Final Weekend to Decide Championship Bracket
MSUB's Trevor Nix became the sixth GNAC athlete this season to be named NCBWA West Region Player of the Week.
MSUB's Trevor Nix became the sixth GNAC athlete this season to be named NCBWA West Region Player of the Week.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two teams already have guaranteed spots in the 2015 GNAC Baseball Championships, but where the tournament will be hosted is still a question.

Defending regular-season champion Western Oregon and Montana State Billings are tied at 18-10 each, as both are vying for the right to host the tournament.

That will be decided this weekend in the last series of conference play. The Wolves host Northwest Nazarene while the Yellowjackets hit the road in a four-game series against Saint Martin’s.

Simply put, whichever team wins more games this weekend will be the regular-season champion. If WOU and MSUB tie at the end of the weekend, the Wolves would win the title due to their 5-3 advantage over the Yellowjackets in head-to-head matchups.

The Wolves face a tough matchup with NNU Friday and Saturday as the Crusaders are trying to reach the GNAC postseason for the first-time ever.

Northwest Nazarene needs just one win to secure a berth into the championship. The Crusaders though will be playing on the road for their second-straight week and face a Wolves team that is out for revenge after NNU beat WOU three times in a four-game series in late March.

Montana State Billings has had success against Saint Martin’s this year, winning their series in Billings a month ago. With one win, the Yellowjackets will guarantee a tie of their highest finish in the GNAC regular-season while also winning more conference game than they ever have.

Central Washington, which is finished with conference play after taking three from Saint Martin’s last week, needs WOU to sweep NNU to reach the GNAC Championships. The Wildcats entertain Lewis-Clark State in their last games of the regular-season.

  • MSUB’s Trevor Nix was awarded NCBWA West Region Player of the Week honors. He becomes the third Yellowjacket this season to earn this award and the sixth in the GNAC. A conference player has now won West Region Player or Pitcher of the Week five times in six weeks.
  • MSUB’s Tanner Johnson threw 10 strikeouts in his complete-game shutout of NNU last weekend. Johnson becomes just the seventh different GNAC pitcher this season to record at least 10 strikeouts in a game.
  • CWU hasn’t played Lewis-Clark State since the 2013 season when the pair split a two-game series. Since 2002, the Wildcats are 4-19 against the Warriors.
  • MSUB’s Brody Miller took sole possession of the GNAC home run lead with two dingers last weekend. With 14 homers, Miller is within four of the GNAC’s single-season record of 18.
  • NNU's Ross Clevenger picked up his third win of the season last weekend. Over his last three starts, Clevenger is 3-0 with 19 strikeouts.
  • Torin Dooley pitched 6.1 innings and didn’t allow a run in the Saints only win last week. Over Dooley’s last three appearances, he’s allowed only four runs while striking-out six and boasting a 2.51 ERA.
  • Western Oregon’s defense continues to be special this season, boasting a fielding percentage of .972 which ranks 19th in D2.
  • The Wildcats Zach Johnson and the Yellowjackets Tanner Johnson were awarded co-Pitcher of the Week honors after each threw a nine-inning three hit shutout last week. The Johnson’s become the eighth and ninth pitchers in the GNAC this season to record a shutout. MSUB’s Nix was selected as the Player of the Week after going 7-for-11 and driving in eight runs. 
NCAA WEST REGION RANKINGS - 1. Cal Poly Pomona (31-11) 2. Azusa Pacific (27-15) 3. Point Loma (31-10) 4. Cal Baptist (25-17) 5. UC San Diego (29-15) 6. Dixie State (27-13) 7. Cal State Monterey Bay (25-17) 8. Cal State Dominguez Hills (23-19).
NCBWA WEST REGION TOP 10: 1. Cal Poly Pomona (33-11) 2. Dixie State (29-15) 3. UC San Diego (30-15) 4. Cal Baptist (29-17) 5. Fresno Pacific (31-15) 6. Point Loma (31-14)  7. Cal State Monterey Bay (28-18) 8. Azusa Pacific (29-17) 9. Cal State Los Angeles (26-18) 10. Hawaii Pacific (27-20) Receiving Votes: Western Oregon (23-22).