September 4, 2014

Baseball Alumni Make a Difference at Higher Levels

By the time players work their way through the Western Nevada College baseball program, they are poised and prepared to make a mark in higher levels of the game.

Thirteen former Wildcats competed in professional baseball in 2014 and 14 others are on the rosters of NCAA Division I and II baseball programs for 2014-15.

Here is an update on Wildcat alumni:
Minor League Players

• Mason Tobin, 2006 Wildcats: Tobin was released by the San Francisco Giants earlier this summer. He appeared in 27 games for the Fresno Grizzlies in 2014, posting a 1-2 record, one save and 4.24 ERA. Tobin has appeared in four MLB games and has a 6.75 career ERA. In six minor league seasons, the free agent has a combined 10-6 record and 3.40 ERA.

• Lance Ray, 2008-09 Wildcats: Ray just completed his fifth minor league season in the Minnesota Twins organization, splitting time between Single A+ and Double A. He hit 286 with eight doubles and two homers for Single-A Fort Myers and .208 with two doubles and a triple for Double-A New Britain.

• Jerome Pena, 2008-09 Wildcats: Finished his third season with the Frederick Keys, a Single-A+ affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The switch-hitting second baseman hit .269 with 19 doubles, four triples and five homers while knocking in 39 runs.

• Tim Peterson, 2010-11 Wildcats: He appeared as a starter and relief pitcher in Savannah and St. Lucie this season prior to being promoted to the Double-A Binghamton Mets for the Eastern League playoffs. He struck out 70 and walked only 16 in 54 1/3 innings work. At Savannah, Peterson was 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA.

• Dylan Baker, 2012 Wildcats: The highest MLB selection ever for WNC (fifth round, 2012 by Cleveland) overcame a left fibula fracture early in the season to make three rehab appearances for the Arizona League Indians and eight starts for the Single-A+ Carolina Mudcats (3-3, 4.05 ERA). In his only start prior to the injury, Baker threw a perfect six innings against the Frederick Keys. In 2013, Baker threw 143 2/3 innings for Single-A Lake County and fanned 117 batters, fourth best in the Midwest League.

• James Nygren, 2008 Wildcats: Spent most of the 2014 season with Double-A Jacksonville, winning four of six decisions and crafting a 3.45 ERA. He walked just 10 hitters in 65 innings. Nygren also made two relief appearances for Triple-A New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League. It was his fourth season in the minors for the Miami Marlins.

• Kramer Champlin, 2009-10 Wildcats: The fourth minor league season for Champlin turned out to be his best. In 20 appearances for two teams in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, the right-hander won four of six decisions while pitching to a 2.31 ERA. He fanned 18 hitters in 30 innings for Dunedin, a Single-A+ team that qualified for the Florida State League playoffs.

• Logan Odom, 2008-09 Wildcats: The right-hander put together an unbeaten season for the Rockford Aviators in the independent Frontier League. He was 4-0 with a 4.57 ERA in 24 appearances before retiring on July 18. Odom pitched for the San Rafael Pacifics of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs in 2013, earning nine wins and recording a 2.32 ERA.

• Jose Barajas, 2008 Wildcats: Pitched for Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League for the past two seasons. In 2014, Barajas has a 1-1 record with a 7.58 ERA in 19 innings.

• Taylor Smart, 2011-12 Wildcats: The infielder hit .220 with 12 RBI in his first pro season with the Mariners’ Single-A affiliate in Everett, Wash.

• Andrew Woeck, 2011-12 Wildcats: The 2014 draft pick of the Tampa Rays is rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery after a standout college career for the North Carolina State Wolfpack and WNC.

• Luke Eubank, 2013 Wildcats: The 2014 15th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians earned three saves and compiled a 2.25 ERA in 17 appearances for Single-A Mahoning Valley.

• Brandon Show, 2012-13 Wildcats: In 12 games for the Single-A Lowell Spinners, the minor league rookie was 1-1 with a 7.13 ERA. He struck out 11 in 17 2/3 innings.

NCAA Division I Players


• Cole Ferguson, SE Missouri State: Played for WNC in 2012-13. The catcher hit .316 with five homers and 23 RBI for SE Missouri State as a junior.

• AJ Hernandez, UNLV: Played for WNC in 2012-13. The infielder started 27 games for the NCAA Tournament-qualifying Rebels in 2014, batting .286 with 12 doubles and 17 RBI.

• Phil Belding, Oregon State: Played for WNC in 2012-13. The right-handed pitcher made seven appearances for the Pac-12 champions, with no decisions and 15.00 ERA.

• Alex Schmidt, Washington: Played for WNC in 2012. Started 48 games at third base for the NCAA Tournament-qualifying Huskies in 2014, scoring 40 runs and hitting .233 with five homers and 26 RBI.


• Cody Hamlin, Arizona: Played for WNC in 2013. As a sophomore, the right-hander was one of Arizona’s most reliable starters. He was 5-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 16 starts.

• Joey Crunkilton, UC Santa Barbara: The outfielder hit.315 and led WNC with eight homers and 44 RBI during the 2014 season.

• Rayne Raven, Cal State Northridge: Showed his versatility during his two-plus seasons at WNC. As a sophomore, he hit .317 with 14 doubles and three home runs and was second on the team with seven pitching wins.

• Conor Harber, Oregon: The two-time All-American and MLB draftee concluded his Wildcat career with all-around success. Harber led the Wildcats with a .331 batting average and was a tidy 8-0 on the mound. He fanned 82 hitters in 72 1/3 innings.

• Christian Stolo, University of Nevada, Reno: The former McQueen High star was also called upon to pitch and hit. He was third on the team with a 2.73 ERA and won six of nine decisions. He batted .263 with 10 doubles.

• Tony Roque, University of Texas-Pan American: The slick-field shortstop hit .243 with eight doubles in his sophomore season with the Wildcats.

• Spencer Greer, University of Texas-Pan American: The 6-foot-5 right-hander was second in ERA (2.67) while winning seven games for the Wildcats last season.

NCAA Division II Players


• Evan Parker, Dixie State University: Played for WNC in 2012-13. Became Dixie’s closer and responded with a school-record 13 saves. He finished with a 1-0 record and 1.59 ERA during his junior season.

• Donald Glover Jr., Dixie State University: Played for WNC in 2011 and 2013. The outfielder was Dixie’s second-leading hitter, batting .346 in 39 games.


• Alex Fife, Mesa State: Played for WNC in 2013-14. Fife, an outfielder, was second among the Wildcats with a .325 average a year ago. He knocked in 31 runs and stole eight bases.

• Sam Hall, Dixie State University: Played for WNC in 2014, hitting .303 with 11 doubles and 24 RBI.


Photo Gallery
Photos (Click to Enlarge)
Dylan Baker    
Dylan Baker    
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