Central Washington Baseball Earns Team of Week Award
CWU rightfielder Ethan Sterkel ranks second in the GNAC in hitting.
CWU rightfielder Ethan Sterkel ranks second in the GNAC in hitting.

Monday, March 18, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – A sweep of a four-game series with Saint Martin’s last weekend has earned Central Washington University’s baseball team GNAC Team of the Week honors.

The Wildcats haven’t had a winning season since 2008, but long-time CWU mentor Desi Storey, who is in his 22nd campaign in Ellensburg, has led his team to seven consecutive victories. 

CWU is 12-9 on the season, including 7-1 in conference games.  The Wildcats lead 11-time defending GNAC champion Western Oregon (6-2) by one game in the early stages of the conference race.

Ellensburg High School product Ethan Sterkel is the team’s top hitter, batting .349.  He ranks second in the conference.

Catcher Kyle Sani, who played at Southridge High School in Kennewick and at Walla Walla CC, has been the team’s top run producer.

Sani is batting .307 and leads the team in RBI (20) and runs scored (15) and has accounted for five of CWU’s eight home runs.  He is also tied for the team lead with second baseman Kasey Bielec in doubles with eight.

His .613 slugging average leads the GNAC and he is tied for the conference lead in doubles, home runs and RBI.

Sterkel, CWU’s starting rightfielder, had a big weekend against the Saints batting .600 (9 of 15) in CWU’s sweep and scoring a team-high five runs.  Among his hits was a double and triple.  That performance earned Sterkel GNAC Player of the Week honors.

Another Ellensburg product, freshman outfield Kramer Ferrell, also had a good series with six hits in 13 at bats.

CWU’s pitching has been outstanding all season and it was against the Saints as the Wildcat staff allowed just nine runs in 32 innings carving out a 2.25 ERA.

All four CWU starters – Skye Adams, Tyler Roberts, Stuart Fewel and Jason Lotzer – recorded wins and only Fewel allowed more than one run.   He gave up three in his seven innings of work, allowing just six hits.

Adams has been CWU’s ace and leads the GNAC in both wins (4) and earned run average (2.80).   Roberts ranks third in the conference in ERA (3.33) though he has just one win in three decisions.

Fewel ranks fifth in the conference in ERA (3.48) and has a 3-1 record.  Lotzer has a 1.69 ERA, but has pitched just 10 2/3 innings and doesn’t have enough innings to qualify to be ranked.

The staff as a whole tops the conference in earned run average with a 3.64 mark.  CWU also leads the GNAC in batting with a .297 average.

CWU, which plays at Whitworth today, hosts Montana State Billings for a four-game series this weekend before heading to Monmouth next week for a four-game series with Western Oregon.