Offensive Outburst Helps ‘Jackets To Win Over Concordia
Montana State Billings saw five players record three or more hits while six players had multi-RBI games. Photo by Bryan Clark.
Montana State Billings saw five players record three or more hits while six players had multi-RBI games. Photo by Bryan Clark.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

ELLENSBURG, Wash.  – The league’s most lethal offense carried its regular-season form into the postseason as No. 1 seed Montana State Billings earned a 21-11 win over No. 4 seed Concordia on the opening day of the 2018 GNAC Baseball Championships at the Central Washington Baseball Field.

The Yellowjackets combined for 23 hits to go along with six doubles and four home runs. Montana State Billings’ Kade Hall was one of three Yellowjackets to record at least four hits. Hall ended the contest with two RBIs while Colton Cosner recorded three.

Roping his league-leading 13th home run of the season, Kaleo Johnson went 3 for 5 and led all players with four runs batted in. With 66 home runs this year, the Yellowjackets have surpassed the GNAC single-season home run record of 62, which was previously set by Northwest Nazarene last season.

Montana State Billings broke its school record for most hits in a single game and surpassed its single-season win total (31-16). Concordia falls to 20-31 on the year.

Facing an uphill battle the entire afternoon, Concordia connected for 22 hits and saw six players record at least one RBI. Mitch Bevacqua led the charge by going 2 for 6 with three RBIs while Jordan Farhat added two hits and drove in a pair of runs. Tanner Williams and Gabe Padukiewicz each totaled a team-high four hits.

The Yellowjackets jumped out to a 13-0 lead entering the fourth inning. Tallying five runs in the second frame, Montana State Billings tacked on eight more in the third inning. Cosner and Hayden Humphrey each had three hits through three.

Concordia never gave up, however, as the Cavs pulled back seven runs in the top of the seventh to cut MSUB’s advantage 16-8. Cole Crosby went 2 for 2 in the inning and scored one run while Bevacqua tallied a two-run single to right field.

Despite the Concordia run, the Yellowjackets managed to bounce back in the successive half inning as they recorded five runs to take a 21-8 lead. Andrew Schleusner drilled a solo home run to right center for his third RBI of the day.

Montana State Billings will play No. 2 seed Western Oregon tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 p.m. The winner of that contest will advance to Friday’s championship game. The loss pins Concordia against No. 3 seed Central Washington tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.