Baseball 5/10/2022 11:13:00 AM Brian Kortz
MONMOUTH, Ore. – The postseason is here and the Western Oregon University baseball team will host the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships this Thursday and Friday at the WOU Baseball Field.
Western Oregon and Northwest Nazarene tied for the conference title, but the Nighthawks claimed the top seed based off of tiebreakers. Montana State Billings rounds out the field as the third seed.
On day one, there will be three games on Thursday. The first game between Montana State Billings and Western Oregon starts at 10 a.m. Montana State Billings will turn around and play Northwest Nazarene for the 1 p.m. game. Closing the day will be Western Oregon against Northwest Nazarene at 4 p.m.
Depending on results from day one will set the scene for Friday’s games that will begin at 12 p.m. If all three teams go 1-1, then the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds will play the first game which would be Western Oregon and Montana State Billings, with the top-seed, Northwest Nazarene, getting a bye to the championship game. If one team goes 2-0, then the other team that is still in the tournament at 1-1 would play the 2-0 team in the first game on Friday and would need to win to force the if necessary game. The winning team earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA West Regional.
WOU is 31-17 overall and 15-5 at home this season. They went 3-1 at home against both Northwest Nazarene and Montana State Billings. It’s been a couple of months since the Yellowjackets were in Monmouth, having played the first conference series back on Mar. 4-5. The Nighthawks were just in Monmouth on Apr. 22-23.
The Maiben twins have powered the offense throughout the season for the Wolves. Jacob Maiben leads the team with a .342 average, adding 54 hits, 35 runs, six doubles, two triples, a home run, 19 RBI, 26 walks and 19 stolen bases. In addition to leading the team in batting average, Jacob also leads in hits, walks and stolen bases. Derek Maiben is hitting .296 with 50 hits, 38 runs, seven doubles, a triple, a home run, 33 RBI, 18 walks and 18 stolen bases. He leads the team in runs scored and is tied for the team lead in RBI, while coming in second in hits, walks and stolen bases. Jackson Holstad is hitting .274 with 43 hits, 19 runs, 10 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 33 RBI and eight stolen bases. He leads the team in doubles and is tied for the team lead in RBI, while coming in third in hits. Justyn Herzog leads the team with four triples and is second on the team with three home runs, while adding 27 RBI and seven doubles. Levi Cummings has 30 runs scored and 22 hits, while driving in 13. John Stark leads the team with nine home runs, while driving in 27 and has five doubles. Five players have double-digits in hits on the year in Spencer Weston (25), Zach Valdez (17), Leighton Moniz (15), Sebastian Morales (12) and Logan Ho (10).
On the mound, Sebasten Boivin holds a 2.21 ERA out of the bullpen in 21 appearances this year, logging two wins and a save in 40.2 innings, adding 26 strikeouts. Arturo Alvarez is a perfect 7-0 on the season with a 2.83 ERA in 60.1 innings, along with 44 strikeouts. Mike Peterson improved to 3-0 on the season with a 3.12 ERA in 52 innings, coming away with 48 strikeouts to lead the team. Matthew Dunaway is second on the team with 47 strikeouts in 52 innings, adding three saves and a 3.14 ERA in 28.2 innings. Bryce Bond also has three saves on the season in 34 innings, adding a pair of wins with a 3.18 ERA and 41 strikeouts. Dominic Miller has a 3.38 ERA in 13.1 innings with 18 strikeouts. Chris Hardin is tied for the team lead in saves with three in 22 innings, adding 25 strikeouts. Parker Johnson is tied for the team lead in victories with seven in 48.2 innings, he has a complete game and 40 strikeouts on the year. Seth Kuykendall has five wins and two saves in 42 innings, adding 43 strikeouts. Joe Kinsky and Michael Moore also have wins on the season. Moore has two saves as well. Curran Mitzel has the lowest ERA on the staff at 0.00 in seven innings and three appearances, he also has a victory on the year.
Alvarez leads the GNAC and is 61st nationally in ERA, while Peterson is second in the GNAC and 81st nationally. Alvarez is second in the GNAC and 56th nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (7.16), while Peterson is fourth in the GNAC (7.79). Alvarez and Johnson are tied for the GNAC lead and are tied for 68th nationally in wins. Alvarez is also tops in the GNAC and 42nd nationally in WHIP (1.08) and is fourth in the GNAC in walks allowed per nine innings (2.54). Peterson leads the GNAC and is 89th nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.0), second in the GNAC and 53rd nationally in WHIP (1.10) and leads the GNAC and is 86th nationally in walks allowed per nine innings (2.08). Johnson is fourth in the GNAC in WHIP (1.34) and third in the GNAC in walks allowed per nine innings (2.40). Stark leads the GNAC in home runs per game (0.23). Cummings leads the GNAC in both sacrifice bunts (5) and sacrifice bunts per game (0.12). Derek Maiben leads the GNAC and is 11th nationally in sacrifice flies (7). Jacob Maiben leads the GNAC and is 81st nationally in stolen bases, while twin brother Derek Maiben is second in the GNAC and 92nd nationally. Jacob Maiben leads the GNAC and is 95th nationally in stolen bases per game (0.41), while Derek Maiben is second in the GNAC (0.38). Derek Maiben leads the GNAC and is 18th nationally in toughest to strikeout, while Jacob Maiben is second in the GNAC. Herzog leads the GNAC and is 41st nationally in triples per game (0.11) and is second in the GNAC and 57th nationally in overall triples.
Nationally as a team, WOU is 18th in ERA (3.97), fifth in fielding percentage (97.7), 19th in hits allowed per nine innings (8.34), 19th in sacrifice bunts (31), 34th in shutouts (4), 35th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.47), 64th in strikeout per nine innings (8.9), 14th in WHIP (1.33), 55th in win-loss percentage (64.6) and 40th in walks allowed per nine innings (3.60).
WOU will open the GNAC Championships against Montana State Billings. The Wolves went 5-3 during the regular season against the Yellowjackets. MSUB is 25-25 overall on the year, finishing the regular season going 3-1 at home against Central Washington.
Cooper Dulich leads the team with a .346 average, tallying 13 doubles, two home runs and 35 RBI. Carson Green has a .316 average with nine doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 32 RBI. Hayden Foltz is hitting .307 with 16 doubles, three triples, three home runs and a team-high 43 RBI. James Anderson adds eight home runs and 34 RBI, while Mitch Winter has 10 home runs and 33 RBI.
On the mound, Brooks Zimmer has the lowest ERA at 5.25 in 12 innings, going 2-0 on the year. Dylan Barkley has five wins in 72.1 innings, holding a 5.35 ERA and 65 strikeouts. Tyler Elliott is 4-0 on the year in 33 innings and holds a 5.45 ERA. Matthew Houlihan is tied for the team lead in victories at five in 61.1 innings, coming away with a 5.72 ERA and 69 strikeouts. Connor Redmond adds four wins in 50.2 innings.
Northwest Nazarene is 29-19 overall on the season and had last week off. They last played on Apr. 29-30 at home sweeping all four games from Montana State Billings. WOU and NNU went 4-4 during the regular season.
Parker Price is hitting .320 with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 41 RBI. Haden Keller is hitting .311 with six doubles, two triples, five home runs and 22 RBI. On the mound he has thrown in 55.2 innings, posting a team-high seven wins and a 3.40 ERA with 63 strikeouts. Duke Pahukoa has 12 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 29 RBI, while hitting .306 on the season. Grant Kerry is hitting .286 with nine doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 28 RBI.
In addition to Keller on the mound, Max Holtzclaw leads the team with a 2.05 ERA in 30.2 innings, adding four wins and 11 saves along with 53 strikeouts. Blake McFadden has a 2.09 ERA in 38.2 innings, coming away with five wins and four saves along with 51 strikeouts. Joseph Ihli has two wins in 34.1 innings and a 3.41 ERA. Brock Moffitt is 4-2 in 47.2 innings with a 3.59 ERA and 59 strikeouts. Shane Martin has three wins, while Spencer Schwehr and Kyle Ethridge have two wins each on the year.
With this being a GNAC Championships event, tickets can be purchased in advance at GNACtickets.com and are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, students and children ages 6-14. Daily session tickets at the gate are priced at $12 for adults and $7 for seniors, students and children ages 6-14. Children 5 and under are free.
Parking for fans will be available in lots G, J & P. Fans will enter the facility at the north gate located adjacent to the turf recreation field. Click here for the campus map.
Live video and stats will also be available for the entire tournament. Live video can be found here and live stats can be found here.
GNAC Championships Schedule
Thursday, May 12
10 a.m.: #3 Montana State Billings vs. #2 Western Oregon
1 p.m.: #3 Montana State Billings vs. #1 Northwest Nazarene
4 p.m.: #2 Western Oregon vs. #1 Northwest Nazarene
Friday, May 13
12 p.m.: Game 4
3 p.m.: Game 5 (If Necessary)
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