepared to WNCC’s liking before the team even arrived. That’s a detail showing how organized this tournament has been.

SOLID DEFENSE

WNCC has played solid defense in its first three games, making two errors. One of the errors was an extremely tough call against T.J. Wohlever when he dropped a throw from Andrew Reid trying to beat San Jac’s Kyle Henson to the bag on a bang-bang play.

The Wildcats have made numerous outstanding plays throughout the tournament, including on Tuesday. They including an outstanding running catch up against the wall by Chad Walling in centerfield and a diving catch of a line drive at shortstop by Kyle Bondurant. In the ninth inning, Brad Carlsen, who had come in for Walling, made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall, possibly robbing Kris Miller of a home run.

HIGH FIVE

No matter what happens the rest of the way, WNCC can lay claim to being one of the nation’s top five teams. The Wildcats are one of five teams left in the tournament along with San Jac, Florida’s Chipola College, New Mexico Junior College and South Carolina’s Spartanburg Methodist College. Iowa Western Community College, Delgado Community College of New Orleans, Georgia’s Young Harris College Alabama’s Shelton State Community College and Cowley Community College of Kansas have been eliminated.

ANOTHER REMINDER

All of the games can be followed at JUCO.org’s gametracker or through KTMM 1340 Radio’s broadcasts on the internet. Live updates of WNCC’s games are also being provided at http://www.nevadaappeal.com.