Four WNC baseball players sign with D-1 schools

Four Western Nevada College baseball players - Taylor Smart, Andrew Woeck, Chris Woolley and Alex Schmidt - signed with Division I colleges Tuesday afternoon.

In its six years of competition, the WNC baseball program has seen much success, including seven championships and two trips to the NJCAA World Series where the Wildcats finished fifth in 2007 and third in 2009. Their overall program win/loss record stands at 254-108-2 under the guidance of D.J. Whittemore.

Smart, a sophomore second baseman, signed with the University of Tennessee. He was a first-team all-Scenic West performer last year after hitting .254 and collecting a .926 fielding percentage with just 15 errors in 189 chances.

"Smart hit in the two hole for most of the season and was in the top five for the conference in on-base percentage and walks," Whittemore said. "Taylor has really grown in the past year and a half as player, person, student, and leader. His growth is a big reason our team is confident heading into the 2012 season."

Smart also added nine stolen bases.

Woeck, a sophomore right-hander, was 7-2 with a 4.14 ERA . He is headed to North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coat Conference.

"Andrew is our top returning pitcher and someone we know we can count on to pitch big ball games," Whittemore said.

Woeck pitched brilliantly in the Region XVIII championship game, including the last 6.1 innings of scoreless two-hit ball.

Woolley, a sophomore shortstop, is signing with the University of San Diego of the West Coast Conference.

Wooley was named to the Scenic West all-conference first team last season after leading the Wildcats hitting in the leadoff position. Woolley was WNC's leading hitter, batting .337 on the season and driving in 35 runs.

"Chris was the leader on our team last season even though we had seven sophomores in the starting lineup," Whittemore said. "That tells you the type of player he is right there. He is so consistent with his competitive drive that I haven't really seen him play a poor game yet."

Schmidt , who has yet to play a game at WNC, signed with the University of Washington.

"Alex turned down a couple of different D-I opportunities out of high school to come play at WNC," Whittemore said, "It comes as no surprise that he is signing early with a great program such as Washington. His work ethic and talent will make him a big part of our team."


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