Baseball continues hot streak vs. ‘Cavs

#8 Rory Graf-Brennen hi-fives #31 Yi-Fan Pan after rounding the bases.

#8 Rory Graf-Brennen hi-fives #31 Yi-Fan Pan after rounding the bases.

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

#8 Rory Graf-Brennen hi-fives #31 Yi-Fan Pan after rounding the bases.

Natalie Hyland, Senior Sports Reporter

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Wildcat baseball looks to improve on its win streak and potentially advance in the GNAC standings in Portland on April 8 against Concordia.

The Wildcats are currently 17-12 overall with an 11-8 conference record, placing them third in GNAC standings, one win behind No. 2 Northwest Nazarene who are 12-8 in GNAC play.

“We’re getting better,” head coach Desi Storey said. “We’re starting to play more consistent baseball.”

The last time the Wildcats met Concordia they came away with three wins in back-to-back doubleheaders March 25 and 26. The fourth and final game was called during the second inning due to inclement weather and will continue Friday April 7.

“That might have been our best overall series,” Storey said.

During their last weekend of GNAC play, the Wildcats came away with a 3-1 record versus No. 4 Montana State, Billings, at home, besting the Yellowjackets 12-3 and 9-7 on March 31. CWU dropped its first game Saturday 14-5 before besting the Yellowjackets in the final game 6-5 on April 1.

“Billings is pretty good,” Storey said. “That was a tough series. They pitched their best guy [the game we lost].”

Concordia is 5-13 in conference play and 7-21 overall. It ranks them sixth of six in the GNAC standings. They came away 0-2 against No. 5 Saint Martin’s University in a weekend of games on March 31 and April 1.

Senior Jake Levin (5-1) pitched a complete game, giving up three runs, five hits, seven strikeouts and three walks in the MSU series. Levin was named GNAC Pitcher of the Week the week for April 3 for his performance.

“I wasn’t even sure if I was going to pitch,” Levin said. “It’s nice to get some recognition.”

Coach Storey has coached Levin for three years at CWU and has been able to help him hone his pitching skills since transferring from Chapman University.

CWU “was somewhere close to home and they have a pretty good program,” Levin said.

Another standout for the Wildcats is senior Dylan Freyre. During the MSUB series, Freyre had five hits in 14 at-bats. He has the highest batting average in the GNAC, hitting .441, the next closets hitter is at .364.

“He’s leading the league and he’s having a great year,” Storey said. “He’s been playing really well.”

Before they face the Wildcats, the Cavaliers will face No. 1 Western Oregon on April 5. Western Oregon currently has a 12-8 season record with an 11-5 GNAC record. The Wildcats faced Western Oregon on March 19 and 20, coming away with a split 2-2 record, besting the Wolves in the first two games on March 19, before falling in both March 20 games.

After spending over two months inside due to weather, the Wildcats finally returned to their field two weeks ago. Since returning to outside play, the team has finally been able to improve the speed of its game and practice more live scrimmage situations.

The Wildcats will depart Ellensburg for Portland on Friday morning where they will play five games.

“We came off not a great series before that,” Levin said. “We’re down 3-0 in the last game, so hopefully we can keep building off the momentum from” the MSU series,” Levin said.

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Baseball continues hot streak vs. ‘Cavs