NNU Baseball Steps Up To The Plate As Team Of The Week
Northwest Nazarene went 3-1 in conference play against Montana State Billings last week en route to earning GNAC Team of the Week honors.
Northwest Nazarene went 3-1 in conference play against Montana State Billings last week en route to earning GNAC Team of the Week honors.

Monday, March 13, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – Northwest Nazarene becomes the first baseball team of the year to earn GNAC Team of the Week honors after a 3-1 week in conference play against Montana State Billings and a strong showing against Division I Utah Valley.

The Nighthawks opened their week last Monday by battling Utah Valley to the final inning, taking a 3-3 tie into the ninth but narrowly falling 4-3 to their Division I competition. Senior Shane Jamison led the offense against the Wolverines primarily by showing patience in the batter’s box. He finished the game 1 for 2 with three walks, one run scored and an RBI.

Against Montana State Billings in conference competition, the Nighthawks walked off a 6-5 win in the 12th inning on Thursday before taking a 14-5 win in the second game of the doubleheader. After a weather delay on Friday, NNU dropped the first game on Saturday 7-4 before bouncing back to take the series with a 2-1 victory in the finale.

Sophomore Mason Leavitt was the most reliable bat for the Nighthawks last week, hitting .429 while knocking in four RBIs and scoring three runs on nine hits, a double and three walks. Leavitt had one of his best games of the season in Thursday’s opener where he went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored while also drawing a walk. His strong performances earned him GNAC Baseball Player of the Week recognition.

The Nighthawks broke out the bats for Thursday’s second game, a 14-5 win. Jamison led the way going 3 for 5 with three RBIs and a run scored including a solo home run in the first inning. He also notched RBI singles in the fifth and sixth innings.

After falling 7-4 in Saturday’s first game, NNU allowed just one run en route to a 2-1 win in the series finale. Sophomore Nathan Galusha earned his first win of the season on the mound throwing 4.1 innings while striking out three batters. Ty Pohlmann and Jospeh Ihili closed out the win in relief allowing just one hit between the pair while striking out six. Ihil picked up the save, his sixth of the season.

Head coach Joe Schaefer is proud of the way the pitching staff and defense performed against a Montana State Billings lineup that leads the conference with a .283 batting average.

“It was a great step in the right direction,” Schaefer said. “Our pitching staff did a great job all weekend against a good MSUB offense and we played much better infield defense. I’m proud of the guys of guys for the way they competed.”

Northwest Nazarene will open the week with a rematch against Utah Valley on the road Monday before continuing conference competition with a four-game series against Central Washington that is set to begin on Friday.