CWU Wins First GNAC Baseball Title
Play Video CWU defeated Western Oregon 9-1 to win its first GNAC Baseball Championship.
CWU defeated Western Oregon 9-1 to win its first GNAC Baseball Championship.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

MONMOUTH, Ore. - Plating five runs in the first two innings, Central Washington rode a strong performance from starter Stuart Fewel to a 9-1 victory over Western Oregon to win the 2014 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Baseball Championships Saturday afternoon at the Western Oregon baseball field.

The Wildcats avenged last season's loss to Western Oregon on the final day of the GNAC tournament, after defeating Saint Martin's 2-0 and WOU 7-3 on Day 1 of the Championships Friday.

CWU finished its 2014 campaign with a record of 31-18, while the Wolves wrapped up their slate at 30-21.

CWU starter Stuart Fewel earned the victory for the Wildcats, pitching seven stellar innings and allowing one unearned run on five base hits.

Wildcat left fielder Joe Castro was named tournament Most Valuable Player, after his three-run home run and four RBI helped CWU defeat Western Oregon on Friday. Castro followed with an RBI walk, and helped the Wildcats manufacture another run with a stolen base and a run scored in Saturday’s championship game. 

The Wildcats were the first to score, taking advantage of two first inning walks by WOU starter Eric Huson. Kasey Bielec lined a base hit to left field, and Josh Potter plated the first run of the day with an ensuing single to right. Back-to-back bases loaded walks by Zach Reay and Joe Castro made the score 3-0, before Jaykob Sells finally ended the inning with a fly out to center field.

Fewel followed with a shutdown inning in the second, keeping the margin at 3-0.

CWU kept its foot on the gas in the second, as Cory Welch and Eric Tinnell promptly notched base hits to create a pressure situation for Huson. Ethan Sterkel had an RBI ground out, and Potter logged his second hit and RBI of the game with a ground ball through the right side to make the score 5-0. 

After hitting Reay in the helmet to place the leadoff runner on base for the third straight inning, Huson was removed from the game in the top of the third inning.

Western Oregon put two runners on base in the fifth, but Fewel pitched out of the jam thanks to a catch by Castro on a deep fly ball and a snag by Potter on a line drive to end the inning.

CWU threatened to add to its lead, loading the bases with two outs in the fifth inning. Tinnell grounded a base hit into left field to make the score 6-0, Bielec drew a walk for an RBI, and Sterkel capped the four-run outburst with a two run single into center field.

The Wolves showed signs of life in the seventh inning, as Tim Rausch plated Nathan Etheridge with his second base hit of the game. Fewel retired the next two batters however, and exited the game in the eighth inning after allowing a leadoff single.

Welch, who earned his GNAC-leading 11th save of the season on Friday, entered for the two-inning appearance to close the game and championship for the Wildcats.