Baseball Weekly Report

April 22, 2015 Contact: Nathan Webber (503)305-8756/nwebber@gnacsports.com Wolves Clinch Playoff Berth, SMU Snaps Slide PORTLAND, Ore. – With two wins last week, Western Oregon became the first team in the conference to clinch a spot in the 2015 GNAC Baseball Championship May 7-8. The 13-time regular-season champions captured the last two games in its five-game series at Montana State Billings, improving the Wolves record to 18-10 in the conference. With four games remaining, WOU will have to wait until the last day of the season to find out whether it won a 14thstraight regular-season title. Montana State Billings, which won three of the five games over WOU at home, sits in second place at 15-9 with eight conference games to go. The Yellowjackets need just one win to clinch a berth to the championship for the second time ever. Northwest Nazarene, which split a four-game series against Central Washington last weekend, needs three wins to earn its first-ever trip to the championship. With eight games remaining that feat sounds very achievable, but the Crusaders travel to second-place MSUB and to first-place Western Oregon the last two weeks making it a harder task. The Crusaders have been playing well in April, winning seven of their 10 games. NNU also swept the GNAC awards last week with center fielder Josh Hatfield earning Player of the Week honors while freshman Ross Clevenger was the Pitcher of the Week. Clevenger, who came within two outs of a nohitter last week, was also named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Associations West Region Pitcher of the Week. Central Washington holds the tiebreaker over NNU, so if the Wildcats win at least two of their last four games the defending champions can still reach the tournament. Saint Martin’s is still alive for a playoff berth as well, although it would have to win six of its last eight games and at least three verse CWU. The Saints might have luck on their side as they play their last two series at home. They also carry over momentum from last week’s split against the nation’s 15th-ranked team, Dixie State. The seriesopening 4-3 win over the Red Storm snapped the Saints eightgame losing streak. SMU would also go on to win the series finale 4-3 thanks to a four-run fifth inning. Standings and Schedule GNAC Team W x-Western Oregon 18 MSU Billings 15 Northwest Nazarene 13 Central Washington 11 Saint Martin’s 7 x-Clinched GNAC tournament L 10 9 11 17 17 Overall W 23 20 25 20 15 L 22 20 20 23 27 LAST 8 W L 5 3 5 3 6 2 3 5 2 6 UPCOMING GAMES FRIDAY, April 24 Northwest Nazarene at Montana State Billings (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m. SATURDAY, April 25 Northwest Nazarene at Montana State Billings (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m. Central Washington at Saint Martin’s (DH) 1 p.m./4 p.m. SUNDAY, April 26 Central Washington at Saint Martin’s (DH) 12 p.m./3 p.m. Around the GNAC  With Clevenger’s selection on Tuesday, GNAC baseball players have been selected as the NCBWA West Region Player/Pitcher of the Week in four of the past five weeks. SMU’s Carl Svanevik and NNU’s Tyler Davis won back-toback Player of the Week awards while MSUB’s Brody Miller was selected last Tuesday. Clevenger is the first GNAC pitcher to be honored this year.  Six complete games were thrown by GNAC pitchers this week. Two were seven-inning shutouts from CWU pitcher Mitch Yada and WOU pitcher Garrett Alvarez. MSUB’s Brady Muller also threw seven-complete innings in the ‘Jackets make-up game Friday, but did not receive credit for the complete game as he was not the penciled starter on the original start of competition.  Northwest Nazarene completed the first sweep of the GNAC weekly awards this season as Hatfield was named the Player of the Week and Clevenger was the Pitcher of the Week. The pair helped the Crusaders to two wins. Hatfield reached base on 10 hits while slugging three home runs while Clevenger threw 6.1 innings of no-hit ball. He allowed just two hits in his two wins last week. GNACsports.com | @GNACsports | #GNACbaseball