GNAC Champion Nighthawks Headed To NCAA West Regional
Northwest Nazarene has been named the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Division II Baseball West Region Championships and will open its tournament against No. 6 San Francisco State on Thursday.
Northwest Nazarene has been named the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Division II Baseball West Region Championships and will open its tournament against No. 6 San Francisco State on Thursday.

Sunday, May 12, 2024
by Thomas Lal

PORTLAND, Ore.  – Just a day after winning the third GNAC Championships title in program history, Northwest Nazarene has been named the No. 3 seed in the 2024 NCAA Division II Baseball West Regional.

The Nighthawks (36-13-1, 23-9 GNAC) are the lone representatives from the conference in the tournament and will face No. 6 seed San Francisco State (32-24, 22-18 CCAA) on Thursday, May 16 in Seaside, Calif., on the campus of No. 2. Seed Cal State Monterey Bay (35-18, 27-13 CCAA). The west regional will see NNU attempt to continue a run success in a season where the team has already broken the program record for most wins in a single season.

The three-team pod is one of two in the west with the other being hosted by No. 1 seed Point Loma (40-10-1, 25-6-1  PacWest) in San Diego, Calif.. and also featuring No. 4 Cal Poly Pomona (31-22, 25-15 CCAA) and No. 5 Cal State San Marcos (27-19, 26-13 CCAA). The winner of the double-elimination regional pod will go on to face the winner of the other pod in a best-of-three super-regional on May 24-25.

Northwest Nazarene claimed the GNAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships after defeating Western Oregon (29-21, 21-11) in a must-win game 5-1 at Dehler Park in Billings, Mont., to claim the GNAC Championships title on Saturday. The victory secured a sweep of the regular season and tournament titles for the Nighthawks and marked the first time they have achieved the feat since 2021 when the team won the west region title and went on to play in the Division II College World Series.

Northwest Nazarene enters the NCAA West Regional with a .292 team batting average and a 4.43 team ERA. Trevor Tishenkel leads the team with a .343 batting average and a .635 slugging percentage to go along with 18 doubles, a triple and 11 home runs for 45 RBIs and 39 runs scored. On the mound, Reigning GNAC Pitcher of the Year Kyle Ethridge leads the Nighthawks with a 3.76 ERA alongside a 5-3 record. Ethridge has racked up 55 strikeouts and allowed just eight walks in 76.2 innings of work this season.

Northwest Nazarene and San Francisco State have never faced each other on the diamond ahead of Thursday’s west region matchup. The Nighthawks are 2-1 against the Otters all-time, with the two teams having played just one series back in 2009. The last contest of that three-game set went the way of the Nighthawks as they took a 14-11 victory in Seaside.