Yellowjackets, Wildcats Starting To Click Early On
Montana State Billings' Andrew Schleusner (right) and Steen Fredrickson (left) were named the GNAC Player and Pitcher of the Week after leading MSUB to a 3-1 weekend.
Montana State Billings' Andrew Schleusner (right) and Steen Fredrickson (left) were named the GNAC Player and Pitcher of the Week after leading MSUB to a 3-1 weekend.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

YELLOWJACKETS SHOW EARLY PROMISE: Of the six GNAC teams to play last weekend, Montana State Billings impressed the most. The Yellowjackets currently sit atop the GNAC standings at 3-1 after winning their last three games. Montana State Billings lost a heartbreaking slugfest to No. 19 Dixie State on Thursday, 12-11. Bouncing back the next day, MSUB took care of Cal State San Bernardino 12-5 before claiming the series against Dixie State with 15-3 and 14-11 wins over the weekend.

The rest of the GNAC teams have yet to find their feet. Aside from Central Washington, who earned three wins over Academy of Art, the remaining GNAC teams went 1-15. Northwest Nazarene earned an 11-3 win over Chico State on Friday before ultimately losing the series. Concordia, Western Oregon and Saint Martin’s were all swept in its opening four contests.

All teams will compete on the road for the third consecutive week. This will be the case for the entire non-conference slate as the GNAC will not host a game until conference play begins in early March.

WOLVES IN THE RANKINGS: In the preseason edition of the NCBWA Preseason Division II West Region Poll, Western Oregon is the lone GNAC team included at No. 7 with 25 points. The conference did receive more recognition, however, as Central Washington (6), Montana State Billings (3) and Northwest Nazarene (2) were among five teams that received votes.

WESTERN OREGON PICKED TO REPEAT AS CHAMPIONS: After capturing both the regular season title and GNAC championship last year, Western Oregon is picked yet again to win the conference in the 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Wolves received two first-place votes to finish with 30 points in the poll. Western Oregon clinched the regular season by 4.5 games and outscored opponents 26-10 in the GNAC Championships to claim its 14th conference title in program history.

Closely behind the Wolves is Montana State Billings, a team that won 23 games under first-year head coach Aaron Sutton. Picked second with 29 points, the Yellowjackets are one of four teams to receive a first-place vote. Montana State Billings tied for third last season and went 0-2 in the conference tournament. Central Washington is picked third with 24 points while Northwest Nazarene is picked fourth (21 points).

Rounding out the coaches poll was Saint Martin’s (fifth, 16 pts.) and Concordia (sixth, 7 pts.).

For the second season in a row, the GNAC Championships will include four teams after being a three-team tournament up until the 2017 season. The GNAC Championships will be hosted by Central Washington on May 10-11 in Ellensburg, Wash. This will be the first time in the tournament’s six-year history that the Wildcats will host the event.


Andrew Schleusner, Montana State Billings
C/IF • 5-11 • So. • Kalispell, Mont.

Schleusner led the Yellowjackets in their 3-1 opening week by hitting .462 in three games. He went 6 for 13 with seven RBIs and drew three walks. Schleusner went 4 for 5 in Friday’s 15-7 win over No. 15 Dixie State, which included a home run and six RBIs. Schleusner also caught three games for the Yellowjackets and threw out two of three would- be base steals against him.

Also Nominated: Andrew Barrera (Concordia), Kyle Redford (Northwest Nazarene), Brian Nakawaga (Saint Martin’s), Jared McDonald (Western Oregon).

Steen Fredrickson, Montana State Billings
P • 6-1 • Jr. • Ashland, Ore.

Fredrickson threw a collegiate career-high seven innings to earn MSUB’s 12-5 win over Cal State San Bernardino on Friday. He allowed one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts as the victory started a three-game win streak for the Yellowjackets

Also Nominated: Tyler Charlton (Concordia), Tanner Inouye (Saint Martin’s), Alex Roth (Western Oregon).


• Central Washington improved to .500 with a series win over Academy of Art on the road last weekend. The Wildcats took 5-1 and 4-0 victories on Friday before splitting Saturday’s contests.

• Senior Dustin Braun led Central Washington, batting .462 over the four games and totaled six hits, two RBIs along with two walks. Four of Braun’s hits came on Friday, helping Central Washington to a pair of wins. After going 0-12 in the first week of non-conference play, Braun is 15th in the GNAC batting .333.

• Senior Michael Heinevetter averaged a .455 batting average against Academy of Art, compiling 5 hits in 11 at-bats. Two of his hits came in CWU’s 13-10 win on Saturday.

• Going the distance on Friday, junior Connor Stevenson earned his first win of the season and led the Wildcats to a 4-0 win. Stevenson allowed just four hits and struck out three batters.

• The opening two weeks have been a tale of two stories for the Wildcats. In two games against Lewis-Clark State, Central Washington was limited to just six runs. In their previous four games, the Wildcats outscored AAU 24-20.

• The Wildcats are second in the GNAC with a .294 batting average. Central Washington’s 60 hits pace the GNAC and are second with 23 walks drawn.

• Central Washington continues its road trip as it takes on Corban in a four-game series this weekend.

• In its first action of the season, Concordia was swept in a four-game series at Lewis-Clark State. The Cavs were shut out 6-0 on Friday before falling 10-7, 5-4 on Saturday. Concordia closed out the weekend with a 7-1 loss on Sunday.

• Senior Andrew Barrera led the Cavs batting .412 over the four games. In 17 at-bats, Barrera recorded seven hits and an RBI. Barrera had a breakout game in Saturday’s narrow 5-4 loss, where he went 4 for 5 with an RBI. He is sixth in the GNAC in batting average and leads Concordia in hits. Barrera leads the GNAC in stolen bases with two in two attempts.

• Senior Gabe Padukiewicz was second on the team batting .286 over the weekend. Padukiewicz recorded four hits, two runs and an RBI in 14 at-bats. Like Barrera, Padukiewicz did most of his offensive work in the 5-4 loss, compiling one hit, run and an RBI against LCSC.

• Junior Jake Roes made one appearance last week, tossing five innings of scoreless ball. Roes allowed four hits but recorded three strikeouts in his lone start.

• The Cavaliers continue their non-conference road trip with a three-game series against Cal State Monterey Bay this weekend.

• If there was one GNAC team that opened the season the strongest, it was Montana State Billings. The Yellowjackets went 3-1 in its opening weekend, taking down Cal State San Bernardino 12-5 on Friday before earning a series win against No. 19 Dixie State over the weekend.

• Despite dropping the series opener to Dixie State, 12-11, on Thursday, Montana State Billings rebounded with 15-7 and 14-11 victories over the next two days.

• With a couple of solid performances at the plate and on the mound, the Yellowjackets swept the GNAC baseball weekly awards. Sophomore catcher Andrew Schleusner was named the Player of the Week after hitting .462 in three games. He went 6 for 13 with seven RBIs and drew three walks. Schleusner went 4 for 5 in Friday’s 15-7 win over No. 15 Dixie State, which included a home run and six RBIs. Schleusner also caught three games for the Yellowjackets and threw out two of three would-be base steals against him.

• Junior Steen Fredrickson was named the Pitcher of the Week after throwing a career-high seven innings to earn MSUB’s 12-5 win over Cal State San Bernardino on Friday. He allowed one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

• Senior Ryan Meyers recorded six hits for a .462 average. He went 3 for 5 with three RBI in MSUB’s 14-11 win and is tied for first in the GNAC with seven runs. Myers leads the conference with a .667 on-base percentage and seven runs scored.

• Montana State Billings leads the GNAC in batting average (.357), runs (52), doubles (11), home runs (8) and walks (27). 

• The Yellowjackets continue its non-conference slate at College of Idaho this weekend for a three-game series.

• Northwest Nazarene fell to 2-4 overall after dropping a three-game series to Chico State last week. The Nighthawks earned an 11-3 win on Saturday before falling in the following two contests 3-1 and 6-5.

• Sophomore Parker Price led the Nighthawks, at the plate batting .429 over the three games. Price went 3 for 4 in NNU’s 3-1 loss before adding two hits and an RBI on Saturday. He is 13th in the GNAC with a .346 batting average and leads the team with nine hits.

• Freshman Ben Johnson compiled two of his three hits on Saturday in four at-bats. Johnson also added a run.

• Junior Cooper Webster and senior Adam Paulson each allowed one run and struck out a batter in three innings pitched. Senior Ross Clevenger tossed five innings in NNU’s 11-3 win, allowing one hit and two earned runs. Clevenger is tied for third in the GNAC with five strikeouts and leads the Nighthawks with nine innings pitched.

 Northwest Nazarene is second in the league with 32 runs and three home runs.

• The Nighthawks continue on the road with a three-game series at CSU Pueblo this weekend.

• Saint Martin’s opened the season by dropping a four-game series at Hawaii Hilo. The Saints’ dropped a close 3-0 decision on Sunday before falling 17-16 and 5-0 on Monday. The Saints ended the road trip with a 15-10 loss Tuesday night.

• In the opening four games, the Saints managed 32 hits. They were led by junior Colton Peha and senior Steven Sordahl, who each had six.

• Peha recorded three hits and three RBIs in the Saints’ 17-16 loss while Sordahl scored three runs in the contest. With two runners on base in the first inning, Peha blasted a three-run home run to give the Saints’ an early 3-0 lead. On Tuesday, Sordahl went 3 of 5 with two RBIs.

• Entering Sunday’s game down 3-0, sophomore Tanner Inouye threw four scoreless innings and limited UHH to four hits.

• Saint Martin’s is third among GNAC teams with a .951 fielding percentage. The Saints hit six doubles while going a perfect 3 for 3 in stolen bases.

• The Saints begin a four-game series against Hawaii Pacific this weekend with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday.

• Western Oregon began the season 0-4 after falling to Biola on Thursday, 8-1, before being swept by No. 13 Azusa Pacific 7-2, 4-3 and 7-6.

• Batting .400 in his opening four games, freshman Griffey Halle went 6 for 15 while batting in three runs. In the 8-1 loss to Biola, Halle went 2 for 3 with a run scored. He also leads the Wolves with two doubles.

• Sophomore Connor McCord had a decent weekend at the plate and on the mound as he was second on the team batting .364 with four hits and two RBIs. In 5.1 innings of work, McCord allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out two batters. McCord went 2 for 4 in the Wolves’ 7-6 loss to APU and accounted for one run.

• Senior Nyles Nygaard had himself a great series against Azusa Pacific, going 5 for 10 with three RBIs, four runs scored and two doubles. Nygaard played a major role in WOU’s one-run loss on Sunday, recording two hits for two RBIs and three runs. The senior leads the GNAC in slugging percentage at .929 and is tied for second with two home runs.

• Western Oregon is third in the GNAC with nine doubles. The Wolves also have the second-best fielding percentage at .959, committing just six errors through their first four games.

• Western Oregon continues its California road swing with a three-game series at Cal State Monterey Bay.