Northwest Nazarene’s King Leads All-Region Honors
Billy King (left) was named to the first team all-West Region by the D2CCA, the ABCA and the NCBWA.
Billy King (left) was named to the first team all-West Region by the D2CCA, the ABCA and the NCBWA.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Northwest Nazarene senior outfielder Billy King is a consensus first-team all-West Region selection to lead the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in regional awards from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA), the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

King was the conference’s representative on the D2CCA All-West Region Team and was joined by 12 other GNAC athletes on the NCBWA All-West Region Team. Western Oregon had six selections from the NCBWA after winning the conference’s regular season and tournament titles.

King hit a GNAC-best 15 home runs this year and registered a conference-leading .670 slugging percentage. During a two-week span in March, King belted 10 longballs to earn GNAC Player of the Week recognition in both weeks. For the rest of the season, teams began pitching around the senior slugger, who accumulated a league-best 41 walks.

Western Oregon’s Kade Mechals was a first-team selection by the NCBWA and the ABCA. The freshman closer recorded a 1.59 ERA in 15 relief appearances. Mechals recorded seven saves and had a 2-1 record. He threw 22.2 innings and struck out 37 batters with only six walks and held opposing hitters to just 13 hits for a .173 opposing batting average. In his two outings against Concordia, Mechals threw 3.2 perfect innings with seven strikeouts against the 11 batters he faced.

GNAC Pitcher of the Year Mackenzie Gaul from Central Washington was selected to the Second Team ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division II All-West Region team. He also earned selection to the NCBWA All-West Region Team as an honorable mention. Gaul went 6-2 on the season with a 3.18 ERA, while leading the Wildcats with 72 strikeouts in 76.1 innings of work.

The GNAC had three players on the NCBWA Second Team All-West Region in Western Oregon’s Justin Wakem and Brady Miller and Central Washington’s Kyle Stahl. Wakem had a .368 batting average with only nine strikeouts all season as the Wolves’ catcher. On the mound, Miller recorded a 5-2 record with the fifth win coming in the GNAC Championships final. He threw 54 innings with 57 strikeouts and held opposing hitters to a .223 average. Stahl was selected as a utility player after playing catcher, second base, shortstop and third base throughout the season. He had a .326 batting average with 16 extra-base hits, scoring a team-best 40 runs.

Montana State Billings was led by honorable mention Ryan Myers, who led the GNAC in on-base percentage at .474 while belting a team-best 11 home runs. Western Oregon had three honorable mentions in Jay Leverett, Nyles Nygaard and Joey Crunkilton.  Northwest Nazarene also had three honorable mentions for Colton McCluskey, Casey Sheehan and Brady Baker, who tallied a GNAC-best eight saves.