The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team was well represented on the Omaha World Herald All-Nebraska JUCO team that was recently released.
WNCC, who finished runner-up at the Region IX tournament in May, garnered eight individuals on the JUCO team. The Cougars placed four players on the first team with another four on honorable mention.
WNCC was led by sophomores Zach Berg and Brevin Owen on the first team along with freshman Dermot Fritsch and Ethan “Q” Miller.
Berg was listed as a pitcher that finished the season with a 2.57 earned run average with 57 strikeouts, while Owen earned honors at first base, where he batted .376 with 23 extra base hits, and 30 RBIs.
Berg will be attending Ft. Hays State University next year while Owen has signed with Regis University.
The two players returning next season that earned first team recognition, Miller and Fritsch, had good seasons. Miller earned recognition as an outfielder while Fritsch was tabbed as a designated hitter, despite being the starting second baseman all year.
Miller finished is freshman year with a .270 batting average with seven home runs and 34 RBIs. Fritsch batted .312 with five home runs, 36 RBIs, and 39 runs scored this last season.
The four players who earned honorable mention accolades included sophomore pitchers Kale Litzelman and Hunter Parker, and catcher Mitch Osborne. The lone freshman to earn honorable mention was catcher Mikey Felton.
All three sophomores are headed to the four-year level next year. Litzelman signed to continue throwing at Division I Murray State next year while Berg is headed to Ft. Hays State. Osborne, who is playing for the Western Nebraska Pioneers this summer, still needs to decide on a college.
Northeast Community College, who made the NCAA Division II World Series led the way with six First Team selections, including honorary captain Drew Smith, a second baseman who batted .465 last year with 18 home runs and 69 RBIs. Smith played one season at Northeast after transferring from Creighton. Smith helped Northeast go 2-2 at the World Series, going 12 of 16 with nine runs scored and with 14 RBIs. He will be competing at Grand Canyon University next year.
Other Northeast players on the First Team included freshmen pitchers Alex Potter and Cam Taylor, sophomore catcher Bryce Walker, sophomore infielders Smith and Christian Dumont, and freshman outfielder Jayden Sinju.
Other members of the First Team include players from Southeast Community College and McCook Community College. Southeast players include pitcher Mark Timmins and utility player Brenton Davis. McCook representatives include pitcher Isaac Vargas, infielder Ricardo Jimenez, and outfielder Julio Seperich.
Also making honorable mention included from McCook Braden Babcock, Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli, and Justin Lucas; from Northeast Derek Botaletto, Andrew Shaw, and Donovan Warren; and from Southeast Gavin Gragg and Cade Moeller.