BILLINGS – For the second straight year and the fourth time in five seasons, the Montana State University Billings baseball team won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season title with a doubleheader sweep of Concordia University on Friday afternoon at Dehler Park.
The Yellowjackets are the first team in GNAC history to win 30 conference games in a season, as they went 30-10 through their 40-game league schedule to defend last year’s title. MSUB is 30-18 overall and enters next week’s GNAC Championships tournament as the No. 1 seed.
“We came in here with the expectation to win,” said shortstop Wyatt Setian told MTN Sports. “I think we do that every year. And we just put it on our pitchers and our hitters to get the job done and we come out of there with another one.”
First baseman Daniel Cipriano admitted MSUB’s recent dominance led him to Billings.
“That was a big factor in me coming here,” he said. “Just listening to the coaching staff’s philosophy and guys they had coming back, returning this year. I think it’s just a testament to the way we do things here.”
Outfielder Matt Dillon, who played American Legion Baseball for the Billings Royals, says he was torn on whether to play college ball at home. But he allows that his decision turned out better than he could’ve imagined a few years ago.
“Coming in, the program was relatively new,” Dillon said. “I knew coming in I was taking a chance. Just staying in town, I didn’t know If I really wanted to do that but coming here it’s been the greatest year of my life. Doing it in front of our fans was crazy. I know we’ve done it a couple years on the road, and having all these people show up on Senior Day, and doing it on Senior Day is even more special.”
(MSUB Athletics contributed to this story)