King Of The Hill Leads Selections To All-GNAC Team
Billy King tallied a GNAC-best 106 total bases in the regular season.
Billy King tallied a GNAC-best 106 total bases in the regular season.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – With a conference-best 14 home runs, Northwest Nazarene’s Billy King is the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year, leading selections to the 2017 GNAC Baseball All-Conference Team.

A transfer from Oregon State, King has posted a 1.102 OPS in his senior season to lead Northwest Nazarene back to the GNAC Championships after winning the tournament last year. King has been walked a conference-leading 39 times, but when opposing pitchers aren’t pitching around him, NNU’s outfielder has collected 106 total bases.

Mackenzie Gaul from Central Washington is the GNAC Pitcher of the Year thanks to a strong first half of the season that included three complete-game shutouts in four starts. The left-handed pitcher tallied six wins with a 3.06 ERA and a GNAC-best 68 strikeouts in 70.2 innings of work.

Western Oregon head coach Kellen Walker is the GNAC Coach of the Year. In his fourth year at the helm of the WOU baseball program, Walker led the Wolves to the 14th GNAC regular season title in program history and the first since 2014. The Wolves went on a conference-best eight game winning streak in the middle of the season and was in first place for every day of the conference season despite not playing on their home field until the final weekend of the season.

The GNAC Freshman of the Year is Connor McCord from Western Oregon, who is also an All-GNAC Honorable Mention. As a utility player, McCord started 23 games and tallied a .318 batting average. He embodied the WOU offensive style, reaching base in better than 40 percent of his plate appearances with only four strikeouts all year. On the mound, he made 10 appearances with a 2-2 record and 4.40 ERA in 43 innings of work.

Western Oregon claimed another special award with junior transfer Nyles Nygaard being named the GNAC Newcomer of the Year and is a unanimous Second Team All-GNAC selection. Nygaard is a transfer from University of Washington and, in his first year in a Wolves uniform, led the team in batting average at .327. He is tied for the conference lead in triples with four and drove in a team-high 33 runs.

Central Washington was the most well-represented program on the First Team All-GNAC, receiving seven selections. Gaul is joined by the GNAC leader in wins, Jake Levin, who was selected both as a pitcher and first baseman; the GNAC leader in batting average, Dylan Freyre; and the GNAC-leader in doubles, Conor Plaisance. The Wildcats are also represented on the first team by Chris Dalto and Kyle Stahl.

Northwest Nazarene had four players on the first team. King is accompanied by pitchers Jaramy Jacobs and Brady Baker. Junior outfielder Casey Sheehan was also a first-team selection after recording a team-best .333 batting average with 10 doubles and seven home runs.

Western Oregon has three players on the first team, including Brady Miller, who earned his third all-conference recognition in as many years. Jay Leverett earned a first-team selection with a team-best .492 slugging percentage, hitting 12 doubles and four home runs. Justin Wakem has a .367 batting average in 27 starts and a .434 on-base percentage for first-team recognition.

Montana State Billings’ duo of senior outfielders round out the First Team All-GNAC. Casey Merritt had a big comeback after missing 2016, batting .350 with four triples and 15 stolen bases. Zach Robinson stole four bases in one game to tie the GNAC single game record and claimed an MSUB program record with 51 runs. Robinson also has a .432 on-base percentage and 20 extra-base hits.

Saint Martin’s had two players named to the Second Team All-GNAC in sophomore pitcher Aaron Shoup and junior outfielder Steven Sordahl. Concordia was represented by a pair of sophomore honorable mentions for Mitch Bevacqua and Eddie Vasquez.


Player of the Year: Billy King, Northwest Nazarene   
Coach of the Year: Kellen Walker, Western Oregon   
Pitcher of the Year: Mackenzie Gaul, Central Washington  
Freshman of the Year: Connor McCord, Western Oregon  
Newcomer of the Year: Nyles Nygaard, Western Oregon  
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*@ Mackenzie Gaul Central Washington P 6-1 Jr. Winlock, Wash. (Univ. of Washington)
* Jake Levin Central Washington P 6-5 Sr. Redmond, Wash. (Chapman Univ.)
* Jaramy Jacobs Northwest Nazarene P 6-3 Sr. Fremont, Calif. (Ohlone Coll.)
*+& Brady Miller Western Oregon P 6-2 Jr. Gilbert, Ariz. (Campo Verde)
* Brady Baker Northwest Nazarene P 6-3 Sr. Ontario, Ore. (Treasure Valley CC)
* Justin Wakem Western Oregon C 5-8 So. Beaverton, Ore. (Beaverton)
*+ Jake Levin Central Washington 1B 6-5 Sr. Redmond, Wash. (Chapman Univ.)
*@ Jay Leverett Western Oregon 2B 5-9 Jr. Gold Bar, Wash. (Skagit Valley CC)
* Christopher Dalto Central Washington SS 5-10 Jr. Valencia, Calif. (La Mission JC)
*@ Dylan Freyre Central Washington 3B 5-10 Sr. Saugus, Calif. (Coll. Of the Canyons)
*@ Kyle Stahl Central Washington UT 5-9 Sr. Huntington Beach, Calif. (Golden West Coll.)
* Billy King Northwest Nazarene OF 6-2 Sr. Anacortes, Wash. (Oregon State Univ.)
* Conor Plaisance Central Washington OF 5-11 Sr. Mill Creek, Wash. (Edmonds CC)
* Casey Sheehan Northwest Nazarene OF 6-1 Jr. Redlands, Calif. (Riverside CC)
Zach Robinson Montana State Billings OF 5-10 Sr. Cedar Hills, Utah (Miles CC)
*& Casey Merritt Montana State Billings OF 5-9 Sr. Twin Falls, Idaho (Twin Falls)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Aaron Shoup Saint Martin’s P 5-11 So. Woodland, Wash. (Woodland)
Kade Mechals Western Oregon P 5-11 Fr. McMinnville, Ore. (McMinnville)
Trey Smith Western Oregon P 6-3 Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii (Skagit Valley CC)
Spencer Pollock Northwest Nazarene C 5-11 Sr. Payette, Idaho (Treasure Valley CC)
Ryan Myers Montana State Billings 1B 6-3 Jr. Walnut Creek, Calif. (Laney Coll.)
* Rory Graf-Brennan Central Washington 2B 5-6 Sr. Seattle, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC)
* Caje Golden Montana State Billings SS 6-2 Fr. Laurel, Mont. (Laurel)
* Nyles Nygaard Western Oregon 3B 6-1 Jr. Torrance, Calif. (Univ. of Washington)
* Colton McCluskey Northwest Nazarene UT 5-11 Sr. Enumclaw, Wash. (Coll. of the Desert)
* Joey Crunkilton Western Oregon DH 6-1 Sr. Edgewood, Wash. (UC Santa Barbara)
Jalen Garcia Montana State Billings OF 6-1 So. Billings, Mont. (Corban Univ.)
Brock Pradere Western Oregon OF 6-1 Sr. Carson City, Nev. (Ohlone Coll.)
Steven Sordahl Saint Martin’s OF 6-1 Jr. Kennewick, Wash. (Walla Walla CC)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
James Smith III Central Washington OF 6-1 Jr. Riverside, Calif. (Fullerton JC)
Mitch Bevacqua Concordia OF 6-1 So. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (Univ. of Washington)
Eddie Vasquez Concordia DH 5-8 So. Ventura, Calif. (Saint Bonaventure)
Bryon Baker Montana State Billings P 6-2 Sr. Butte, Mont. (Butte)
+ Cody Cooper Montana State Billings P 6-4 Sr. Bozeman, Mont. (Bozeman)
Max Hartgraves Montana State Billings 2B 5-9 Fr. Tempe, Ariz. (McClintock)
Tanner Watson Montana State Billings DH 6-2 Sr. Great Falls, Mont. (Great Falls)
Ross Clevenger Northwest Nazarene P 6-1 Jr. Eagle, Idaho (Bishop Kelly)
+$ ^Drew Helmstadter Northwest Nazarene 3B 5-11 Sr. Palm Desert, Calif. (Desert Christian)
Brett Nielsen Northwest Nazarene DH 6-4 Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Tacoma CC)
@ Adam Eskil Saint Martin’s 1B 5-11 Jr. Walla Walla, Wash. (DeSales)
@ Austin Feist Saint Martin’s OF 6-2 So. Burns, Ore. (Burns)
Luke Hare Saint Martin’s P 6-3 So. Tumwater, Wash. (Tumwater)
Zach Raczok Saint Martin’s C 5-10 Sr. Claremont, Calif. (Claremont)
Jacob Martinez Western Oregon OF 6-1 Jr. Pacifica, Calif. (Cañada Coll.)
Connor McCord Western Oregon UT 5-9 Fr. Gilbert, Ariz. (Corona Del Sol)
* - Unanimous Selection     + - First Team Selection In 2016    # - Second Team Selection In 2016     @ - Honorable Mention in 2016$ - First Team Selection in 2015   & - Second Team Selection in 2015   ! - Honorable Mention in 2015   ? - First Team In 2014    ^ - Honorable Mention in 2014