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Anne Photograp News 2024

Lead named GNAC Player of the Year: Wildcats Pick up 7 all-conference selections
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Lead named GNAC Player of the Year: Wildcats Pick up 7 all-conference selections

PORTLAND, ORE.- The Central Washington University baseball team had seven players named to the 2024 GNAC all-conference team. Marcus Manzardo would be named Newcomer of the Year, and Ben Leiden would take home Player of the Year. The Wildcats would land four first-team selections and three second-team selections, as well as one honorable mention.

QUOTING HEAD COACH DESI FLOOR
“Happy to see our boys getting the recognition they deserve, our boys had a great year statistically and we’re happy to see them being honored. Ben had a phenomenal year, statistically leading the conference in multiple categories, and earned the Player of the Year title I’m glad to see Manzo getting some recognition, he was a great addition to our lineup this year and overall a good ball player and guy That’s a real testament to the ball player that he has been throughout his career.”

First team

Ben Leiden (POTY)
Leid would be named First team all-conference for the second consecutive year, while also winning Conference Player of the Year. Benny would lead the conference in four categories. Finishing the regular season with a .428 AVG. Ben would score 8 home runs, 13 doubles and 2 triples for the Wildcats. “Big Ben” gets his iconic nickname while playing for team Great Britain. He would lead the conference with his .428 AVG, 665 SLG%, .492 OBP and 74 hits.

Marcus Manzardo (Newcomer of the Year)
Manzardo would have a phenomenal first year with the Wildcats, picking up Newcomer of the Year along the way and also being named to the First Team. Manzo would finish the regular season with a .342 AVG., 409 OBP and a .368 SLG%. He would lead the conference with 44 runs scored, finish fourth in hits with 65, and also finish fourth in walks at 21.

Austin Ohland
Ohland would be named First team all-conference for the fourth year in a row and would earn the honor for the first time in the 2021 season. He is only the second man ever to earn first team all-conference honors four times , while the other is also a Wildcat. “Big Oh” would finish the 2024 regular season with a .348 AVG, he would mash 6 home runs, have 15 doubles and also have a .527 SLG% and .417 OBP. Ohland has been a crucial leader throughout his career at CWU, he is your all-time CWU leader in home runs and the all-time GNAC leader in doubles.

Kevin “Baba” Varner Jr.
Baba would be named First team all-conference for the first time in his career after a stellar 2024 season in which Varner Jr. put it on the board and on defense. Baba would finish the regular season ranked third overall in individual batters, second in runs batted in and hits, and ranked atop the conference leaderboards in multiple categories. Varner Jr. would have a .360 AVG., .524 SLG%, .425 OBP, while hitting 16 doubles, 3 home runs and also had 3 triples. Baba had multiple defensive saves and was an overall lock with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 113 putouts.



Second team

Jonathan Garza II
Garza would earn second-team all-conference honors after an impressive season on the mound for the Wildcats, highlighted by a no-hitter thrown against Saint Martin’s University. Jon would finish the 2024 season with a 3.74 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, while leading the conference with 74 strikeouts, leaving opponents struggling with a .224 batting average.

Daniel Charron
Charron would be named second team all-conference after a strong 2024 season. Charron would finish the year with a 4.08 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and lead the conference with 5 complete games.

Andreas Sharp
Sharp would be named second team all-conference after a stellar freshman season with the Wildcats. He would finish the year with a .343 AVG., .500 SLG%, .409 OBP, while playing 14 doubles and hitting 4 home runs.

Honorable mention

Nolan Milliman
Milli would earn all-conference honorable mention honors for his strong 2024 season, in which Nolan finished with a 2.95 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, with 20 strikeouts in 14 appearances from the ‘pen.


The Wildcats will compete in the 2024 GNAC Championship Tournament this Thursday and Friday in Billings Montana. Game times for Thursday are 11:00 AM (PST) and 2:30 PM (PST).