Worth The Wait: Barkley Gives MSUB Delayed Win
Dylan Barkley threw 111 pitches, holding the Western Oregon line-up to two runs at the GNAC Championships. Photo by Amanda Loman.
Dylan Barkley threw 111 pitches, holding the Western Oregon line-up to two runs at the GNAC Championships. Photo by Amanda Loman.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

MONMOUTH, Ore. – While persistent rain caused the first pitch of Thursday’s game between Western Oregon and Montana State Billings to be delayed by six hours, Dylan Barkley looked as fresh as ever once the two teams finally hit the field.

Resembling the pitcher that won three of the first four GNAC Pitcher of the Week awards of the season, the Yellowjackets’ ace threw 111 pitches in seven strong innings to lead No. 3 seed MSUB to a tournament-opening 5-2 win over Western Oregon in the first game of the GNAC Championships.

Due to weather, only one of Thursday’s scheduled three games was played. The other two round-robin games will now take place on Friday, with Northwest Nazarene playing MSUB at 9:30 a.m. and NNU playing Western Oregon at 12:30 p.m. The championship game (or games, if necessary) will take place on Saturday, with official times to be determined.

Montana State Billings guaranteed themselves some sort of game on Saturday by improving to 1-0 in round-robin play. Western Oregon will need to beat Northwest Nazarene in their game to advance, while the Nighthawks must at least split in their two games tomorrow to stay alive.

No. 2 seed Western Oregon, playing on their home turf, wasted no time opening the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, with back-to-back singles from Justyn Herzog, Derek Maiben and Logan Ho producing a run. The Yellowjackets jumped into the lead in the top of the third, tagging Wolves starter Arturo Alvarez for three unearned runs on RBI singles from Carson Green and Cooper Dulich sandwiched around a sacrifice fly from James Anderson. The Wolves pulled one back with an unearned run of their own in the bottom of the inning.

The hosts seemed poised to take the lead when Herzog and Maiben singled in the bottom of the fifth inning to put two runners on base with nobody out. From then on, however, Barkley was a man on a mission. He retired the next seven Wolves hitters, stranding the runners and continuing to mow down the WOU lineup into the seventh, where he worked around two walks before getting Jackson Holstad to fly out to right field on his 111th pitch. Western Oregon left 12 runners on base over the course of the game.

Meanwhile, the Yellowjackets were adding on. Western Oregon pulled Alvarez with one on and one out in the sixth, bringing on Sebasten Boivin for his 22nd relief appearance of the year. Dulich stole second and came around to score on a single from Tyler Godfrey, which ended up being the only earned run charged to Alvarez.

In the seventh inning, Boivin pumped two straight fastballs by Carson Green, but the Yellowjackets’ leadoff hitter made an adjustment on the third fastball, depositing it over the left-field fence for his eighth home run of the year.

Connor Redmond, who had a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts for the Yellowjackets, made his first relief appearance of the season by throwing the final two innings. Redmond struck out the side in the eighth inning and retired the Wolves in order in the ninth to earn the save.

Barkley earned the win with a final line of two runs, one earned, on six hits and four walks while striking out three in seven innings. Alvarez, the GNAC Pitcher of the Year, suffered his first loss of the season, dropping to 7-1. Alvarez went 5.1 innings, giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

Also for Western Oregon, Chris Hardin threw two-thirds of an inning despite only facing one batter as Hayden Foltz was caught stealing and Anderson grounded out back to the pitcher. Freshman Bryce Bond threw two hitless innings for the Wolves, striking out three.