(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Being singled out as the top performer in the NCAA D2 west region, Montana State University Billings second baseman Tyler Godfrey was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association West Region Player of the Week on Tuesday.
The first-year Yellowjacket was tabbed the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday, after leading MSUB to a pair of walk-off victories last Friday against Western Oregon University.
Godfrey capped both ends of last Friday’s doubleheader with two dramatic swings of the bat, propelling the Yellowjackets to a pair of important victories on their way to a series split. “Tyler shined bright this weekend in clutch spots,” said MSUB head coach Derek Waddoups. “He had the two walk-off hits along with outstanding defensive play and at-bats throughout the weekend. He really performed in the clutch on Friday at the plate.”
Godfrey’s first walk-off wrapped up a four-run, ninth-inning rally during which MSUB overcame a 7-4 deficit to take the opening game of the series 8-7. With one out, the bases loaded, and the outfield drawn in, Godfrey punched a single over the head of WOU rightfielder Jackson Holstad to score Hayden Foltz and prompt a celebratory mob behind second base.
He delivered again in the nightcap, stepping to the plate with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with the score tied at 4-4. Working the count full, Godfrey sent the 3-2 pitch over the fence in right field for his second home run of the year and another dramatic celebration this time at home plate.
Godfrey became the second player in MSUB history to record two walk-off hits in a doubleheader, with Brad Birch achieving the feat on May 3, 2014 in a doubleheader sweep of Northwest Nazarene. It was the third time in program history that MSUB won both ends of a doubleheader in walk-off fashion, with the ‘Jackets taking both games against NNU on April 16, 2011 in the final at-bat as well.
While the walk-off hits were Godfrey’s most important of the weekend, he contributed heavily throughout the four-game series. He delivered a key two-run single in the sixth inning of MSUB’s comeback win in the opener, before spotting his team an early lead with a two-run double in the first inning of Game 2.
Overall Godfrey got on base in 9 of 17 plate appearances (.529), while collecting six hits and driving in seven runs. He also played perfect defense in five chances at second base on Day 2 of the series.
Godfrey is the fourth different Yellowjacket this season to earn a GNAC Player of the Week award, with Carson Green, Connor Redmond, and Dylan Barkley (three times) each also being honored. It is the first GNAC weekly award for the first-year Yellowjacket. This is the team’s first regional weekly honor of the season.
MSUB (20-18, 11-9 GNAC) is off this weekend before hosting Saint Martin’s University in a four-game conference series at Dehler Park on April 22-23.