June 19, 2007

Garcia Becomes Third Wildcats Pitcher to Go Pro

Former Western Nevada Community College pitcher Justin Garcia has made it official - he's headed for professional baseball. Garcia has signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that includes a signing bonus and money for him to finish his college education. He reports this week to Fishkill, N.Y., to play for the Hudson Valley Renegades, a Class A team in the New York Penn League. According to Wildcats Head Coach DJ Whittemore, "He could pitch before the end of the week."

The Devil Rays made Garcia the first pick in the 25th round in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. He previously signed a letter of intent to play next year at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Whittemore called the dream of going pro "Justin's goal since childhood. We're just really happy to have played a small role in helping him follow his dream."

Garcia ended the season with an 11-5 record, a 2.73 earned run average, a .241 opponents' batting average, and 79 strikeouts in 100 innings. He led the Scenic West Athletic Conference in innings pitched, wins and games started.

He's also following two WNCC teammates into the major leagues. Starter Cole Rohrbough and TJ Wohlever have both signed with the Atlanta Braves. Rohrbough reported to Virginia last weekend to play for the Danville Braves, an advanced rookie minor league baseball team that plays in the Appalachian League, and Wohlever has reported to the Gulf Coast League Braves in Kissimmee, Fla.


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