Four-Team Field Set For GNAC Baseball Championships
Nyles Nygaard leads Western Oregon in hits this season with .408 as the Wolves enter the tournament with the No. 1 seed.
Nyles Nygaard leads Western Oregon in hits this season with .408 as the Wolves enter the tournament with the No. 1 seed.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2017 GNAC Baseball Championships are set to begin on Wednesday at Porter Park on the campus of Concordia University, and the four-team field is set with regular season champion Western Oregon taking the top seed.

The Wolves will open against No. 4 seed Montana State Billings, which secured its spot in the tournament a week in advance with three consecutive wins at the venue that will host the tournament. Western Oregon won seven of eight meetings against MSU Billings during the regular season. They will meet again in the nightcap at 7 p.m. PST on Wednesday.

The first game of the double-elimination tournament at 3:30 p.m. will feature No. 2 seed Central Washington, playing against No. 3 Northwest Nazarene. The two squads split the regular season series with both teams winning three of four at home. Each of their last three games were decided by just one run.

Western Oregon enters the tournament after winning its 14th GNAC regular season title in 16 years. The Wolves won their first seven games of the conference season and never dropped from the top spot in the GNAC standings all season. Western Oregon is batting .303 and has a quartet of hitters with at least 40 hits this year, led by Nyles Nygaard, who is tied for the league lead in triples with four.

Central Washington has a league-best 29 overall victories in 2017, including a stretch of 10 wins in 12 games that started in late March. Jake Levin has been a key part of the Wildcats’ success with a team-best seven home runs at the plate and 72 innings pitched on the mound, tallying a 7-2 record with a 3.38 ERA.

Northwest Nazarene is the tournament’s defending champion and enters the action with the league’s best slugging percentage at .449 with 62 home runs. Billy King has paced the league in power with 14 longballs and 106 total bases. He is followed by Andrew Helmstadter, who has tallied 12 home runs this year and 48 career doubles, which ranks sixth in GNAC history.

Montana State Billings took care of business down the stretch with nine wins in 11 games to return to the GNAC Championships. The Yellowjackets have the league’s most productive offense, scoring 328 runs. Zach Robinson has a team-best .432 on-base percentage, has stolen 17 bases and scored a program-record 51 runs.

Tickets are available now on the GNAC’s EventBrite ticket page. On Thursday and Friday, play will begin at noon and all games will be streamed on

May 10-12 at Concordia University, Portland, Ore.
Wed., May 10
Game 1: Central Washington vs. Northwest Nazarene, 3:30 p.m.
Game 2: Western Oregon vs. Montana State Billings, 7 p.m.

Thurs., May 11
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, Noon
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 3:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 7 p.m.

Fri., May 12
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, Noon
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 3:30 p.m.