(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – Six players from the Montana State University Billings baseball team were named academic all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference for the 2020-21 academic year, announced by the conference office on Tuesday.
Among the Yellowjackets’ selections were Dylan Barkley and PJ Ausmus, who each earned the honor for the second consecutive season. Cort Dietrich, Brandon Koszuth, Dylan Johnson, and Will Riley were each first-time academic selections. “Along with winning on the field, our number one goal is to educate and graduate our student-athletes,” said MSUB head coach Derek Waddoups. “It is exciting to see these outstanding young men receive academic all-GNAC awards for their dedication and hard work academically. They each represent our program with integrity and respect. They have made sacrifices to be able to achieve this high level of academic success.”
Barkley is in his fourth year in the baseball program and has been one of the team’s top starting pitchers since the 2019 season. This spring he has made six starts and ranks second on the squad with 28 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched. Barkley holds a 3.56 grade point average and is working towards his degree in political science.
Ausmus has seen action in 15 games this spring and has started 11 primarily on the infield. He is tied for third on the team with a pair of stolen bases. Ausmus has a 3.55 GPA and is a marketing major.
Dietrich is tied for the fifth-highest GPA in the conference, as he holds a 3.98 while studying business. The senior right-handed pitcher has made five appearances out of the bullpen and has nine strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings of work this spring.
A two-way player for the ‘Jackets, Johnson has pitched in four games and has been in the lineup in 11 games this spring. He has a pair of doubles and three RBIs at the plate and as a pitcher he has struck out 10 hitters in seven innings of work. Johnson carries a 3.84 GPA and is a management major.
Riley is one of the top hitters in the conference. Holding a .406 batting average and a .491 on-base percentage while hitting out of the leadoff spot for the Yellowjackets. Riley is tied for second on the team with 21 RBIs, while leading the squad with 11 doubles and adding five home runs. Riley is a health and human performance major with a 3.72 GPA.
Koszuth is in his third year with the Yellowjackets, and has played in 11 games with five starts this spring. He has hit a pair of home runs and driven in seven while playing at third base. Koszuth has a 3.57 GPA and is a business major.
To be eligible for academic all-conference, players must hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and be in at least their second season on the field with their team.
The Yellowjackets (5-19, 5-11 GNAC) are off this weekend as they prepare to hos No. 15 Northwest Nazarene University in a four-game series at Dehler Park on April 16-17.