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Three-Way Tie At Top As Tight Conference Race Begins
Western Oregon senior Jared McDonald hit .500 and tallied seven RBIs in the first series of conference play last week.
Western Oregon senior Jared McDonald hit .500 and tallied seven RBIs in the first series of conference play last week.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Player

Daniel Cipriano, Montana State Billings
IF/P • 6-3 • Jr. • Agoura Hills, Calif.

Cipriano batted .533 in the Yellowjackets’ four-game series at Western Oregon, going 8 for 15 with seven runs, nine RBI, two doubles and four home runs. He opened the series by going 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI in Saturday’s first game. In Sunday’s opener, Cipriano went 3 for 4 and had four RBI, all of which came on a solo home run in the second and a three-run homer in the third. He ended by going 2 for 4 in the nightcap with four more RBI and two more home runs. For the four games, Cipriano had a 1.467 slugging percentage.

Also Nominated: Michael Peter (Central Washington), Jordan Farhat (Concordia), Bennett Tabaracci (Northwest Nazarene), Austin Feist (Saint Martin’s), Jared McDonald (Western Oregon).

Pitcher
Hunter French, Central Washington
RHP • 6-4 • Jr. • Richland, Wash.

French earned his second win of the season with a complete-game seven-inning win in the 5-1 victory over Saint Martin’s on Sunday. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out 10 in the win while facing just 25 batters.

Also Nominated: Jeffrey Lusink (Concordia), Keven Mackintosh (Montana State Billings), Ben Johnson (Northwest Nazarene), Alex Roth (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington was in action for its first conference series of the season last week, taking three of four games against Saint Martin's. The Wildcats hosted the set in Woodinville, Wash. due to snowy conditions in Ellensburg.

• The club was led by right-hander Hunter French, who earned his second win of the season after allowing just one run while striking out 10 in the complete-game victory. French was named the GNAC Pitcher of the Week for his performance in Sunday's victory. 

• As a team, CWU is hitting .249 this season, which ranks third in the conference through five weeks of play. The team’s ability to pick up big hits in the clutch has shown early, slotting it second in the GNAC in batting average with an RBI opportunity (.289).

• The Wildcats will return to the field this weekend for a series against Western Oregon. It will host the Wolves in a four-game set in Bellevue, Wash., with game one scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

CONCORDIA
• The Cavaliers were in action for four games last week, hosting Northwest Nazarene in Portland. The team earned a 4-2 victory in game three but close losses in the nightcap of each doubleheader allowed the Nighthawks to take the series.

• Concordia was led senior Jordan Farhat, who hit .364 while tallying one RBI and a run. The second baseman ranks second on the team with six RBIs as the month of March rolls on.

• Concordia is hitting .226 on the year. The team ranks second throughout the GNAC in both hits (95) and triples (five).

• The Cavaliers will travel to Lacey for their first road series of conference play this week. Their four-game set with Saint Martin's will begin on Saturday at 12 p.m.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings was in Monmouth last week for its third straight road series to start the season. The club went 1-3 against Western Oregon, dropping the first three games of the series by a combined five runs before tallying a 7-3 victory in the series finale.

• The team was led offensively by infielder Daniel Cipriano, who hit at a .533 clip at the dish while smashing four home runs on Sunday alone. The sensational start to conference play earned Cipriano the nod as NCBWA West Region and GNAC Player of the Week.

• On the mound, southpaw Keven Mackintosh shined in Sunday's 7-3 victory. The junior earned the win after going 5.2 innings, allowing just three hits on three runs.

• Montana State Billings is hitting .262 on the 2019 campaign, ranking the club second in the conference.

• The Yellowjackets are back on the road again this weekend, taking to Nampa for four games against Northwest Nazarene that begin on Monday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• The Nighthawks were back in action last week, impressing in a four-game series at Concordia to lift the lid on league play. The club won three of the four contests, outscoring the Cavaliers 17-8 on the weekend.

• Northwest Nazarene was led by senior Rocco Ferrari. Ferrari went 5 for 12 on the weekend with three runs and two RBIs in Portland. He is now second on the NNU RBI list with eight as the second month of the season continues.

• Northwest Nazarene ranks first in the league in ERA at 3.12. Freshman Ben Johnson’s 2.50 ERA has him slotted sixth in the GNAC. 

• The Nighthawks are back in action this week for four games. Their home opener will be held Friday against Montana State Billings, starting off a four-game series with the Yellowjackets.  

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s returned to the diamond last week for four games in Woodinville, Wash. against Central Washington. The Saints emerged from the series with one victory to open GNAC action.

• Outfielder Elijah Santiago led the team offensively against the Wildcats. The junior hit .308 with two RBIs on the weekend.

• On the mound, senior Clark Streby paced the Saints in the team's lone victory. The senior gave up just one earned run while striking out eight in seven innings of work. He then turned the game over to senior Mickey Walker, who earned his second save of the season.

• The pitching staff’s 111 strikeouts lead the GNAC through five weeks of play.

• The Saints will return to action this week against Concordia for their second series of league competition. The four-game set will begin on Saturday, March 9 at 12 p.m. in Lacey.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon played its first games on-campus home games of the 2019 campaign last week. The home slate couldn't have gotten off to a better start as the club took its four game-set against Montana State Billings with dramatic victories in each of the first three games.   

• Catcher Jared McDonald led WOU offensively, tallying seven RBIs while hitting at a .500 clip. Freshman Derek Maiben also had a great weekend, going 4 for 11 in the four games with four RBIs.

• Western Oregon is hitting .269 as a team, a clip that currently leads the conference. It has tallied 43 RBIs in just six contests.

• The club will return to the field for a meeting of first-place teams in Bellevue this week. Its four-game series with Central Washington will begin on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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