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Dominant Pitching Meets Dynamic Hitting At Dehler Park
Western Oregon leads the GNAC with a 3.85 earned run average while the Yellowjackets have hit a league-best 40 home runs this season.
Western Oregon leads the GNAC with a 3.85 earned run average while the Yellowjackets have hit a league-best 40 home runs this season.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

COMMANDING PITCHING MEETS POWERFUL HITTING: With both teams sitting in a tie for first place, Western Oregon visits Montana State Billings this weekend to open the second half of conference action. Western Oregon boasts the best pitching staff in the GNAC as it maintains a 3.85 earned run average. The Wolves have allowed a league-low 85 earned runs and have compiled 170 strikeouts. Western Oregon’s fielding has also been superb this season as it leads all GNAC teams with a .971 fielding percentage, committing just 28 errors all season.

On the offensive side of the plate, Montana State Billings has been slugging at a historic rate. In last week’s series at Central Washington, the Yellowjackets tied the GNAC record for home runs by a team in a four-game set and have recorded a league-high 64 doubles this year. Montana State Billings also has the GNAC’s individual league leader in the runs scored, runs batted in, triples, home runs, total bases and stolen bases categories. The Yellowjackets play its first home game of the season on Friday at Dehler Park.

BIG-TIME BLASTS LIFTS MSUB TO TEAM OF THE WEEK HONOR: Ending the first half of the conference season with a bang, Montana State Billings belted 13 home runs en route to a convincing series victory over Central Washington last weekend. With the feat, the Yellowjackets have claimed their third straight series and is named this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

Entering the weekend tied for second with Central Washington, Montana State Billings took three of four against the Wildcats to improve to 19-11, 14-6 GNAC. The Yellowjackets also tied the GNAC record for home runs by a team in a four-game series to add to their league-best 40 home runs this season.

HALL NAMED NCBWA DII WEST REGION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Leading Montana State Billings to its third straight series victory and a share of first place in the GNAC standings last weekend, senior catcher Kade Hall has been named by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) as its Division II West Region Player of the Week.

Named the GNAC Baseball Player of the Week on Monday, Hall led Montana State Billings’ scoring barrage at Central Washington by going 8 for 18 with three home runs and nine RBIs as the Yellowjackets went 3-1 against the Wildcats. Hall went 4 for 6 in Friday’s opening 14-13 loss, hitting solo home runs in the first and seventh and a two-RBI double in the fourth. He went 2 for 4 and had his third solo home run of the day in the nightcap.

The senior opened Saturday with four RBIs, three of which came on a double in the fifth, and two runs in Sunday’s nightcap. The Yellowjackets also tied the GNAC record for home runs by a team in a four-game series to add to their league-best 40 home runs this season.

Hall was selected as the West Region Player of the Week over Hawaii Hilo senior infielder Phillip Steering and Stanislaus State sophomore infielder Jack Large.

Montana State Billings looks to take sole possession of first place as it hosts Western Oregon this weekend for a four-game series at Dehler Park. The Yellowjackets also begin a 20-game homestand to close out the regular season.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Player
Kade Hall, Montana State Billings
C • 6-0 • Sr. • Pocatello, Idaho

Hall led Montana State Billings’ scoring barrage at Central Washington by going 8 for 18 with three home runs and nine RBIs as the Yellowjackets went 3-1 against the Wildcats. Hall went 4 for 6 in Friday’s opening 14-13 loss, hitting solo home runs in the first and seventh and a two-RBI double in the fourth. He went 2 for 4 and had his third solo home run of the day in the nightcap. Hall opened Saturday with four RBIs, three of which came on a double in the fifth, and two runs in Sunday’s nightcap.

Also Nominated: Cole Crosby (Concordia), Jay Leverett (Western Oregon).

Pitcher
Jake Roes, Concordia
P • 6-0 • Jr. • Kent, Wash.

Roes threw eight shutout innings to earn the 2-0 win over Saint Martin’s on Friday. He allowed two hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. He did not allow a runner to reach second base until the fifth inning. It was Roes’ second win of the season and he now has an 18-inning scoreless streak.

Also Nominated: Michael Gahan (Montana State Billings), Alex Roth (Western Oregon).

AROUND THE GNAC
CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Taking on Montana State Billings to close the first half of the conference season, Central Washington struggled to find any rhythm as it lost its second GNAC series of the season. The Wildcats took the series opener 14-13 but dropped the final three contests 9-5, 18-1 and 11-4.

• Hitting above .300 all season, Central Washington was limited to just a .275 average from the plate and gave up 51 runs and 13 home runs.

• Senior Dustin Braun led the CWU offense by batting .444 in the four games. He recorded both of his RBIs in the 14-13 win and tallied four hits. Braun also had at least one hit in the final three games. He leads the GNAC with a .393 batting average and is tied for fourth with 42 hits.

• In three games, senior Michael Heinevetter hit .400 after going 4 for 10 with two runs scored in the series. Heinevetter did most of his damage in the opening game by going 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. The senior improves his batting average to .300 on the season and has scored 19 runs.

• The Wildcats are second in the GNAC with 304 hits. Their pitching staff yields a 6.24 earned run average and has amassed 191 strikeouts this season. Central Washington has four of the GNAC’s top-12 hitters in terms of batting percentage with all four hitting better than .325.

• Central Washington looks to bounce back as it visits Concordia for a four-game series at Porter Park this weekend.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia played its best baseball of the spring as it swept Saint Martin’s last weekend 2-0 and 13-0 on Friday before taking 5-3 and 8-7 wins on Sunday.

• Concordia’s offense was superb over the four games with a .336 batting average and drove in 28 runs on 40 hits.

• Senior Cole Crosby led the Cavaliers by batting .462 in the series. Crosby had a day to remember on Saturday as he recorded two hits and an RBI in game three before clubbing three hits in the series finale. His most important contribution came in walk-off fashion as he smashed a two-run double to right center to record his third RBI of the day and give Concordia the 8-7 win in the series finale. In 26 games this season, Crosby is hitting .309 and is second on the Cavaliers with 25 hits.

• Senior Andrew Barerra led Concordia with five runs scored as he finished the weekend with a .333 batting average. Barerra played a big role in CU’s 2-0 win as he opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third inning. Barerra then went 1 for 2 with three runs scored and an RBI in Friday’s nightcap. He leads the team and is ninth in the GNAC with a .339 batting average.

• Junior Jake Roes was named the GNAC Pitcher of the Week after he threw eight shutout innings to earn the 2-0 win over Saint Martin’s on Friday. He allowed two hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. He did not allow a runner to reach second base until the fifth inning. It was Roes’ second win of the season and he now has an 18-inning scoreless streak. Roes maintains a .391 ERA this season and has struck out 24 batters.

• Concordia is hitting .259 this year and has recorded 246 hits and 50 doubles, 10 of which came last weekend. The Cavs are improve to third in the GNAC with a 5.59 earned run average.

• The Cavaliers finish their 12-game homestand as they host Central Washington this weekend at Porter Park.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings exploded for 51 runs last weekend as they took three of four games from Central Washington in Ellensburg. Despite dropping the series opener 14-13 on Friday, the Yellowjackets came back to win the final three games of the series 9-5, 18-1 and 11-4.

• Smashing 13 home runs over the weekend, Montana State Billings tied the GNAC record for home runs by a team in a four-game series to add to their league-best 40 home runs this season.

• Named the GNAC and NCBWA Division II Player of the Week, senior Kade Hall led Montana State Billings’ scoring barrage at Central Washington by going 8 for 18 with three home runs and nine RBIs as the Yellowjackets went 3-1 against the Wildcats. Hall went 4 for 6 in Friday’s opening 14-13 loss, hitting solo home runs in the first and seventh and a two-RBI double in the fourth. He went 2 for 4 and had his third solo home run of the day in the nightcap. Hall opened Saturday with four RBIs and two runs in Sunday’s nightcap. Hall is now fourth in the GNAC with a .362 batting average and is one of three Yellowjackets with 28 or more RBIs this season.

• Junior Kaleo Johnson led the team by batting .588 over the four games. The junior went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in the series opener before going 4 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored in game three. He followed that up with a 3 for 5 showing and four RBIs in the series finale. Johnson improved his batting average to .394 and owns a slugging percentage of .662.

• In two appearances last weekend, senior Tristan Shockley allowed just two hits in five innings and compiled six strikeouts. Shockley earned the win in Friday’s nightcap before recording his first save of the season in the series finale, where he allowed one hit in three innings pitched.

• Montana State Billings leads the GNAC with a .307 batting average and is among the Division II leaders with 8.10 runs per game. In the latest NCBWA Division II West Region Rankings, the Yellowjackets are ranked No. 7.

• The Yellowjackets play their first home series of the season as they host Western Oregon at Dehler Park this weekend. Both teams currently sit in a first-place tie at 14-6.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene picked up a series split against first-place Western Oregon last weekend. The Nighthawks dropped the series opener on Friday, 1-0, before taking the nightcap 7-2. In the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader, NNU fell 3-2 in 14 innings but earned a 5-4 win in the series finale.

• The Nighthawks’ pitching staff played a huge role in the split as it was second in the GNAC last week with a 1.80 earned run average, allowing just seven runs all series.

• Pacing NNU’s offense was junior Kyle Redford, who hit .438 in the series. Redford went 2 for 4 in the second game and notched an RBI triple in the third inning to give the Nighthawks a 4-1 advantage. The junior had at least one hit in three of the contests. Redford improves his batting average to .321 on the season and has committed just one error in 29 starts.

• Junior Jesse Hilyard tallied three hits for a .300 average over the weekend. Hilyard knocked in a late insurance run in NNU’s 7-2 triumph with an RBI double in the fifth inning to help the Nighthawks even the series. Hilyard improves his batting average to .271 and has knocked in 12 RBIs this season.

• Hilyard also got things done on the mound as he pitched five innings in a pair of relief appearances, allowing no runs on four hits. Hilyard pitched the in three of the five extra innings, allowing just three hits.

• Despite taking the loss in the 1-0 defeat on Friday, sophomore Blake McFadden provided six innings of work and allowed just three hits and issued two walks. McFadden lowered his ERA to 2.49 and is tied for the Nighthawks’ team-lead with two wins.

• The Nighthawks are third in the GNAC batting .280 and are second in the GNAC with 28 home runs. Northwest Nazarene is also second in the GNAC with a .958 fielding percentage.

•  Northwest Nazarene returns home this weekend to host Saint Martin’s. In their previous meeting in March, the Nighthawks came away with a 3-1 series win.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s struggles continued last weekend as it was swept at Concordia. The Saints dropped the opening doubleheader 2-0 and 13-0 before suffering 5-3 and 8-7 setbacks on Saturday.

• The Saints were overpowered by Concordia’s offense as they allowed eight or more hits in all four contests.

• Senior Steven Sordahl led all Saint Martin’s players with four hits and two runs scored. All four hits came on Saturday as he recorded a pair of singles in each game. He is among SMU leaders with a .292 batting average and 31 hits.

• Junior Austin Feist was second on the Saints with three hits in the series. Feist recorded two of his hits in Saturday’s nightcap as he knocked in a three-run double down the left field line to tie the contest in the third inning. Feist is tied for the team lead with 31 hits and a .292 batting average. He also leads the Saints with eight doubles and 16 RBIs.

• Junior Clark Streby paced the Saint Martin’s pitching staff by tossing 6.1 innings in his lone appearance, which came in the series opener. Despite the loss, Streby allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out seven. Streby is seventh in the GNAC with a 4.28 ERA and has struck out 35 batters.

• As a team, Saint Martin’s is hitting .234 this season and has drawn the third-most walks with 104.

• Saint Martin’s finishes its 12-game road trip at Northwest Nazarene with a four-game series this weekend. In their previous series in March, Northwest Nazarene came away with a 3-1 series victory.

WESTERN OREGON
• Playing its first games of the season in Monmouth, Western Oregon came away with a split against Northwest Nazarene. The Wolves split both doubleheaders as they took a 1-0 win in the series opener on Friday before losing in the nightcap 7-2. On Saturday, Western Oregon claimed a 3-2 win in game three but fell in the finale 5-4.

• Western Oregon had a tough time manufacturing any offense against the Nighthawks as it scored just 10 runs in the series. In WOU’s two wins, however, the Wolves limited NNU to just 12 hits and two runs.

• Senior Jay Leverett paced Western Oregon at the plate by going 7 for 17 in the four games. He opened the series going 2 for 4 before leading the team with three hits in Saturday’s opener. Leverett is 10th in the GNAC with a .337 batting average has recorded 28 hits this season.

• Going 5 for 15, sophomore Connor McCord led Western Oregon with two RBIs during the series. McCord came up clutch in the extra-inning affair as he drove in the game-winning single to hand WOU the 3-2 win. In 25 starts this season, McCord is averaging .312 at the plate and is tied for second in the league with seven home runs.

• Sophomore Alex Roth continued his dominance after going six innings in the series opener, allowing three hits for no runs and six strikeouts. Roth leads the league with a 1.57 earned run average and is second in the league with 39 strikeouts. Roth has allowed just six earned runs all year.

• Western Oregon is fourth in the GNAC with a .272 batting average. Fielding has been a strength this season as the Wolves lead the GNAC with a .971 fielding percentage. The pitching staff also paces the conference with a 3.85 earned run average.

• The Wolves open up the second half of conference play as they visit Montana State Billings for a four-game series at Dehler Park. Both teams are currently tied for first place at 14-6.

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