Baseball Weekly Report

March 11, 2015 Contact: Nathan Webber (503)305-8756/nwebber@gnacsports.com Wolves Battle Jackets, Crusaders Take on Wildcats in GNAC Play PORTLAND, Ore. – Conference play is in full swing with four teams playing GNAC series this week. Western Oregon, the GNAC Team of the Week, won its second consecutive series of the season after taking threeof-four from conference favorite Central Washington. The Wolves have now split or won their last three series after starting the year losing three straight to top six teams in the west, according to the NCBWA West Region poll. Standings and Schedule GNAC Team Northwest Nazarene Western Oregon MSU Billings Central Washington Saint Martin’s W 3 6 2 3 2 L 1 2 2 5 6 Overall W 13 10 7 9 8 L 8 14 13 9 14 S W3 W3 W2 L3 L3 UPCOMING GAMES The Wolves will stay home for the second-straight week and host Montana State Billings Friday and Saturday. A main reason the Wolves have won eight of their last 11 is because of their pitching, dropping their ERA almost a full point in two weeks, while the Jackets have been putting up huge offensive numbers all year. MSUB is coming off a split with Cal Baptist where it took the last two games after falling 4-3 in extra-innings in consecutive games. MSUB’s second loss was the longest game in GNAC history. In their last two games though, the Yellowjackets outscored Lancers 21-10 while hitting seven doubles and earning 12 walks. The other conference matchup this week is a contest between two teams ranked in the NCBWA West Region poll. Ninth-ranked Northwest Nazarene will travel to Ellensburg to take on Central Washington, which is tied for 10th in the poll. The Crusaders are one of the most dangerous teams in the conference right now. Winners of 11 of their last 15, the Crusaders are coming off their third series win in a row after outscoring Saint Martin’s 38-19 in four games. The Wildcats lost just their first series this season last week, but still hold the conference’s best home-win record at 7-3. At the CWU baseball field, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 77-53 while hitting 12 home runs. Their pitching too has been stellar at home, allowing opponents to hit a mere .226 while striking out 90 batters. Saint Martin’s will get a break after its road series in Idaho, playing one game on Saturday against its alumni. FRIDAY, March 13 Montana State Billings at Western Oregon (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m. Northwest Nazarene at Central Washington (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m. SATURDAY, March 14 Montana State Billings at Western Oregon (DH), 12 p.m./3 p.m. Northwest Nazarene at Central Washington (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m. Saint Martin’s vs Alumni, 1 p.m. Around the GNAC  Western Oregon’s Jesse Pratt became the fourth GNAC pitcher this season to throw at least 10-strikeouts in a game. Pratt recorded 11 K’s in seven innings of work, joining Central Washington’s Brandon Williams, Montana State Billings’ Brady Muller and Northwest Nazarene’s Colben McGuire, who recorded his second 10-strikeout game last week as well.  Montana State Billings’ Lee Busto is currently tied for first in the nation in pitching appearances with 13. Busto hasn’t fared well in all of his 13 appearances, losing five games, but he has struck-out 12 batters while only allowing 1 home run in 17.2 innings of relief work.  Western Oregon has fielded 30 double-plays so far this season, 11 more than any other team in the conference. It also leads the nation in this category.  Western Oregon’s Garret Harpole was named the GNAC Player of the Week after driving in eight runs and scoring five times in the Wolves series win over Central. In Sunday’s two games alone, Harpole went 5-7 with seven RBI’s and four runs scored. NNU’s Colben McGuire was selected as Pitcher of the Week after throwing nine frames of two-hit ball while striking out 11 Saints in his third win of the year. GNACsports.com | @GNACsports | #GNACbaseball