Slugfests, No-Hitter Lead Into Final Week Of Non-Conference
Saint Martin's catcher Zach Raczok was named the GNAC Player of the Week after hitting 7 for 13 with 10 RBI and two home runs.
Saint Martin's catcher Zach Raczok was named the GNAC Player of the Week after hitting 7 for 13 with 10 RBI and two home runs.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

NO-NO NO. 5: Northwest Nazarene starting pitcher Colton Loomis threw the fifth no hitter in GNAC history on Friday, shutting down Azusa Pacific 4-0. The performance was also the fifth no-hitter in Crusader history as the senior earned his second GNAC Pitcher of the Week honors of the season. He was also selected as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association West Region Pitcher of the Week thanks to the no-no. In the game, Loomis shut down the Cougars for seven innings, striking out seven batters with four walks. He advanced his overall record to 2-1 on the season.

The Crusaders finished the series with a split at Azusa Pacific, earning two wins on Friday while falling once each on Thursday and Saturday. They fell in game one of the series 3-2 in 10 innings. Ross Clevenger threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Second baseman Tyler Davis hit his first home run of the season in the loss. In game two, the Crusaders bounced back with a 7-6 win. Davis smacked two more home runs, scoring three runs with two runs batted in. Outfielder Ryan Johnson hit a two run home run to put the Crusaders on the board first in the second inning. Northwest Nazarene then fell in the final game of the series 6-2.

YELLOWJACKETS BRING OUT FIRST BROOMS: Montana State Billings traveled to Denver, Colo. to face Metro State, for a four-game series, and returned home with four more wins. The Yellowjackets outscored Metro State 32-15 in the four games as the hitters and pitchers came together for a dominant road series. Pitcher Tanner Johnson earned his second win of the season in the opening game, striking out a career high 11 batters in the 5-2 win. In game two, the Yellowjackets were paced by outfielder Luke Reinschmidt’s 4 for 4 performance which included two home runs and six RBI.

Montana State Billings was pushed in game three, needing extra innings to come away with the 6-5 victory. Outfielder Casey Merritt came through in the top of the eighth inning with an RBI double to score the eventual winning run. The Yellowjackets now own the top overall record in the GNAC at 6-3.

SAINTS SLUG WAY TO TWO WINS VS MINOT STATE: Saint Martin’s took part in a two-way slugfest against Minot State, where the two teams combined for 86 runs in just three games. Despite giving up 47 runs, the Saints came away with two victories.

In game one, Brandon Witherspoon and Shayne Kurihara each hit home runs to lead the Saints to a 14-9 victory. Kurihara led the team with five RBI while catcher Zach Raczok was 3 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. The Saints lone loss came in a tough game in which they could not shut the floodgates, falling 26-8. The Saint Martin’s defense made six errors while the team allowed 13 runs in the fourth inning. The pitching and defense had another tough outing in game three, but the offense lifted them up to a 17-12 victory. Third baseman Adam Eskil went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and four RBI while Raczok finished 3 for 5 with six RBI and a home run. The overall week’s performance for Raczok earned him the GNAC’s Player of the Week award.

WOLVES REMAIN OFF UNTIL CONFERNECE PLAY: Western Oregon began its non-conference slate of games early this year and will be the first to end after wrapping up a four-game series against Cal State East Bay. The Wolves do not play again until the beginning of conference play, a four-game series at Concordia on Sat., Mar. 5.

Western Oregon leaned heavily on its pitching in the series split against CSUEB, allowing a combined six runs in the first three games before giving up seven in the series finale. Starting pitchers Garrett Alvarez and Darrien Moran earned the wins for the Wolves, while fellow starting pitcher Brady Miller threw six innings with just two runs allowed in a no-decision.

The Wolves remain the lone GNAC team ranked in the NCBWA West Region Poll, dropping down to 10th after the week off. Montana State Billings is among those receiving votes with two.

TOP PERFORMERS: Saint Martin’s pitcher Aaron Shoup was one of the lone Saints to not get hit hard on the mound. The freshman pitched five innings of relief in the team’s 17-12 victory over Minot State, allowing just one run with seven strike outs. He earned his first career win in the outing... Northwest Nazarene second baseman Tyler Davis finished 5 for 16 at the plate with three home runs and four RBI in the team’s four game series split at Azusa Pacific. He now leads the GNAC with three home runs on the season… Montana State Billings pitcher Lee Busto came out of the bullpen in all four games last week, not allowing a single run. He struck out two batters and allowed just one hit. The Yellowjackets’ Luke Reinschmidt just missed another Player of the Week award, finishing last week 8 for 13 at the dish with eight RBI, six runs scored and two home runs… Concordia shortstop Adam Taylor finished 4 for 11 at the plate in the team’s series split against Sonoma State, belting the Cavaliers first home run of the season.

FINAL WEEKEND OF NON-CONFERENCE: Western Oregon remains off this week along with Montana State Billings while the remainder of the GNAC continues non-conference play. Saint Martin’s opens up a four-game series at Cal Baptist on Thursday to open the week, Concordia plays three games at Point Loma and Central Washington plays three at Academy of Art. GNAC play opens up the following week with Northwest Nazarene at Saint Martin’s, Montana State Billings at Central Washington and Western Oregon at Concordia.