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Jackets co-champs, lose tiebreaker to host GNAC tourney - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Jackets co-champs, lose tiebreaker to host GNAC tourney

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BILLINGS -

Finishing at the top of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference baseball standings for the second straight year, the Montana State University Billings baseball team is the 2016 regular-season GNAC co-champion and will play in next week’s conference tournament hosted by Northwest Nazarene University as the No. 2 seed in Nampa, Idaho.

The co-champion Crusaders won the tiebreaker over MSUB by virtue of a 6-2 record against the fourth-place team, Central Washington, while MSUB went 2-6 against the Wildcats this year. The teams split their games against each other and were each 6-2 against Western Oregon.

MSUB will play No. 3 seed Western Oregon on Thursday, and will then play No. 1 seed NNU that evening. The tournament format is double-elimination, with the championship set for Friday.

The Yellowjackets (29-18, 23-15 GNAC) won 12 of their final 13 games including their last six in-a-row to end the 2016 regular season, capping off the best year in program history with a four-game sweep of Saint Martin’s University on Senior Day Friday at Dehler Park.
Northwest Nazarene finished the regular season with a record of 28-20 overall and 23-15 in league play. The Crusaders were ranked sixth in the latest NCAA Division II West Region Poll, which determines the six teams who will advance to the NCAA regional championships. The Yellowjackets were right behind the Crusaders at No. 7 in last week’s poll.

MSUB and NNU split the six games they played during the regular season, with each winning two in Nampa, Idaho on March 11-12, and each winning one game in a doubleheader in Billings on April 16. The final two games in the series, scheduled for April 18, were cancelled due to weather.

Western Oregon finished the regular season at 29-22 overall and 24-16 in league play, winning 3 of 4 from Central Washington over the final weekend to clinch the third and final playoff spot.

MSUB defeated WOU in 6 of 8 games in the regular season, including 4 of 5 in Monmouth, Ore., from April 27 – May 1. The ‘Jackets took 2 of 3 from the Wolves in Billings on March 26-27, with the fourth game being moved to later in the year in Oregon.

Northwest Nazarene won 6 of 8 games against Western Oregon on the season, taking 3 of 4 in a series played in Portland, Ore., on March 18-19, and taking three more in Nampa on April 22-23.

It is the second straight year that WOU, NNU and MSUB will participate in the GNAC Championships. The Wolves won last year’s tournament, hosted by MSUB at Dehler Park in Billings, Mont., by defeating the ‘Jackets on Day 1 and the Crusaders twice on Day 2.

Live video with play-by-play commentary and live statistics will be available for all tournament games through GNAC.tv.

Final GNAC Regular-Season Standings

BASEBALL

CONF

PCT

OVERALL

PCT

HOME

AWAY

NEUTRAL

STREAK

Northwest Nazarene

23-15

.605

28-20

.583

15-5

10-15

3-0

Won 4

Montana State Billings

23-15

.605

29-18

.617

10-7

17-10

2-1

Won 6

Western Oregon

24-16

.600

29-21

.580

12-10

17-11

0-0

Lost 1

Central Washington

23-17

.575

27-23

.540

12-8

15-15

0-0

Won 1

Concordia

13-27

.325

15-35

.300

9-13

6-22

0-0

Lost 4

Saint Martin's

12-28

.300

15-35

.300

8-14

6-20

1-1

Lost 6

WEATHER
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