(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Being named first-team all-region by all three voting bodies, Montana State University Billings baseball seniors Daniel Cipriano and Will Riley were consensus selections for the 2021 season.
Both Yellowjackets appeared on the first team selections for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Riley was also named an NCBWA honorable mention All-American, with both the D2CCA and ABCA All-America teams expected to be announced on Friday.
Riley became the third player in MSUB history to hold a .400 batting average over the course of a season, as he led the team and ranked third in the GNAC with a mark of .401 on the season. Riley led the GNAC in hits with 63 and doubles with 16, while hitting seven home runs and driving in 33.
The leadoff hitter in MSUB’s lineup, Riley ranked fifth in the GNAC with an on-base percentage of .484 and sixth in the league in slugging percentage at .662. Riley’s 104 total bases were most in the league, and he stole three bases in five attempts.
The first-team all-conference shortstop was named GNAC Player of the Week on March 1 and was an academic all-conference selection as well.
Cipriano earned first-team all-GNAC and first-team all-region for the second time in his career, after doing so during the 2019 season. Cipriano ranked second on the team with a .333 batting average, while leading the GNAC with 14 home runs and ranking second in the conference with 52 RBIs. Cipriano also contributed 10 doubles, while reaching base at a clip of .455 and ranking fourth in the league with a slugging percentage of .702.
The all-time home run leader at MSUB, Cipriano finished his stellar career No. 2 in the GNAC record books with 39 long balls. He finished his career as MSUB’s all-time leader in batting average at .366 and slugging percentage at .765, with the latter mark also being the highest in GNAC history. Cipriano’s career .483 on-base percentage ranked him second in school history, as did his 128 runs batted in.
Cipriano was the 2019 GNAC Player of the Year and GNAC Newcomer of the Year, and became the second player in school history to be named a consensus All-American. Cipriano played a key role in helping the Yellowjackets claim their first-ever berth into the NCAA West Region Championships during the 2019 championship campaign. He was recently selected to the roster of the Billings Mustangs, and will continue his baseball career during the 2021 summer season with the independent league ballclub.
The Yellowjackets went 10-30 overall and 10-22 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play to finish in fourth place during the 2021 spring season.