March 18, 2015
Contact: Nathan Webber
Wildcats Bounce Back as Saint’s Resume Conference Play
PORTLAND, Ore. – After a disappointing series against
conference leader Western Oregon, Central Washington
responded by taking three-of-four from the GNAC’s secondplace team, Northwest Nazarene.
The Wildcats, which were ranked ninth in the National
Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s West Region poll
Monday, moved into a tie for second in the conference while
pushing their overall record above .500.
Standings and Schedule
The series was tight as each of the four games were decided
by three runs or less.
The Wildcats scored late after trailing much of the first two
games, edging the Crusaders by one-run each time.
In game one CWU was down 6-7 in the bottom of the eighth
before Johnathan Dailey hit a two-run double for the gamewinner. Game two was decided in extra-innings. After falling
behind in the top of the 10th, GNAC Player of the Week Ryan
Atkinson hit a double into left field to tie the game before
Ben Dunbar hit a single to third base for the walk-off.
The Crusaders edged the Wildcats in game three, 7-6, but
Central clinched the series with an 8-5 win in game four in
thanks to a four-run fourth inning.
Senior Cory Welch recorded the save in the first and last
games of the series, taking back the conference lead with
Central Washington will face a well-rested Saint Martin’s
team Saturday and Sunday. The Saints had their alumni
game cancelled last week, meaning this weekend’s series will
be their first action in two weeks.
The Saints will look to take their first series since sweeping
Concordia in mid-February. Since then, SMU has gone 2-6
against a few of the top teams in the GNAC.
Even with the team’s struggles and two-week layoff, the
Lacey baseball team still ranks in the upper portion of the
conference in home runs and earned run average.
Western Oregon earned its third-straight series win last
week, taking three from MSUB in Monmouth.
The Wolves held the GNAC’s top-ranked offense to a .181
batting average while allowing only nine earned runs.
FRIDAY, March 20
Montana State Billings at Northwest Nazarene (DH), 3 p.m./6 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 21
Montana State Billings at Northwest Nazarene (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m.
Saint Martin’s at Central Washington (DH), 1 p.m./4 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 22
Saint Martin’s at Central Washington (DH), 12 p.m./3 p.m.
Around the GNAC
The Central Washington – Saint Martin’s series has been
moved from Lacey to Ellensburg due to bad weather.
Because of the switch, the Wildcats series against the Saints
April 25-26 will be played in Lacey.
Game four of the Montana State Billings and Western
Oregon series was postponed due to unplayable conditions.
The last game in the series, which was suspended in the top
of the first, will be played April 17 or 18 when the Wolves
travel to Billings.
Eight GNAC players rank in the top 10 in Division II in six
different categories. Two of these players are from
Northwest Nazarene as Andrew Helmstadter is tied for first
in triples and Colben McGuire is tied for sixth with Central’s
Brandon Williams having three complete games.
Central Washington’s Atkinson was named the GNAC Player
of the week after helping the Wildcats to a series win.
Atkinson hit for a .533 average while driving in eight runs.
He also hit two home runs and three doubles while scoring
four times in the series. Pitcher of the Week honors went to
Western Oregon’s Jesse Pratt, who threw his second
consecutive complete game in the Wolves 8-1 win over
MSUB. Pratt allowed two hits while striking out six in seven
innings of work.
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