2013 Luis Trinidad Southern University (LA)
Luis was a starter for both years in his 2 year stint at Taft College. The middle infielder took pride in the way he handled the bat at the plate. Well-respected around campus, Luis took part in ASB and maintained a 4.0 GPA, giving him the honor of Academic All Conference both years. He was a graduate of Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico.
2013 Matt Gunderson Brescia University (KY)
Matt was a strong reliever for the Cougars, sporting a one of the highest team ERA’s, He also excelled in the classroom. Matt was a graduate of Burlington High School in Seattle, Washington.
2013 Joshua Hickle California State University Monterey Bay (CA)
Josh was a strong leader in the Taft clubhouse, and had a strong offensive game. The catcher also excelled behind the plate. He was injured for nearly his whole sophomore season before moving on. Josh was a graduate of Independence High School in Bakersfield, CA.
2013 Allan Sanchez California State University San Bernardino (CA)
Allan was a three year Cougar, sustaining an injury that made him miss his sophomore season. He returned in his third year and was an impact player, as a starter for the Cougars. Allan was a graduate of Del Carmen High School in Puerto Rico.
2013 Brad Smith University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Brad was a reliever for the Cougars during his two seasons. He was hard-working on and off of the field. Brad was a graduate of Langley Fundamental High School in Langley, British Columbia.
2013 Michael Vaquera University of Pikeville (KY)
Mike was a veteran presence out of the bullpen. He owned closing duties for the Cougars in 2013. He was a good teammate on and off the field.
2012 Sean Arbaut Minot State University (ND)
Sean was two year starter in the program, and also an outstanding defensive third baseman. He was known as a high character player that was well thought of on the Taft College campus. He was an ASB member while at Taft, and was a graduate of Tehachapi High School.
2012 Pierce Belaustegui Viterbo University (WI)
Pierce was a two year starter, who made 1st team all CVC his sophomore year. He was a great student while at Taft College. He was a great offensive presence while at Taft College. He was a graduate of Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
2012 Clem Ferrer University of Antelope Valley (CA)
Clem was a two year starter, and played primarily left field for the Cougars. He was an All CVC Golden Glove Outfielder in 2012. He was an excellent bunter with great speed. Clem was a graduate of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy H.S.
2012 Corey Gilligan University of Pikeville (KY)
Corey was a rotation pitcher in his sophomore year. He is a left-handed strike thrower, and also excelled in the classroom. Corey is a graduate from Basic High School in Henderson, Nevada.
2012 Jay Huggins New Mexico Highlands University (NM)
Jay was a starter for the Cougars in his sophomore year. He played first and third base. He is originally from British Colombia, where he was an outstanding student as well.
2012 Matt Packer University of Miami (OH)
Matt was a transfer from Chapman University. He was the Cougar starting second baseman in 2012. He was an outstanding student at Taft College maintaining a 4.0 GPA. .Matt was a graduate from Stockdale High School in Bakersfield, California.
2012 Chase Skinner San Diego Christian College (CA)
A starter in right field for the Cougars, after transferring from Cerro Coso College. Chase made second team all CVC. He was a graduate of Legacy High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
2012 Forrest Smith Oklahoma City University (OK)
A two- year starter at first base for the Cougars, had a terrific season until an injury happened ending his season. He was also a really good student at Taft College. Forrest made second team all CVC, and was a graduate of Foothill High School in Bakersfield, CA.
2011 Austin Christiansen Dixie State University (Utah)
A two-year starter for the Cougars, Austin was a 2011 first team All CVC Utility player as a first baseman and pitcher. He was also selected as an All NorCal Utility player. He was voted by his teammates as the Team MVP in 2011. Austin was also an Academic All American in 2011. Austin graduated from Legacy High School in Las Vegas, NV in 2009.
2011 Matt Davis St. Edwards University (Texas)
A member of the Cougars starting rotation during the 2011 season, Matt was also a 2009 graduate from Taft Union High School.
2011 Jesus Del Rosario Azusa Pacific University (CA)/ Rogers State University (OK) / Rockford Aviators
Had a great 2 year career at TC, was a first team All CVC Relief Pitcher in 2010 and a 2nd team member in 2011. In 2010 Jesus set the all-time Taft College record for opponent’s batting average at .152. He was selected to the Fall NorCal All Star Showcase in 2010. He is a graduate of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School in 2009. Jesus signed an independent ball contract with the Rockford Aviators in Chicago, IL in 2013.
2011 Braden Keathley Christian Brothers University (TN)
A member of the Cougars starting rotation in both 2010 and 2011, also the team’s starting designated hitter. Selected to the Fall NorCal All Star Showcase in 2010. Was a 2nd team all CVC Pitcher in 2011. Voted by his teammates as the Most Valuable Pitcher in 2011. Braden was a 2009 graduate of Silverado High School in Las Vegas, NV.
2011 Barrett Nielsen Northwest Nazarene University (ID) / Colorado State University-Pueblo
A member of the Cougars pitching staff in 2011. Because of his excellence in the classroom, decided to transfer to Northwest Nazarene for academic reasons. A 2009 graduate of McLurg High School in Wilkie, Saskatchewan, Canada.
2011 Perry Rogan Patten University (California)/ University of Antelope Valley (CA)
A two year starter for the Cougars. Selected in 2011 as a 1st team All CVC Third Baseman and a 2nd team All CVC Third Baseman in 2010. Voted by his teammates as the team Most Valuable Hitter in 2011. A 2009 graduate from East Bakersfield High School.
2011 Larry Valdes University of Hawaii-Hilo
A starter for the Cougars in 2011, playing left field, second base, and pitcher. A valuable addition to the 2011 Cougars after transferring from Mesa College in Arizona. A 2007 graduate from Valley High School in Las Vegas, NV.
2011 Josh Dickey Oklahoma City University
A two-year starter for the Cougars playing both outfield and catcher. Made 2nd Team All Central Valley Conference outfielder in his sophomore year (2011). Holds both the season (18) and career (31) records for hit by pitches. Josh is a 2009 graduate of Centennial High School in Bakersfield.
2011 Stefan Norman Eastern New Mexico University (NM)
Stefan started at left field and DH for the Cougars. He was a graduate of Silverado High School in Las Vegas, NV. He was a very good student as well.
2010 Anthony Rodriguez Azusa Pacific University (CA)
An All-CVC shortstop his sophomore year at Taft College. This switch hitting shortstop hit .384 and stole 23 bases in 26 attempts. His freshman year was voted to the CVC "Golden Glove" team. A 2008 graduate of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
2010 Rex Blaylock CSU-East Bay
His sophomore year at Taft College he hit .338, stole 8 bases, and only committed one error while playing the outfield. Rex was a visible student-athlete during his time at Taft College serving as an ASB Activities Officer his sophomore year. A 2008 graduate of Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah.
2009 Shawn Wilyman CSU-Northridge
A two-year starting pitcher for the Cougars, this Regina, Saskatchewan native was a second team all conference pitcher in 2009. He made the Nor Cal All Star team in fall 2008. Second most in season strike outs at Taft College with 89 in 2009. Compiled an accumulative 3.20 GPA while at Taft College.
2009 Tyler Smith Bacone College (OK)
Two-time second team all conference outfielder (2008-2009). A resident of Las Vegas, Tyler tied the most HBP’s record at Taft College with 16 in 2009. Also, stole 24 bases and scored 40 runs in 2009. Graduated with an accumulative 3.50 GPA from Taft College.
2009 Zach Biehl New Mexico State University
A CCC All American after his 2009 season. Led the state in saves (12), appearances (31), opponents batting average (.166), and third in total era (1.41). Also selected as a second team All Pacific Region (California, Oregon, and Washington). He also appeared in 31 games as a reliever in 2008, which also led the state. All of the before-mentioned categories/stats are also Taft College records. Had a grade point average of 3.10 while at Taft College.
2009 Kevin Chapman University of Texas-Brownsville
Led the 2009 team with 7 wins and second in appearances with 25 (which was second in the state of California). Transferred from Whittier College after completing his freshman year of baseball there in 2007. A 2006 graduate of Silverado High School in Henderson, Nevada. Had an accumulative 3.35 GPA at Taft College.
2009 Neynoel Perez University of Texas-Brownsville
A two-year starter for the Cougars, started in centerfield in 2008 and played right field and DH in 2009. Blessed with a lot of skills; good arm, running ability, and hitting. A very good student athlete, had a 3.25 GPA while at Taft College. 2007 graduate of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School.
2009 Wilfredo Rodriguez York University-Nebraska
A two-year starter for the Cougars who is from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. A very good defensive first baseman who also hit in the middle of the lineup during his sophomore year at TC. His freshman year at Taft College he started at third base for the Cougars.
2008 Alex Osorio West Texas A & M
A starting outfielder and relief pitcher in 2008, a shoulder injury ended his season prematurely. An outstanding individual and student athlete, who was thought of highly by everyone while at Taft College. Graduated from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School in 2006.
Santa Clara University/Kansas City Royals
After transferring in to Taft College from Gonzaga University, this Regina,
Saskatchewan native put together an outstanding season for the Cougars.
He was a first team all CVC selection and currently holds two Taft College
pitching records (5 complete games and 92 strike outs).
While at Santa Clara during his senior year, 2011, Cory was selected as an All WCC Pitcher and later signed with the Kansas City Royals as a non-drafted free agent.
A 2006 Chaparral High School graduate from Las Vegas, Nevada. K.C. was
a 2-year starter for the Cougars. His freshman year he started at third
base and his sophomore started in left field and first base. An
outstanding contact hitter and base runner for the Cougars during his two
year at Taft College. K.C. signed an independent league contract for the 2012-2013 year.
Lyons University of San Francisco/Cameron University
The Cougar's starting
centerfielder during the 2007 season. Led the team in stolen bases with 31
while hitting .304. The model "student-athlete" while at TC; maintained a
3.80 grade point average while at Taft College. A high school graduate of
Timpanogos, Utah in 2005. In 2008 he transferred to Cameron University in Oklahoma.
Bennett University of Southern Illinois at
Starting pitcher during the 2007
season for the Cougar's. Led the team in wins (5), innings pitched (88),
games started (15), complete games (1), and strike outs (63). A graduate of
Klamath Union High School in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 2005.
Blackwood Valdosta State University (Georgia)/Chicago White Sox
A two-year starter for the
Cougars behind the plate. Made the fall California Community College Fall All
Star game. Led the team in homeruns (5) in 2007. A graduate of Taft Union
High School in 2005. In 2009 Chase signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Chicago White Sox.Chase played professionally until 2011.
2007 Glen Haenelt New Mexico
The Cougars starting first
baseman last year after transferring from Allan Hancock College. Led the team
in batting (.376) and slugging pct. (.560). A graduate of Liberty High School
in Bakersfield, California in 2005.
2007 C.T. Twisselman
York University (Nebraska)
A two-year starter for the
Cougars where he played outfield, third base, and second base. Led the team
in runs scored, 30 and swiped 20 bases during the 2007 season. A graduate
from Taft Union High School in 2005.
2007 Chris Wedel
William-Penn University (Iowa)
A reliever his freshman year at
Taft, in 2007 he anchored the pitching staff along with Daniel Bennett.
Second on the staff in innings pitched with 76. His older brother Jeremy is
the Cougar's pitching coach. A 2003 graduate from Wasco High School in
2006 Josh Herback-South
CSU-Northridge/Colorado State University at Pueblo
A second team all CVC pitcher
during the spring of 2006, Josh was in the top-ten in the state in innings
pitched (103) and games started (16). His complete game win at Fresno City
College in April 2006 was one of the best pitching performances in recent
Taft College baseball history. He signed during the early signing period in
November 2005. In 2008 Josh transferred to Colorado State University at Pueblo.
2006 Owen Van Noy College of the Ozarks (Missouri)
A two-year starter for the
Cougars at shortstop, he signed during the early signing period in November
2006 Matt Bezzant Southern Utah
A two-year starting catcher. Made
the NorCal fall All-Star game in 2005. Lead the
Cougars in home runs (8) and rbi (39) his freshman
Jankowski Central Methodist University (Missouri)
A starting pitcher his sophomore
year at Taft. Ranked in the top-20 in innings pitched (80) his sophomore
season at Taft College.
Whitworth Colorado State University at Pueblo
outfielder his freshman year at Taft College, he became the closer for Taft
College his sophomore year. He led the team in saves (5) in 2006.
Kasper Utah Valley State College
A starting pitcher for the 2005
Cougar baseball team and a relief pitcher in 2004. A native of Riverton, Utah
who excelled on the field and in the classroom while at Taft College. One of
the hardest workers to ever wear the "black & gold."
Reed Cal State University, Northridge
A 2003 graduate of North High
School in Bakersfield, Anthony was a unanimous All-CVC outfielder. He was top
five in the state in batting average (.439), on-base pct. (.527), slugging
pct. (.748), triples (6), and stolen bases (25 for 25). In 2005 he was an
Lees Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho)
A product of Edmonton, Alberta,
Thomas was an honorable mention CVC utility player. Thomas played all 3
outfield positions, first baseball, and pitcher.
Mason Wayne State University (Nebraska)
A product of Calgary, Alberta in
Canada. Jeff was a starter for the Cougars in left field. He left Taft
College after his freshman year to attend Wayne State in Nebraska.
2004 Brian Conradi
Sacramento State University
A 2002 graduate of Liberty High
School in Bakersfield, Brian was an All-CVC shortstop for the Cougars. Brian
led the team in numerous offensive categories.
2004 Brian Hedman
University of Utah
A 2002 graduate of Taylorsville
High School in Taylorsville, Utah. He was member of the 2002 Utah 5A state
high school championship team. Brian served as a reliever and spot starter
for the Cougars during his two years in Taft.
Wright BIOLA University
A 2002 graduate of Liberty High
School in Bakersfield. He was a 2nd team All-CVC first baseman.
Tyler lead the team in batting average and on-base pct. his sophomore season.
2004 Steve Kittrell
A 2002 graduate of Highland High
School in Bakersfield. Steve played a number of positions for the Cougars in
his two years at Taft College (3B, SS, 2B, & OF).
Curtis University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada)
A product of Edmonton, Alberta in
Canada. Kyle was a two year starter for the Cougars in right field.
Stuart Friends University (Kansas)
From Port Orchard, Washington,
pitched for the Cougars primarily as a relief
Stevens Cal-State University, Los Angeles
From Pahrump, Nevada, played
catcher for Cougars after a "red-shirt" 2002
Cline Friends University (Kansas)
From Bellingham, Washington,
played first base and outfield for the Cougars.
Clift Northwest Missouri State University
A 2000 graduate from Bonanza High
School in Las Vegas. Made the All-CVC as a 3rd baseman
his freshman year at Taft.
2002 Justin Thurman
Friends University (Kansas)
A 2000 graduate from Las Vegas
High School. Played 1st base and DH for the Cougars during
his career at Taft College.
Hunter Friends University (Kansas)
From Salt Lake City, Utah. Played
center field for the Cougars during his two year stint at Taft College.
2001 Ty Harbaugh Northwest Missouri State
From Las Vegas, Nevada, a two
year starting pitcher for the Cougars.
2001 Eric Fagen Cal-State University, Stanislaus
From Washington, a two-year
starting left handed pitcher for the Cougars.
Here is a short
description of Cougar players who signed professional baseball contracts:
Chase Blackwood signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2009 with the Chicago White Sox after playing two years at Valdosta State University. Selected after his junior year (2008) as a "Golden Glove" All American catcher (best D-II defensive catcher). Having just completed his second year in the White Sox organization Chase still resides in Taft and often works out with the Taft College Baseball Team.
Allan Simpson (RHP) Allan was drafted in the 8th round by the Seattle Mariners after his sophomore year at TC (1997). He eventually made it all the way to the major leagues playing for the Seattle Mariners, the Colorado Rockies, and the Cincinnati Reds.
Recent news -
Traded to Cincinnati Reds Saturday April 9, 2005
Allan Simpson on the 25-man opening roster for the Rockies
Monday, April 4, 2005
Simpson called up to Colorado Rockies Monday, July 26, 2004
Bob Simonson a 1984 grad of Taft College, was a 2nd round draft pick
of the Milwaukee Brewers. Played professionally for 8 years. A Grand Rapids,
Michigan native, he transferred from Oklahoma State University his sophomore
year to Taft College in the fall of 1983. Currently lives in Oklahoma City.
David Harriman (2000) A product of British Columbia, Canada. David
transferred to Armstrong State in Georgia. He was drafted by the
Oakland A's as a catcher and played three years in the A's organization
Ron Coomer (class of 1986)A high school grad from Chicago, Illinois. Holdsnumerous offensive records at TC. Played in the major leagues with the Minnesota twins, Chicago cubs, new York Yankees, and finished up his career with the LA dodgers. see
the article from the local Taft Midway Driller newspaper
Kevin Van DeBrake (Inf) Signed as a free
agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1990. From Selah Washington.
Kevin Johnson (OF)
Signed in 1988 with the Montreal Expos and played two years of
professional baseball. From San Luis Obispo, California.
Chris Keim (LHP)
Drafted after freshman year at TC (23rd round); signed with the
Cincinnati Reds after his sophomore year; played 2 years of professional
Ken Harris (OF) Drafted
by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th round after his
sophomore year. Ken played 2 years of professional baseball.
From Snohomish, Washington.
Agustin Gonzalez Signed with the
Cincinnati Reds after his freshman year at TC (1989). Played 2 years
of professional baseball. From Orosi,
Donny Harrel (C)
Drafted in the 18th round by the Kansas City Royals after his
sophomore year at TC (1990). A shoulder injury ended his career after 2
years. He is currently the Head Baseball Coach at the Seattle
Universtiy. From North Bend, Oregon.
(RHP) Signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1992 and played 5 years of professional baseball. From Billings, Montana.
(LHP) Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 27th round after his
sophomore year at TC (1992), and played 2 years of professional baseball.
Jeffrey Newkirk (OF)
Signed a pro contract with the Chicago White Sox and played 2
years of professional baseball.
Mike McDougal (1B/RHP) Drafted in the 31st
round by the St. Louis Cardinals after his freshman season at TC (1994) as a
1st baseman. From Las Vegas, Nevada.
(RHP) Drafted in the 29th round by the Chicago
Cubs after his freshman season at TC (1994). He played 2 years of
professional baseball. From Las Vegas, Nevada.
Aaron Hee (LHP)
Drafted in the 50th round by the New York Mets after his sophomore
year at TC (1998). Played at Pittsfield
in the New York-Penn League in 2000. From Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jerome Robinson, signed as a free agent and played two years in
the Cincinnati Reds organization.