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Big-Time Blasts Lifts MSUB To Team Of The Week Honor
Despite dropping the series opener to Central Washington 14-13, MSUB bounced back to claim the final three contests of the series. Montana State Billings leads the GNAC with 40 home runs this year.
Despite dropping the series opener to Central Washington 14-13, MSUB bounced back to claim the final three contests of the series. Montana State Billings leads the GNAC with 40 home runs this year.

Monday, April 2, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Ending the first half of the conference season with a bang, Montana State Billings belted 13 home runs en route to a convincing series victory over Central Washington last weekend. With the feat, the Yellowjackets have claimed its third straight series and is named this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

Entering the weekend tied for second with Central Washington, Montana State Billings took three of four against the Wildcats to improve to 19-11, 14-6 GNAC, and are now tied in the conference standings with Western Oregon. The Yellowjackets also tied the GNAC record for home runs by a team in a four-game series to add to their league-best 40 home runs this season.

Despite opening the series with a 14-13 loss on Friday, Montana State Billings still managed 13 hits and a pair of home runs. The Yellowjackets bounced back in the second game of the doubleheader as they scored five runs in the seventh inning for a 9-5 comeback victory.

“I am really proud of our guys’ response today after losing a tough one in game one,” said Montana State Billings head coach Aaron Sutton. “This group is starting to show some resiliency and they really gutted out game two.”

To go along with the Saturday’s offensive output, the MSUB pitching staff stepped up as the Yellowjackets outscored CWU 29-5 in the final two contests. Led by an MSUB single-game record of five home runs, the Yellowjackets came away with an 18-1 win in game three before adding two more homers in the 11-4 series finale win.

“As a whole, we have found a good balance of guys who have very good discipline, and they have bought into getting it to the next guy,” said Sutton. “It’s about grinding out at-bats, and one through nine is no letup. We can feel it in our dugout and the opponents’ dugout as well.”

As a team, Montana State Billings led the GNAC with a .371 batting average and scored 51 runs on 56 hits and nine doubles last weekend. Senior Kade Hall, the reigning GNAC Baseball Player of the Week, roped a team-high three home runs and went 8 for 18 in the series with two doubles and nine runs batted in. Four Yellowjackets also hit better than .467 over the weekend as junior Kaleo Johnson paced the offense by batting .588 with nine RBIs.

After a grueling opening start to the season that saw MSUB open with 30-straight road games, the Yellowjackets return home this week to begin a 20-game homestand to end the regular season. They look to take sole possession of first place as they host Western Oregon this weekend at Dehler Park.

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