Ranta Named NCBWA National Pitcher, NWC Pitcher, and BAA Athlete of the Week
NEWBERG, Ore. – A trifecta of awards, including the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Week, has been accorded George Fox University’s Brian Ranta for the week of Mar. 19-25 after the Bruins’ ace right-hander tossed the fourth no-hitter in team history on Saturday, Mar. 24.
In addition to the NCBWA’s national award, Ranta also was named the Northwest Conference Baseball Pitching Student-Athlete of the Week, and the Bruin Athletic Association Men’s Athlete of the Week. This is the second time this season he has claimed both the NWC and BAA awards, having also been honored with each for the week of Feb. 20-26.
Ranta, a senior from Clackamas, Ore., defeated Whitman College 1-0 in the first game of a conference doubleheader on Saturday that was played at Concordia University’s Hilken Community Stadium in Portland due to unplayable conditions in the Bruins’ Morse Field outfield. In the nine-inning gem, he set down the first 13 Missionaries before walking two hitters back-to-back with one out in the 5th. He then settled down to retire the final 14 batters in a row. He struck out a career-high 12 in the game, induced 10 ground-ball outs, and made it easy for his fielders, who had no difficult plays to make behind him.
Ranta almost had to go extra innings to achieve the no-hitter as his mound opponent, Justin Weeks, was almost as stingy, taking a no-hitter of his own into the 7th before Josh Rapacz broke it up with a clean single to center with one away. The game was still 0-0 in the bottom of the 9th when Taylor Hunter was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, and scored the only run of the game with two out when the Whitman catcher’s throw to third on the steal hit the bag and bounced into left field.
Previous George Fox no-hitters were thrown by David Callahan in 1981 vs. Northwest Nazarene in a game at the former Civic Stadium (now Jeld-Wen Field) in Portland, by Troy Schrenk in 1997 vs. Willamette at home, and by Scott Hyde in 2004 vs. Pacific at home. The no-hitters by Callahan and Schrenk were both seven-inning games. Hyde’s performance was almost a perfect game; he hit one batter in the 5th, only to have him picked off by catcher Greg Dombek on the next pitch, and that was the only runner who reached.
Ranta is the fourth Bruin to receive National Player of the Week honors from the NCBWA. Hyde earned Pitcher of the Week for his no-hitter in 2004, Dan Wentzell was named Hitter of the Week in 2004, and Daniel Downs was a Co-Hitter of the Week in 2005.
The George Fox Athlete of the Week Award for both men and women is presented throughout the Bruin sports seasons by the Bruin Athletic Association, whose mission is to provide George Fox student-athletes with an outstanding athletic and academic experience and to strengthen the overall competitiveness of the Bruin athletics program. For more information about the organization or to become a member, visit the Bruin Athletic Association website.
2011-12 Bruin Athletic Association Men’s Athletes of the Week
Aug. 29-Sept. 4 - Jacob Baker (Soccer)
Sept. 5-11 - Luke Hammer (Soccer)
Sept. 12-18 - Mike Ulstad (Golf)
Sept. 19-25 - Shawn Aldrich (Tennis)
Sept. 26-Oct. 2 - Joseph Pia (Cross Country)
Oct. 3-9 - Chris Lumsden (Golf)
Oct. 10-16 - Luke Hammer (Soccer)
Oct. 17-23 - Aleks Gabrio (Golf)
Oct. 24-30 - Kyle Dreibelbis (Cross Country)
Oct. 31-Nov. 6 - Elliott Davis (Soccer)
Nov. 7-13 - Kyle Dreibelbis (Cross Country)
Nov. 14-20 - Corey Clark (Basketball)
Nov. 21-27 - A.J. Grant (Basketball)
Nov. 28-Dec. 4 - Mike Taylor (Basketball)
Dec. 5-11 - Sean Atkins (Basketball)
Dec. 12-25 - Anthony Sanchez (Basketball)
Dec. 26-Jan. 8 - Mike Taylor (Basketball)
Jan. 9-15 - Sean Atkins (Basketball)
Jan. 16-22 - Mike Taylor (Basketball)
Jan. 23-29 - Sean Atkins (Basketball)
Jan. 30-Feb. 5 - Mike Taylor (Basketball)
Feb. 6-12 - Sean Atkins (Basketball)
Feb. 13-19 - David Greenstein (Baseball)
Feb. 20-26 - Brian Ranta (Baseball)
Feb. 27-Mar. 4 - Taylor Dunn (Baseball)
Mar. 5-11 - Justin McClain (Tennis)
Mar. 12-18 - Drew Milton (Tennis)
Mar. 19-25 - Brian Ranta (Baseball)