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WNCC should consider McNutt

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Some thoughts for a Saturday morning.

n The search for a new baseball coach at Western Nevada Community College should start with one person – Ron McNutt.

The job should be McNutt’s to turn down or accept as he sees fit. The veteran Carson High coach has demonstrated his mettle for many years, and he’d be the perfect coach to start a new program from scratch. He has plenty of local support and community ties, and is an outstanding fund-raiser. Western Nevada won’t have an on-campus facility, and would probably use Governor’s Field initially. No doubt McNutt could raise enough money to have improvements done on the field to bring it up to community college caliber.

If McNutt isn’t interested, one viable candidate could be Nik Kuster, who coached the Sun Devils to the local Joe Dimaggio championship last summer.

Stay tuned on that one. One thing is certain, if WNCC plans to start baseball next season, it had better hire a coach quickly so he can start recruiting.

n You have to like Brian Gazzero’s optimism. The Nevada Wolf Pack outfielder was talking about the regional playoffs after a recent win over Sacramento State.

As much as I would love to see it, I don’t believe the Wolf Pack have much of a chance to nail down a regional berth. Nevada was 23-21 entering last night’s game at Hawai’i and has 15 games remaining on the schedule, three of which are against defending national champion Rice. In my opinion, Nevada needs to win 11 of its last 15, and one of those better be against Rice. Nevada also has to surpass Hawai’i and finish second in the WAC. It’s highly unlikely that the WAC will get three NCAA berths.

Being swept by Cal-Poly and losing twice to Lewis-Clark (at home) certainly won’t help their NCAA chances.

The team does have a chance to surpass last year’s 32-21 mark if it can scratch out nine more wins.

On a different note, coach Gary Powers did say that Stanford will be coming to Nevada for a single game next year. Too bad he couldn’t get them for a weekend series. Stanford is a class act, and would draw a pretty good crowd.

n I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the WAC should convince Reno to host the conference basketball tournament every year.

The attendance at this year’s event at Fresno State was dismal even though the Bulldogs have the best arena in the conference. There was a pre-sale of about 5,000 tickets, and FSU officials said they needed much more than that to break even despite the sponsorship of the tournament. Fresno State had a bad basketball team this year, and as a result, fans stayed away in droves. Let’s face it, there was nothing to do in Fresno except watch the tournament.

More people would be inclined to go to Reno every year because of the different recreational opportunities and the gambling. You can play golf and you can ski, plus there are entertainment opportunities galore.

A well-known writer from another Northern Nevada paper said that Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center would be the perfect place each year.

I disagree for a couple of reasons. I don’t think Nevada fans would be in force no matter how well the team is doing, and secondly, I don’t see the WAC wanting to have the tournament at a Mountain West School.

n The University of Nevada football games have been moved, with one exception, to 6:05 p.m. this year. It’s a start, but if you are trying to attract more families, why not play at 4:05 or 5:05? At least kids would get home at a decent hour. Even at 6:05, most games won’t get over until 9:30 if coach Chris Ault’s team throws the ball like it did when Ault was head coach previously.

The only day game on the schedule is late November when Boise State comes to town, and that will be a 1 p.m. start.

n You hate to see any player suffer an injury, but when it happens to a class kid like Aaron Henry, you feel doubly worse. Henry tore tendons over Easter break, and he first hoped he might be available for the state tournament.

That won’t happen. It will take some time for the injury to heal, which would possibly force him to redshirt wherever he decides to go to college next year. That’s not a bad thing, as Henry could use the time to get stronger physically.

Henry has talked to College of Southern Idaho, Pacific, Feather River, Sac State and Nevada. Henry said last week was the first contact he’d had from Nevada. Nevada currently has six outfielders on its roster, and two, Chris Gimenez and Jacob Butler, could sign pro contracts at the end of the season.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1281.