NCAA Division III Northwest Conference: 2020

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Pacific Lutheran University – Tacoma, WA

Head Coach: Nolan Soete (5th year)
Assistants: Sean Taunt, Scott Richards, Landon Packard, Cory Nelson
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2020 Record: 24-18 overall; 14-10 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 15th vs. Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. George Fox in Newberg, OR
Top Newcomers:
Kenton Robillard, JR, INF, Tacoma CC
Noah Ferguson, FR, RHP/INF, South Salem HS
Ashton Barton, FR, INF, Rogers HS (WA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
Coach Soete led PLU to its 5th straight NWC Tournament berth last year—the only team to make an appearance each year of the tournament’s existence. He surpassed 100 wins last season in his fourth year. He was a four-year letter winner as a Lute, before serving as Assistant Head Coach from 2011-2015. His first year at the helm resulted in a NCAA West Regional final game run. Sean Taunt was named the Lutes’ Associate Head Coach prior to the 2019 season.
A somewhat young group of experienced position players and pitchers highlight the returning Lutes. Eight BBNW alumni are among that group who are ready to produce a conference championship. Sophomore center-fielder Andy Schmitz was named Northwest Conference Freshman of the Year last year and was a 2nd Team All-Conference selection. He is one of the team’s captains and led PLU in batting average (.333) and hits, and tied for stolen bases. Another team captain is Alaska native Michael Cesar, a sophomore catcher, who was an All-Conference Honorable Mention on the field and carried a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. Tori Doten returns at second base after the 2019 season hitting .307 with 47 hits. Senior infielder Austin Gormley hit .303 and was 2nd on the team in doubles. Two sophomores and a junior return established production on the mound in Justin Tucker (5 wins, 3.59 ERA, 72 innings), Tommy Snyder (4 wins, 1 save, 62 innings), and Alex Gregory (11 appearances, 5 saves). Gregory had an injury-plagued 2019 after 2nd Team All-Conference honors in 2018. Two right-handed seniors should add bullpen depth as they did in 2019: Jacob Mortensen (16 appearances, 3.34 ERA) and Janson Pederson (11 appearances, 4.40 ERA).
Tacoma CC transfer Kenton Robillard, a middle infielder and team captain, tops the new Lute players. Two-way prospect Noah Ferguson should have big impact as freshman. Freshman Ashton Barton plays both baseball and football at PLU and should be in the running for considerable playing time on the diamond. Five other freshmen BBNW alumni—infielder Samuel Flynn, outfielder Sean Kauffman, infielder/pitcher Joshua Gibson, outfielder Garrett Wong and first baseman Kaiden Doten add to a solid recruiting class.
PLU opens conference play at George Fox on February 22. Key league match-ups will be March 28-29 at regular league winner Whitworth and at home vs. 2019 NWC Tournament winner Whitman on April 4-5. Go Lutes!
Class of 2020 BBNW Alumni committed to PLU: Anthony Adams, Jude Rowley
BBNW Alumni on Roster:

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Willamette University – Salem, OR

Head Coach: Aaron Swick (12th year)
Assistants: Mikey Nantze, Connor Bailey
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2019 Record: 19-16 overall; 14-10 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. Occidental College in Eagle Rock, CA
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. University of Puget Sound in Salem, OR
Top Newcomers:
Layton Wagner, FR, 3B/RHP, Timberline HS (ID)
Sam Daly, FR, Jesuit HS (CA)
Jonny Suchor, FR, UTL/RHP, Boulder HS (CO)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
Aaron Swick is the longest tenured Northwest Conference head coach and begins his 12th year at the helm of the Bearcats. His recent resume includes six straight winning seasons and the most wins by any NWC team in the last three seasons. Willamette just missed a conference tournament berth last year after earning a NWC berth in the 2018 NCAA West Regional.
Pitching has been a key for the Bearcats, who were ranked 7th nationally in 2019 in least walks per 9 innings. In conference, they also had solid team hitting (3rd in batting average) and team fielding (2nd). The middle defense returns with senior 2B Justin Scanlon who was 1st Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-Region. He led the team in hitting (.357), had an OPS of 1.041, and made only one error in 110 chances. Sophomore SS Ethan Fischel showed upside as a freshman. Eric Waldichuk hit 4 home runs as a part-time bat and showed plus stuff on the mound last year; the sophomore 1B/RHP is expected to be a big impact as a two-way guy. The end of the bullpen is expected to be handled by senior RHP Joe Faudskar. He did not allow a run in very limited action in 2019. He is also expected to set the table at the top of the order; he hit .292 a year ago. Matt Pisacane had a good freshman year pitching a 4.74 ERA in 11 appearances. BBNW alum infielder Sean Little showed flashes of production with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs in limited action.
New recruits on the roster include another BBNW alum from Idaho Layton Wagner who is expected to have strong impact on the mound and at third base. California native Sam Daly should add much needed power to the 2020 roster. Colorado native Jonny Suchor is another newcomer with two-way potential.
The Bearcats go on the road to NWC Tournament champion Whitman on March 14-15 and have Whitworth at home March 21-22 in key conference match-ups. Go Bearcats!
BBNW Alumni on Roster: 2


Whitworth University – Spokane, WA

Head Coach: CJ Perry (3rd year)
Assistants: Chris Gradoville, Jeff Simmelink, Tyler Bailey, Keith Hassler
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2019 Record: 27-17 overall; 19-5 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. Pomona-Pitzer in Claremont, CA
2020 League Opener: February 29th vs. Whitman College in Spokane, WA
Top Newcomers:
Dawson Warner, FR, INF, Eagle HS (ID)
Gage Gibson, SO, INF, Edmonds CC
Dylan Bishop, FR, RHP/INF, Selah HS (WA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
BBNW alumni and 3rd year head coach CJ Perry led the Pirates to the 2019 regular season championship and earned NWC Coach of the Year honors. The Spokane native and former Whitworth player and assistant coach piloted his team to an impressive 19-5 conference record in a very competitive Northwest Conference. A 2020 championship is in the vision for the Pirates with a strong group of returners from a team that led the league in team pitching (4.04 ERA) and team batting average (.313) and was in the top 5 nationally in fielding (.975).
Eight Northwest-grown players including seven BBNW alumni are among the most experienced Pirates returning. Senior RHP Matthew Young will be the likely mound ace, coming off a 2019 1st Team All-Conference selection with 9 wins (1st in league) in 88 innings and a 3.26 ERA. Another main starting rotation candidate is junior LHP Austin Rice who produced 6 wins in 64 innings with a 4.08 ERA. Junior LHP Brett Thomas brings his dominate bullpen 2019 production (1 win, 3 saves, 2.30 ERA) to a likely starting rotation spot. Connor Grytdal, a senior RHP, also saved 3 with a 3.26 bullpen ERA in 24 innings.
The 2020 Pirates look to repeat their offensive and defensive numbers from a year ago. Catcher Cody Simmons anchors the defense for 2020 (.989 fielding) and has the top returning slugging percentage (.430). The biggest upside with the bat may come from Sophomore 1B/OF Jaxsen Sweum who started every game last year and produced 3 home runs and 27 RBIs. The Pirates will look to Liam Fitzpatrick to provide great leadership on both sides of the game. He hit .329 with a .390 on-base percentage and fielded .990 as a junior third baseman. Senior Joe Howell provides infield depth and hit .358 last year in a part-time role.
Three more BBNW alumni should provide good newcomer production. Dawson Warner and Gage Gibson are talented infield prospects while Dylan Bishop should see key innings right away.
Matthew Young and graduated outfielder Taylor Poffenroth were selected to last year’s NCAA Division III Academic All-District Team. Whitworth led the Northwest Conference with 20 players being selected to the 2019 Scholar-Athlete list including BBNW alumni—Simmons, Thomas, Young, Sweum, Jeffrey Fahnlander, and Fitzpatrick.
The pre-conference NWC Tournament with games vs. Whitman, Willamette, and Lewis & Clark should prepare the Pirates for the beginning of the NWC schedule. A key series will be a repeat of the 2019 NWC Tournament final game with a rematch vs. Whitman College starting February 29th at home. Go Pirates!
Whitworth Alumni currently playing professionally:
Hugh Smith, RHP, West Michigan Whitecaps, Class A, Detroit Tigers, drafted in 2018
Joel Coundreay, RHP, Boise Hawks, Class A Short season, Colorado Rockies, drafted in 2018
BBNW Alumni on Roster:

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Whitman College – Walla Walla, WA

Head Coach: Brian Kitamura (5th year)
Assistants: Tommy Richards, Nolan Parks, Blake Treinen, Peter Fowler
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2019 Record: 28-21 overall; 15-9 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. California Lutheran University in Tucson, AZ
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. Linfield College in Walla Walla, WA
Top Newcomers:
Teague Conder, FR, INF/OF, Mercer Island HS (WA)
Ben Parker, FR, OF, Los Altos HS (CA)
Brock Williams, FR, RHP/INF, Davis HS (WA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
The Blues are coming off a historic 2019 season when now 5th year head coach Brian Kitamura led the program to a first ever NWC Tournament Championship. They also took eventual national champion Chapman College to a fifth game in the NCAA D2 West Regional. Coach Kitamura’s four years at the helm have increased in wins each year. The former five-year assistant is also a former four-year starter as a Whitman player. Head assistant Tommy Richards, a BBNW alum, has also impacted the Blues in his 4 years. He is a former four-year starter at Washington State and three-year professional player in the Orioles organization. It took the Blues winning 7 of the last 8 conference games to secure a berth in the tournament. They used that momentum to excel in the post-season. Pitching and defense was a big part of that run, finishing 2nd in conference team fielding and 3rd in conference in pitching.
Significant 2019 pitching and defense contributors return to set the tone for the 2020 Blues. Whitman brings back three of the top starting pitchers in the conference a year ago in senior LHP Travis Craven, junior RHP Matthew Sox, and senior RHP Eric Ma. The three Californians started 41 of 49 games for the Blues and each finished in the top 14 in league ERA. Craven was 3rd in ERA (2.99), 2nd in wins (8), and 3rd in strikeouts (82). His development continued in the summer in the West Coast League for the local Walla Walla Sweets where he set a record for number of starts and was named to the All-Star team. Travis also was named Whitman College Athletics’ Most Outstanding Male Junior Performer in 2019. Sox who won 6 games while striking out 81 (4th in league) was a 2nd Team All-Conference selection. He is also one of NCAA D3’s top duel role players, hitting .317 in 142 at-bats. Ma was also a 2nd Team All-Conference selection with 8 wins; his complete game performance in game 4 of the West Regional pushed the Blues to being one game away from the National Championship Tournament.
Two BBNW alums and senior infielders lead the returning offense. Brett Williams, a team captain, was 2nd in team batting average (.325), 1st in runs scored (40), and led the Northwest Conference with 23 stolen bases. Third baseman David Johnson led Whitman with a .476 slugging percentage and was 4th in conference RBIs (36). Junior C/INF Kevin Nakamura played in all 42 games, starting 37.
The three 2020 recruits that are expected to have the quickest impact are BBNW alums Teague Conder with his offensive upside and Brock Williams as a two-way guy with bullpen depth potential. Californian Ben Parker will bring exceptional athleticism to the outfield. Two other freshmen BBNW alums, Isaac Beaman and Michael Doyle, will provide infield depth in 2020.
Craven and Sox have drawn professional consideration.
Seven Whitman baseball athletes earned conference All-Academic honors including returners Jacob Larson, Clayton Thompson, Collin Anderson, and Matthew Cho.
The Blues key conference series could be at 2019 regular season champion Whitworth beginning February 29th. Go Blues!
Class of 2020 BBNW Alumni committed to Whitman: Hunter Petit
BBNW Alumni on Roster: 11

University of Puget Sound – Tacoma, WA

Head Coach: Jeff Halstead (6th year)
Assistants: Bob Walz, Justin Gabriel, Jake Nelson, Marcus Evans
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2020 Record: 9-30 overall; 8-16 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. Whittier College in Whittier, CA
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. Willamette University in Salem, OR
Top Newcomers:
Jack McCullar, FR, C/DH, Las Lomas HS (CA)
Dylan Joyce, RHP/1B/DH, Marin Catholic HS (CA)
Sam Zevanove, FR, 3B/LF, Foothill HS (CA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
Coach Halstead begins his 6th season at the helm of the Loggers. He was a 14-year assistant at UPS both in baseball and football before becoming head coach in June 2014. His very successful playing career in baseball and football at UPS includes holding 14 school records on the diamond.
UPS is poised for a tournament run in 2020 with eight position players and two starting pitchers returning. They must reverse a 3-10 record in 1-run games a year ago. The returning offensive catalyst is BBNW alum and junior second baseman Kyle Strash. He led the 2019 Loggers in batting average (.333), runs, and on base percentage and was a All-Conference Honorable Mention. He was a 2018 conference 1st Team selection and Freshman of the Year. Two senior four-year starters—1B Mason Quinlan and 3B Hunter Riley will provide key corner offense. Quinlan is a team captain and a 2nd Team All-Conference selection and led UPS in slugging last year. Riley needs a bounce back year from a All-Conference selection in 2018. Another senior four-year starter is catcher Ricardo Barraza. He also has All-Conference selection history in 2017.
Davis Miller, Joe Brennan, and Makoa Mau look to have earned starting roles. Miller was the #1 starter a year ago with a 3.97 ERA in 9 starts as a freshman. Brennan, a senior LHP, was the closer last year but moves back to the rotation where he was in his first two seasons. Mau is also a senior LHP and is expected to be in center field, when not on the mound. He had a .299 batting average in 77 at-bats last year. Two more arms—Matt Hicks and Owen Shellhammer—each got in 13 games last year and will be bullpen depth candidates.
Three Californian newcomers are expected to have the biggest impact as freshmen. Catcher Jack McCullar was a triple crown winner in his high school league. RHP/1B Dylan Joyce could provide much needed power from the DH slot and will be a back-of-the-bullpen force. 3B/LF Sam Zevanove should compete for at-bats at both spots.
Nine Loggers earned 2018-2019 Northwest Conference Scholar-Athlete Awards including three BBNW alumni— Hicks, AJ Morioka, and Shellhammer.
The Loggers are at Willamette to open Northwest conference play on March 22-23. The April 10-11 series at defending tournament champion Whitman will be a key for UPS. Go Loggers!
BBNW Alumni on Roster: 12

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Pacific University – Forest Grove, OR

Head Coach: Brian Billings (6th year)
Assistants: Kyle Treadway, Aaron Svarthumle, Mitch Thomas, Tyler Kotchik, Dallas Chung, Dustin Meyer, Rayce Houser
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2019 Record: 25-18 overall; 15-9 in conference
2020 Opening Day: 
February 7 vs. Claremont Mudd Scipps in Claremont, CA
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. Lewis and Clark in Forest Grove, OR
Top Newcomers:
Derek Eubanks, JR, LHP, Clackamas CC (OR)
Nathan Bena, JR, LHP, Golden West CC (CA)
Tyler Quinn,  FR, C/UT, Maryknoll HS (HI)
Tyler Agnew, FR, RHP – Folsom HS (CA)
Sage Dunaway, FR, LHP/OF, Sherwood HS (OR)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
The Pacific 2019 season was the best yet under six-year head coach Brian Billings, with a 2nd place regular season finish, a best ever 15 conference wins (most since 2012) and 25 overall wins. Coach Billings has long NWC coaching experience with his 12 seasons as the head coach at University of Puget Sound before Pacific.
Two BBNW alums head the returning offensive player production in junior INF/DH Ryan Krout. He was 1st in the league in RBIs, 2nd in home runs, and tied for 5th with a .355 batting average. It earned the Washougal, WA native a 2nd Team All-Conference  selection as a DH. Junior shortstop Chase Anderson was solid defensively in 2019, starting every game and stealing 20 bases (3rd in league). Ian Blair hit .348 with a .470 on-base percentage while driving in 22 runs (2nd on the team). Sophomore utility guy Jordan Hara hit .274 in a part-time role. Upperclassmen arms Tyler Oscarson and Liam Cammall return to lead the staff. Oscarson won five games and saved one, while Cammall had a sparkling 1.77 ERA while saving three games. The new arms will have a big impact on the 2020 Boxer team with two JC transfers and two freshmen expected to compete right away. Derek Eubanks and Nathan Bena should win starting roles while Tyler Agnew and Sage Dunaway could bolster the bullpen.
Fifteen Pacific baseball athletes earned 2019 Northwest Conference scholar athlete recognition in 2019. BBNW alums Krout, Aaron Alexander, and Brandon Silowka were among that group.
Artificial turf was added to Pacific’s Chuck Bafaro Stadium in 2017 and created one of the nicest D3 facilities on the west coast. 23 Boxers are Northwest natives.
The conference opener is at Linfield beginning Feb 29. A key Northwest conference series for the Boxers is at last year’s tournament winner Whitman on March 14-15. The four-team post season tournament is April 24-26 at the regular season winner. Go Boxers!
BBNW Alumni on Roster: 19

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Linfield College – McMinnville, OR

Head Coach: Dan Spencer (1st year)
Assistants: Jordan Harlow, Josh Rapacz, Brian Valentine, Joe Paterson, Larry Carlson
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2020 Record: 7-33 overall; 4-20 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. Redlands in Tucson, AZ
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. Whitman in Walla Walla, WA
Top Newcomers:
Tanner Jacques, JR, SS, Skagit Valley College
Cody Stevenson, JR, C, Clark College
Cameron Skinner, FR, RHP/INF, Murrietta Mesa HS (CA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
New Wildcat coach Dan Spencer is no stranger to college baseball in the Northwest and is only the sixth Linfield head baseball coach in 70 years of the program. He joins one of the most storied NCAA Division III baseball programs in the country accumulating 41 conferences titles in that time including two national championships—with the last in 2013. Coach Spencer has a huge coaching resume nearly all at the D1 level. The Vancouver, WA native comes from Washington State where he was Associate Head Coach, Pitching Coach, and Recruiting Coordinator. Before that, he was head coach at his alma mater Texas Tech and an eleven-year assistant at Oregon State with pitching coach and associate head coach titles. He was part of OSU’s national championship runs after a five- year beginning as Head Coach at Green River CC. That is 22 years coaching at the D1 level.
The Wildcats look to make an impact in 2020, beginning with their top returners. Sophomore outfielder Tanner Earhart earned a .291 batting average his freshman year and an All-Conference Honorable Mention nod. Junior infielder Wyatt Smith was also an All-Conference Honorable Mention selection after a .316 batting average last year, leading the Wildcats with that mark and a .435 on-base percentage. Sophomore LHP Colton Meyer led Linfield in starts and innings. Senior LHP David Brosius is expected to get the ball at the end of the game and be a middle of the order bat. He missed most of last year with injuries and is the son of Scott Brosius—former Wildcat National Championship Head Coach and 11-year major league player. Smith and Brosius are local McMinnville natives. Senior Brian Cromwell will move to 3B from 2B in 2020, after leading the Cats in many offensive categories in 2019.
Another BBNW alum Tanner Jacques will play shortstop and is expected to have the biggest impact of the new recruits; he is an All-Conference selection from Skagit Valley College. The middle of the diamond will also be strengthened with the addition of Cody Stevenson from Clark College. Linfield has also added two-way prospect Cameron Skinner from California with strong upside. The nineteen new recruits include seven from Oregon, six from Washington, four from California, and one each from Idaho and Hawaii.
Wyatt Smith was selected as an infielder for the 2019 NCAA Division III Academic All-District Team with a 3.67 GPA. He is a Physics major.
A weekend series in Grand Prairie, Texas on February 8th provides the beginning of the season for the Wildcats. Linfield will travel to 2019 NWC Tournament Champion Whitman on February 23rd for the beginning of Northwest Conference play. Last year’s regular season winner Whitworth comes to McMinnville to end the conference season on April 18-19. The four team NWC Tournament will be hosted by the regular season champion. Go Wildcats!
BBNW Alumni on Roster: 23

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Lewis & Clark College – Portland, OR

Head Coach: Matt Kosderka (3rd year)
Assistants: Eric Del Prado, Bill Allen, Tom Topaum, Daniel Turpen
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2020 Record: 10-27 overall; 5-19 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. University of La Verne in La Verne, CA
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. Pacific in Forest Grove, OR
Top Newcomers:
Justin Bailey, FR, 2B, Trabuco Hills HS (CA)
Brayden Nomura, FR, RHP, St. Francis HS (CA)
Kris Wuelfing, FR, RHP, Rocklin HS (CA)
Kevin Kane, FR, RHP, Palos Verdes Peninsula HS (CA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
Coach Kozderka begins his third year as the head of the Pioneers program with many of his own recruits, a development plan, and a culture vision to move them up the NWC standings. “Koz” will be looking for improvement from the 2019 season with many players who gained experience and development the last two seasons. The addition of new pitching coach Daniel Turpen should help the Pios. The BBNW alum was the winning pitcher in each of the 2006 and 2007 National Title-clinching games for the Oregon State Beavers. He also pitched in nine seasons of professional baseball for five MLB organizations.
Senior RHP Andrew Yarak has shown good improvement as a starter and is coming off a 3 win, 3.50 ERA season with 10 starts and 54 innings pitched. That earned him an All-Conference Honorable Mention. Don Monozon, a junior RHP, also has head of rotation upside. He produced a team leading 66 innings along with 2 wins and a 4.36 ERA. The California product will get DH time also with proven offensive numbers of a .304 batting average and six home runs (4th in league). Jordan Gonzalez got nine starts in 2019 and could challenge again for rotation time. Another much improved player and the one seen as the team’s leader is junior shortstop Jacob Serafini; he also was recognized by the league as an Honorable Mention last year. Sophomore third baseman Jack Thompson’s 129 at-bats resulted in a 2nd Team All-Conference selection with expectation of even more to come in 2020. Another middle of the order candidate is sophomore Zack Kon. The Hawaiian showed flashes of production in his 33 starts at first base. Tyler Gannon will serve in a utility role after hitting .275 last season.
Nomura, Wuelfing, and Kane are the newcomer candidates to keep your eye on as they gain experience quickly and produce in the bullpen. Nomura was the winning pitcher in the state title game in Hawaii. Californian Justin Bailey is seen as a key defender and offensive force, though he may be slowed by a fall injury.
Last August, Lewis & Clark announced a project to transform the Joe Huston Memorial Sports Complex. The baseball field will be named Jerry Gato Field after the 22-season coach and three year athletic director who passed away in 2019.
The Pioneers open conference play at Pacific on February 22. A key conference series will be the last one at home vs. Whitman on April 18th. Go Pioneers!
BBNW Alumni on Roster: 2

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George Fox University – Newberg, OR

Head Coach: Kevin Kopple (1st year)
Assistants: Brandon Rupp, Brent Trask, Seth Anderson, Colby Watilo, Taylor Hunter, Jon Strohmaier
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Northwest
2020 Record: 23-17 overall; 14-10 in conference
2020 Opening Day: February 7th vs. Hardin-Simmons in Grand Prairie, TX
2020 League Opener: February 22nd vs. Pacific Lutheran in Newberg, OR
Top Newcomers:
Matthew Sebolsky, FR, OF, Lake Oswego HS (OR)
Austin Hallman, FR, OF/RHP, Marina HS, CA
Jared Gee, FR, OF, Woodinville HS (WA)
Sean Wiese, FR, LHP, Canby HS (OR)
Brandon King, FR, INF, Archbishop Murphy HS (WA)
What Baseball Northwest has to say about the 2020 season:
Thirteen-year assistant coach Kevin Kopple takes over the leadership of the Bruins in 2020 with a rich program tradition, a solid returning group of contributors, and young recruits with upside. The former Bruin catcher was a member of the 2006 NCAA D2 National Tournament team. He follows in the footsteps of a coaching tradition of Pat Casey (OSU), Pat Bailey (OSU), and Marty Hunter. George Fox has 19 straight seasons of .500 or better in conference and the 2020 potential is big with the number of returning pitchers. The senior leadership begins with two-way player and 1st Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-Region Matt Voelzke, a BBNW alum, who is already the George Fox career leader in saves and 2nd in career ERA. His 2019 stats speak for themselves: 2 wins, 7 saves (2nd in league), 2.97 ERA on the mound and .308 batting average with a .485 slugging percentage at the plate—all while spending time at shortstop where he fielded .971 in 40 games. Two 2nd Team All-Conference hurlers—Landon Schirer (8-1, 3.00, 12 starts) and Chase Fetzer (13 appearances) also return. Fetzer, an outfielder, also hit .298 and slugged .511. BBNW alum Issac Olson was 5th in league with a 3.05 ERA and will add potential rotation depth. Another BBNW alum and freshman LHP Sean Wiese will be relied on for significant innings. Another potential two-way prospect is Californian Austin Hallman.
The returning offense is led by second basemen Matt Ramirez (2nd Team All-Conference). His .359 batting average was 4th best in the league. First baseman Sam Swenson is expected to have a big senior year after a .301 batting average and .441 slugging percentage in 2019. He was Baseball Northwest’s #22 ranked top prospect for the Oregon class of 2016.  Three freshmen BBNW alums are expected to have immediate impact offensively and defensively—OF Matthew Sebolsky, OF Jared Gee, and INF Brandon King.
The quality arms of Voelzke and Schirer have received professional interest.
The Bruins received the American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award in 2019.
The Bruins’ NWC opener will be at home vs. PLU on February 22-23. A key conference series will be against league tournament winner Whitman CC on the road March 28-29. The winner of the regular season hosts the four team NWC Tournament.   Go Bruins!
Top Prospects previously ranked by BBNW:
Oregon Class of 2016 #22 Sam Swenson
BBNW Alumni on Roster:

These season previews were compiled by Jeff McKay, Josh Warner, and Annie Warner.

Look for upcoming conferences posted soon:
Great Northwest Athletic Conference (NCAA Division II)
NCAA Division I, beginning Friday, February 7th
NWAC Week, beginning Monday, February 17th