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Dynamic Hitting Guides Yellowjackets To Weekly Accolade
Montana State Billings enters the week leading the GNAC in batting average, hits, runs scored, slugging percentage, doubles and home runs.
Montana State Billings enters the week leading the GNAC in batting average, hits, runs scored, slugging percentage, doubles and home runs.

Monday, April 23, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing at home for the first time this year, Montana State Billings baseball continued its dominance with four weekend wins to earn this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week honor for the second time this season.

Taking on a red-hot Concordia team that won 9 of its last 11 games heading into the series, Montana State Billings exploded for 47 runs and 57 hits to earn its first four-game sweep since 2016. Montana State Billings took the series opener on Friday 17-0 before earning a 7-6 walk-off victory in the nightcap. The Yellowjackets continued to swing a hot bat on Saturday as they captured another blowout win, 16-0, before closing the door on Concordia with a 7-6 win in the series finale.

The Yellowjackets led all GNAC teams with a .385 batting average, compiling 20 doubles and five home runs. Senior Ryan Myers led the team with a .538 batting average, recording seven hits and five RBIs. Junior Jalen Garcia added to his already impressive season with eight hits and nine RBIs, none of which was more important than his game-winning double in MSUB’s walk-off win.

“[Concordia] has been playing well and they fought back. We thought it was going to be an easy one [on Friday] but they were resilient and we have to win games like that,” said Garcia. “Everyone’s clicking on defense and offense so it’s awesome. We’re just going out there and playing ball.”

Montana State Billings has been an offensive force as it leads the GNAC in a handful of hitting categories. The Yellowjackets pace the conference in batting average (.317), runs (320), doubles (95), home runs (51), walks (179), slugging percentage (.523) and on-base percentage (.416). Montana State Billings also has four of the GNAC’s top six hitters in terms of batting average in junior Kaleo Johnson (.388), Myers (.386), senior Kade Hall (.369) and Garcia (.365).

“We had a really hot team coming in with Concordia, and they really battled in the two 7-inning games,” commented head coach Aaron Sutton. “I thought our guys responded well. We had four quality starts from our pitching staff on the weekend, which allowed us to use some of our back-end arms in the big innings.”

Montana State Billings junior Steen Fredrickson picked up the GNAC Baseball Pitcher of the Week honor after earning his league-best sixth win of the season in Friday’s opener. Fredrickson allowed just one hit in seven innings of work during MSUB’s 17-0 win and recorded six strikeouts for a GNAC-best 60 on the season.

Sitting in first place at 26-12, 25-7 GNAC, Montana State Billings returns home next week to host Saint Martin’s for a four-game series and will play its final eight regular-season games at Dehler Park.

“We know each week from here out is a big weekend,” ended Sutton. “It was great to play at home finally and get four wins, and now we turn our attention to the next four games with Saint Martin’s.

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