CWU's Nilsen repeats as GNAC Player of Year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU's Nilsen repeats as GNAC Player of Year

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SPOKANE, Wash. -- Central Washington University senior Jamie Nilsen (Federal Way, Wash./Thomas Jefferson HS) has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year for baseball for the second straight year, highlighting four Wildcats on the all-conference first-team as announced Wednesday by the conference office.

Nilsen, who was also the GNAC Player of the Year in 2007, set five single-season conference records this year including batting average (.468), slugging percentage (.780), on-base percentage (.557), total bases (145), and hit by pitch (25). He also led the conference in runs batted in (59) and ranked second in home runs with 10. Nilsen became the first player in the history of the GNAC to be named to the all-conference first-team all four seasons of his career.

Also earning first-team all-GNAC recognition were seniors Nate Rylaarsdam (Mount Vernon, Wash.) and Tyler Levin (Everett, Wash.), as well as sophomore pitcher Michael McCanna (Addy, Wash./Jenkins HS). For Levin, it marked the second consecutive first-team all-league selection.

Representing Central Washington on the all-conference second team were senior pitcher Jordan Moore (Nine Mile Falls, Wash./Lakeside HS), junior third baseman Frank Donangelo (Monterey, Calif./Palma HS), and junior outfielder A.J. Gosney (Veradale, Wash./Central Valley HS). Three Wildcats were also named to the honorable mention all-conference squad, with junior pitcher Derek Shoemaker (Moses Lake, Wash.), sophomore second baseman Kevin Walkenhauer (Yakima, Wash./West Valley HS), and senior outfielder Tyler Scoggin (Lacey, Wash./North Thurston HS) also receiving recognition from the conference.

Besides Nilsen's Player of the Year honor, specialty awards from the conference went to Western Oregon's Mike Eisenhauer (Pitcher of the Year), Dylan Bruck (Newcomer of the Year), and Jeremiah Robbins (Coach of the Year). Northwest Nazarene pitcher Nate Slonaker was named Freshman of the Year in the GNAC.

Central Washington finished the 2008 season with a 30-21 overall record, marking the fourth 30-win season in the history of the program. The Wildcats finished second in the GNAC with a 20-12 league record, setting a school record for conference wins (20) and home victories (22).

2008 GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Player of the Year: Jamie Nilsen, Sr., Central Washington
Pitcher of the Year: Mike Eisenhauer, Jr., Western Oregon
Newcomer of the Year: Dylan Bruck, Sr., Western Oregon
Freshman of the Year: Nate Slonaker, Northwest Nazarene
Coach of the Year: Jeremiah Robbins, Western Oregon

FIRST TEAM
Pitcher: *+Mike Eisenhauer, Jr., Western Oregon; *+Tyler Levin, Sr., Central Washington; +Mike Ward, So., Western Oregon; Michael McCanna, So., Central Washington. Relief Pitcher: Nate Slonaker, Fr., Northwest Nazarene. Catcher: *+Zach Aakhus, Sr., Northwest Nazarene. First Base: +Jimmy VanBeek, Jr., Northwest Nazarene. Second Base: Andy Cole, So., Saint Martin's. Third Base: +Shane Schoeneberg, Sr., Saint Martin's. Shortstop: ***+Jamie Nilsen, Sr., Central Washington. Infield: Cesar Lopez, Jr., Western Oregon. Outfield: +Dylan Bruck, Sr., Western Oregon; **+Nate Baker, Sr., Saint Martin's; +Brandon Kuykendall, Sr., Saint Martin's; Jonathan Schlender, Jr., Montana State Billings. Designated Hitter: Nate Rylaarsdam, Sr., Central Washington.

SECOND TEAM
Pitcher: Jordan Moore, Sr., Central Washington; Chris Mahelona, Sr., Northwest Nazarene. Relief Pitcher: Jared Neyens, Sr., Western Oregon. Catcher: Taylor Mieras, Jr., Western Oregon. First Base: Levi Johnson, Jr., Montana State Billings. Second Base: Ryne Phillips, Sr., Northwest Nazarene. Third Base: Frank Donangelo, Jr., Central Washington. Shortstop: Severo Rodriguez, Sr., Northwest Nazarene. Outfield: Craig Yuhas, Sr., Saint Martin's; A.J. Gosney, Jr., Central Washington; Drew Humphrey, Jr., Western Oregon; Cole Smith, Sr., Northwest Nazarene; Ryan Bailey, Jr., Northwest Nazarene. Designated Hitter: Luke Abbott, So., Saint Martin's.

HONORABLE MENTION
Pitcher: Andrew Neisinger, Sr., Saint Martin's; Nick Bolthouse, Sr., Saint Martin's; Derek Shoemaker, Jr., Central Washington; Mike Cusick, So., Western Oregon; Ben Shivers, Sr., Western Oregon; Tyler Liebelt, Sr., Northwest Nazarene; Alex VanOeveren, Sr., Northwest Nazarene. Second Base: Tyler Moore, Sr., Western Oregon; Kevin Walkenhauer, So., Central Washington. Third Base: Eric Renander, Jr., Western Oregon. Outfield: Tyler Scoggin, Sr., Central Washington; Jeff Ridgeway, Fr., Montana State Billings. Designated Hitter: Tim Puckett, Sr., Northwest Nazarene.

*** Three-time repeater ... ** Two-time repeater ... * Repeater ... + Unanimous

JONATHAN GORDON
Director of Athletic Media Relations
Central Washington University
400 E University Way
MS 7570
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7570
Work: 509-963-1485
Cell: 509-859-4968
Fax: 509-963-2351
E-mail: gordonj@cwu.edu
Web: http://www.wildcatsports.com

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