Western earns regional berth

The baseball team goes 40-13 during the regular season.

MONMOUTH -- Western Oregon, ranked number three for most of the season in the west region baseball poll, held that spot for the final ranking and enters this week's NCAA Division II West Regional tournament with the same seeding.

The No. 3 Wolves, 40-13 on the season, will travel to Grand Junction, Colorado for a Thursday, May 19 matchup with Chico State, the No. 2 seed. Host Mesa State, the No. 1 seed, will take on No. 4 New Mexico Highlands in the other first round game on Thursday.

The double-elimination tournament continues through Saturday, May 21 with the champion advancing to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships in Montgomery, Ala., May 28 to June 4.

WOU senior catcher Greg McCarthy and junior pitcher Trent Kristjanson were named Great Northwest Athletic Conference players of the year.

McCarthy, who was the GNAC Freshman of the Year in 2002, completes the GNAC cycle after hitting .437, driving in 59 runs and hitting a conference-record 23 doubles. The Corvallis native will take a 13-game hitting streak into the regional tournament.

Kristjanson, a junior transfer from the University of Portland, fashioned an 8-1 record with a 3.08 ERA. He gave up 57 hits in 73 innings pitched and fanned 82 batters. In GNAC games, he was 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA.

WOU coach Terry Baumgartner was named Co-Coach of the year in the GNAC, sharing the honor with Central Washington's Desi Storey. Baumgartner has now led the Wolves to five straight conference titles, including four in the GNAC, and he has a career record of 368-218-2.

In all, the Wolves had seven players named to the first-team of the All-GNAC squad. In addition to McCarthy and Kristjanson, also selected were pitcher Brian Fadling, infielders Matt Skundrick, Mike McRae and Jordan Ramos, and outfielder Aaron Karnosfki.

Pitcher Nick Waechter was an honorable mention selection, as was outfielder Billy Powell and designated hitter Jason Pohl.


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