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Former Billings Scarlet Garcia picks up GNAC weekly honor

Posted at 2:27 PM, Mar 19, 2018

(MSU Billings release)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Posting a .550 batting average while helping the Montana State University Billings baseball team to a 3-1 series win over Saint Martin’s University, junior centerfielder Jalen Garcia has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week announced by the conference office on Monday.

Garcia went 11-for-20 in the four-game series against the Saints, with three doubles, a triple, and seven runs batted in. “It was great to have Jalen back last series, and he showed how important he is to our team,” MSUB head coach Aaron Sutton commented after Garcia missed last week’s series against Western Oregon with an injury. “He is such a dynamic player and he brings his best every time he steps onto the field.”

Garcia racked up 16 total bases for a slugging percentage of .800, and reached base at a clip of .571 while scoring five times. On the base paths, he went 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts in the series. Defensively in center field, Garcia made seven catches, and threw one runner out at the plate for errorless defense on the weekend.

In the finale on Saturday, Garcia went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, marking his first-career four-hit game as a ‘Jacket. This is Garcia’s second career GNAC Player of the Week, after he won the honor for his performance on May 1-7 last spring.

Garcia leads the Yellowjackets with a .418 batting average, 26 RBIs, and a dozen stolen bases this year. The preseason all-region selection has nine doubles, three triples and three home runs, and is tied for the team lead with 22 runs scored.

The Billings, Mont., native is the third different Yellowjacket this season to win the conference’s weekly award, joining Steen Fredrickson (twice), Sam Wong, and Andrew Schleusner.

The ‘Jackets (13-9, 8-4 GNAC) are in action this weekend with a four-game series at Northwest Nazarene University running Friday and Saturday in Nampa, Idaho.