Crooked Numbers Abound In Ellensburg
Cooper Dulich hit .533 (8 for 15) during MSUB's four-game series at Central Washington and was one of three players to tie the GNAC single-game record with five runs scored either Friday or Saturday.
Cooper Dulich hit .533 (8 for 15) during MSUB's four-game series at Central Washington and was one of three players to tie the GNAC single-game record with five runs scored either Friday or Saturday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Montana State Billings hasn’t had a football program since 1978. If they did, it would be even more difficult to convince people the scores from MSUB and Central Washington’s baseball series this past weekend didn’t come from the gridiron.

Central Washington jumped all over MSUB ace Dylan Barkley, scoring all of their runs in the first six innings of a 28-3 victory, but the Yellowjackets shrugged off the opening game to win the next three by scores of 9-3, 22-15 and 8-7.

In the series opener, Central Washington scored eight in the first, two in the third, eight in the fourth, four in the fifth and six in the sixth, threatening the GNAC record of 32 runs set by Western Oregon against the Wildcats in 2019. Shortstop Trevor Tripoli accounted for a touchdown by himself with six RBI and was one of four Wildcats to homer (joining Charlie Larson, Austin Ohland and Zach Berryman, who clubbed a grand slam).

After a game one loss that was the second-most runs given up in program history, MSUB roared back with a 9-3 win in game two. Down 2-0, the ‘Jackets scored all nine runs in the final three innings, including a two-run double by Hayden Foltz that punctuated a four-run sixth.

Saturday’s games between the two teams followed Friday’s formula of an insane slugfest followed by a late-inning comeback, only this time the Yellowjackets were on the winning end of both games. At first, it appeared that Central would run away with things again, taking a 9-3 lead after three innings, but MSUB scored 10 unanswered runs between the fourth and sixth innings before blowing open a 16-14 game with six runs in the top of the ninth. Cooper Dulich went 3 for 4 with five runs scored, becoming one of three players this week (alongside CWU’s Tripoli and Tyler McClain during Friday’s rout) to tie the GNAC single-game record.

The series finale provided more box-office entertainment. With CWU holding a two-run lead heading into the seventh and final inning, Dulich reached on an error to lead off the inning before Justin Lutz singled. The momentum seemed to fizzle out on a line-drive double play, but with two outs, the next five Yellowjackets reached base. PJ Ausmus and Dominick Buso had RBI singles before Carson Green and Foltz worked walks to drive in the go-ahead run and give MSUB an 8-7 win and the series.

McClain won GNAC Player of the Week for Central Washington after hitting .600 (9 for 15) with nine runs scored, two doubles and a home run, which came in the 22-15 loss. McClain ripped five hits in the series opener, becoming the first GNAC player to do so this season.

If MSUB and CWU had nothing but offense, the script was flipped in the other series between Western Oregon and Saint Martin’s. The Wolves took three of four from SMU on the back of excellent starting pitching. Parker Johnson won GNAC Pitcher of the Week with his best Greg Maddux impression, throwing a seven-inning complete-game shutout on 64 pitches, giving up only a hit and walk while striking out six. Johnson had plenty of competition for the award on his own team, however, as Arturo Alvarez also threw seven innings without giving up an earned run in a nine-inning game while Mike Peterson threw eight innings, giving up two runs but striking out eight.

Western Oregon will be the league’s busiest team, taking to the diamond five times this upcoming week. The Wolves will host George Fox for a non-conference game on Tuesday afternoon before their vaunted rotation will tangle with MSUB’s red-hot offense for four games in Billings on Friday and Saturday. After having last week off, league-leading Northwest Nazarene will return to competition by hosting high-powered Central Washington for four games.


Tyler McClain, Central Washington
OF • 6-2 • Jr. • Bonney Lake, Wash.
McClain batted .600 in the Wildcats’ four-game series with Montana State Billings, going 9 for 15 with nine runs scored, two doubles, a home run and four RBI. McClain opened the series by going 5 for 6 with five runs scored, two doubles and a two-RBI single in Friday’s 28-3 win. In Saturday’s opener, McClain went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and a solo home run. He also had a hit in both nightcaps and finished the week with a .611 on-base percentage and .933 slugging percentage.

Also Nominated: Cooper Dulich (Montana State Billings), Aaron Renaud (Saint Martin’s), Logan Ho (Western Oregon).

Parker Johnson, Western Oregon
RHP • 6-1 • Jr. • Anchorage, Alaska
Johnson threw a complete-game one-hitter on Saturday, closing the Wolves series with an 8-0 victory over Saint Martin’s. He allowed the one hit and one walk and struck out six. He needed to throw 64 pitches for the win, 49 for strikes, to improve to 5-2 on the season.

Also Nominated: Ryan Arredondo (Central Washington), Matthew Houlihan (Montana State Billings), Justice Yamashita (Saint Martin’s).


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• Central Washington lost three of four at home against Montana State Billings. The Wildcats exploded in the opener, winning 28-3, but lost the next three games by scores of 9-3 on Friday and 22-15 and 8-7 on Saturday.
Tyler McClain did nothing but rake on his way to the GNAC Player of the Week award. McClain hit .600 (9 for 15) during the series, led by a 5 for 6 performance in CWU’s blowout win in which he doubled twice and tallied a two-run single. McClain hit a solo home run in Saturday’s opener.
• McClain was hardly alone, however. Over the course of four games, CWU scored 53 runs on 56 hits, including 14 doubles and five home runs, while drawing 22 walks. In Friday’s win alone, there were almost too many individual stars to count. Trevor Tripoli drove in six runs, a single-game high this season for the conference, collecting four separate RBI hits including a two-run homer. Zach Berryman had five RBI, including a grand slam in the fourth inning, and Charlie Larson kicked things off with a three-run homer four batters into the game in the first inning. McClain and Tripoli – the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in the order – each tied the all-time GNAC single-game record by scoring five runs.
Ryan Arredondo solidified his ace status in the Wildcat rotation, throwing six innings of three-hit, one-run ball while striking out four in Friday’s opener. For the second consecutive week, Arredondo enjoyed outstanding run support after CWU scored 17 runs in his start last week. Arredondo has a 4.50 ERA this year.
• Central Washington currently has a conference-leading .306 batting average and a 7.67 team ERA. They lead the conference in runs (230), hits (342) and doubles (78).
• Central Washington will travel to league-leading Northwest Nazarene for Friday and Saturday doubleheaders.

• Montana State Billings lost 28-3 to Central Washington in Friday’s opener, but rebounded to win the next three games, winning 9-3 on Friday and 22-15 and 8-7 on Saturday. The Yellowjackets won three out of four despite allowing 53 runs in four games.
• The Yellowjackets hit .390 as a team over the four-game series. They smashed 16 doubles and two triples and scored 42 runs without a single home run.
Cooper Dulich went 8 for 15 (.533), scoring seven runs and driving in four against the Wildcats. He tied the all-time GNAC record by scoring five runs in a single game in the 22-15 victory on Saturday and had multi-hit games in each of the first three games of the series. Dulich ranks fourth in the GNAC with a .347 batting average and a .443 on-base percentage.
Dominick Buso drove in eight runs and scored six. He had three RBI in both of Saturday’s games, collecting an RBI single and two-run double in the opener and a sac fly and two RBI singles, including one that tied the game in the seventh inning, in the nightcap. James Anderson drove in five runs and worked two walks to bring his conference-leading total to 26, which ranks 28th in Division II.
Matthew Houlihan had MSUB’s best start, throwing 5.2 innings in Friday’s win and giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits. Tyler Elliott pitched the final 1.1 innings of that game, then earned the save in Saturday’s opener after entering with traffic on the bases to get the final three outs.
• The Yellowjackets are batting .283 and have a 7.13 ERA, ranking third in the GNAC in both. They lead the conference walks drawn (141).
• Montana State Billings will host Western Oregon for doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday.

• Northwest Nazarene did not play last week. They were last in action against Montana State Billings, where they split a four-game series on the road. They lost 10-5 before winning 3-2 on March 25 and lost 11-6 before winning 12-5 on March 26.
Brock Moffitt flirted with perfection in his outing during the March 25 nightcap. In a seven-inning contest, The junior lefty retired the first 18 batters he faced, eight of which were via the strikeout. Moffitt allowed a double and a triple to open the final inning and was pulled from the game, but closer Max Holtzclaw, despite allowing the inherited runner to score, locked down the 3-2 victory for his Division II-leading ninth save of the season. The GNAC has five no-hitters in conference history, the most recent of which was thrown by Western Oregon’s Austin Crowson in a seven-inning game against Concordia (Ore.) on Apr. 25, 2019.  
• The Nighthawks’ offense in that 3-2 win came from the long ball as Haden Keller hit a two-run shot and Duke Pahukoa hit a solo bomb. Parker Price also hit a leadoff home run in the top of the first inning in the third game. Price was NNU’s best hitter over the week, batting .429 (6 for 14) with three runs scored, four RBI and three walks. Walker Moore recorded three RBI in the series finale on a sacrifice fly and a two-run double.
• Aside from Moffitt’s heroics, Blake McFadden won his GNAC-leading fifth game of the season in the series finale. He allowed two runs and two hits in 2.1 relief innings.
• Northwest Nazarene is batting .279 and has a 5.05 ERA. They lead the conference in home runs (31) and hits (288) while ranking second in slugging percentage (.443). Their pitching staff leads in strikeouts (290).
• The Nighthawks are fifth in the latest NCBWA West Region poll. They were tied for fifth last week.
• Northwest Nazarene hosts Central Washington for four games on Friday and Saturday.

• Saint Martin’s lost three out of four to Western Oregon. After losing the opener 9-2, the Saints rallied with a 3-2 win in the nightcap on Friday but lost twice on Saturday, 2-1 and 8-0.
Justice Yamashita is making a case to be the Saints’ most valuable player and possibly the conference’s best pitcher. Yamashita shut down another GNAC team to give SMU their only win of the series, giving up two runs on two hits in seven innings during the nightcap for his third complete-game effort of the season. Yamashita walked three and struck out eight. He ranks third in the GNAC in ERA (2.72), tied for second in strikeouts (46) and first with a .211 opponent batting average.  
Aaron Renaud accounted for nearly a quarter of SMU’s 17 hits for the week, going 4 for 11 (.364) with two doubles and two RBI. Renaud was critical to the Saints’ 3-2 victory, doubling home Ryne Oshiro in the first inning before tallying the eventual game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Renaud leads the team with a .301 batting average and is third in the GNAC with six home runs.
Austin Schaler hit 3 for 7 (.429) with a double and two triples. He had two hits in SMU’s win, scoring the tying run in the fifth inning, then tripled again in Saturday’s opener. Schaler now leads the GNAC with four triples this season.
• The Saints have a .244 team batting average and a 7.07 team ERA. They lead the GNAC with 24 double plays turned and rank second with seven triples.
• Saint Martin’s does not play this week. They will host NNU on April 15-16.

• Western Oregon took three of four games from Saint Martin’s. After splitting on Friday with a 9-2 win and 3-2 loss, Western Oregon shut down the SMU bats with 2-1 and 8-0 wins on Saturday to take the series.
•  The Wolves won with starting pitching. On Friday, Mike Peterson threw eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out eight. On Saturday, Arturo Alvarez gave up one unearned run in seven innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six. Alvarez (1.86) and Peterson (2.70) are first and second in the GNAC in earned run average with a combined 5-0 record.
• Both of those performances were eclipsed by GNAC Pitcher of the Week Parker Johnson in the series finale. Johnson needed only 64 pitches to throw a seven-inning complete-game one-hitter, firing 49 strikes while striking out six and only walking one. Johnson is tied for the conference lead with five wins this season and has a 2.45 ERA in nine outings, four of which have been starts.
• Western Oregon’s excellence from their starters doesn’t even count Matthew Dunaway, who struck out 29 in his first three starts before leaving with an injury on March 5. Pitching for the first time since then, Dunaway threw two perfect innings for the save in Saturday’s opener.
• On offense, Logan Ho made a big splash. The junior transfer from Skagit Valley Community College made his WOU debut in both of Saturday’s games and started raking immediately, going 1 for 4 with an RBI double in game one and 3 for 4 with four RBI in game two. Ho hit a two-run double in the third to open the scoring and added RBI singles in the fifth and sixth innings of the 8-0 rout. Levi Cummings hit four RBI in Friday’s 9-2 win with a pair of two-run doubles that accounted for half of Cummings’ eight RBI this season.
• The Wolves rank sixth in the latest NCBWA West Region Poll, up from seventh last week.
• Western Oregon will host George Fox for a non-conference game on Tuesday afternoon before facing Montana State Billings for Friday and Saturday doubleheaders.

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