Wildcats wins, gain commitment from top recruit
Western Nevada College baseball coach D.J. Whittemore had a lot to smile about on Saturday.
His team may have had its best outing of the year in an 8-5 win at Modesto (Calif.) Community College in a scrimmage. And Whittemore also received a commitment on Saturday from one of Oregon’s top pitcher for 2009.
Jordan Lewis, a left-handed pitcher out of Phoenix, Ore,. outside of Medford, gave a verbal commitment to the Wildcats on Saturday. Lewis was an all-state performer last spring and was one of the top two pitchers for the Medford Mustangs, which won the American Legion state title this summer.
Lewis could be a player who gets away from Western Nevada and eventually ends up at a Division I school. Commitments and signings at the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association level are non-binding and players could eventually decide to attend a Division I school if they choose.
Among the schools who have shown interest in Lewis is two-time defending national champion Oregon State. “He’s a good one,” Whittemore said. “it will be good if we could hold him.”
Even if the Wildcats lose Lewis, their 2009 class is shaping up to be a strong one. It will be a small class as Western Nevada is looking to sign 12 players. The Wildcats have received seven commitments so far.
Among them are two of Northern Nevada’s top athletes, right-handed pitcher Cavin Hill of Reno High and C.J. Maldonado, a left-handed hitting catcher from Reed. There’s also Durango second baseman Michael Stiles, Coronado outfielder Tim Arthur and right-handed pitcher Gus Gaviglio from Ashland, Ore., another all-state performer.
In addition, there’s Jordan Bostwick, a left-handed hitting centerfielder from North Medford High. The first-team all-conferencer performer helped lead his team to state high school and American Legion titles at the highest level this past year.
As far as Saturday’s game, the Wildcats scored three runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie.
Chuck Howard singled and eventually advanced to third when Davis Banks hit a ball to the right side for a single. Logan Odom followed with a two-run double. Brett Morevac sacrificed Odom to third and Travis Feiner brought Odom home with a squeeze bunt to make it 4-1.
“That really kind of set the tone for the day,” Whittemore said. “It was awesome to see the guys execute. I think we might have played our best baseball of the fall.”
Wes Osmer got the last four outs to pick up the save. Osmer came into the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth with the Wildcats leading 6-3. Osmer allowed a two-run single, but then shut down Modesto.
Starter Jose Barajas allowed one run over three innings and Donald Broderick pitched a scoreless inning. Jerome Pena was 2-for-4, Logan Parsley had a double and two RBI, Howard was 2-for-3 with two RBI, Odom was 3-for-5 with two doubles and Feiner added a hit.