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NNU Baseball Adds Star Pitchers, an All-American, and a Gold Glove Winner
Published: 7/6/2015 3:39:10 PM

NAMPA, Idaho — Looking to build beyond the success of a Great Northwest Athletic Conference title-game appearance this past spring, the Crusader baseball team is reloading with the addition of six star junior-college transfers.

Northwest Nazarene’s head baseball coach Rocke Musgraves is pleased to announce the signing of standout pitchers Ryan Nyborg, Ulysses Ramos and Jaramy Jacobs along with talented utility players Brady Baker and Brett Nielsen, and Gold Glove catcher Spencer Pollock.

“The addition of Ryan, Ulysses and Jaramy gives us three very powerful arms, and all three are intense competitors who can lead from the mound,” Musgraves said.

“Brady and Brett are very similar in that both are power arms and power bats, so we are looking to use both of them as pitchers and position players,” NNU’s skipper added. 

“Almost all our weekends involve playing four games in two days so we go with a two-catcher rotation. It will be tough to match the rotation of GNAC All-Conference catcher Drew Helmstadter and Spencer Pollock,” Musgraves said.  

All six will join the Crusaders as juniors for the spring 2016 season.


Here is a look at the newest members of the Crusader baseball team:


Baker, a junior college First Team All-American and the 2014 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges MVP, joins the Crusaders after taking a year off from action on the diamond.

A pitcher and infielder at TVCC, Baker hit .287 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs to help the Chukars offense, then served as a dominating closer for his team as he had seven saves and a 2-0 record in 10 appearances, striking out 16 batters in 10 innings on the hill and compiling a 1.80 ERA in 2014.

“Baker has been a 90-mph closer in the past so we’ll most likely keep him in a late-inning role,” Musgraves said, adding, “and his hitting tools project him to be a middle of the line-up guy.”



After being heavily recruited by NCAA Division I programs, the star left-handed pitcher joins the NNU pitching staff and will be an immediate impact player.

“We had to battle some very high profile schools for the services of Jaramy Jacobs; left-handers with his pitch-ability are hard to come by,” Musgraves said.

At Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif., he went 5-2 in 15 starts this past spring with a 3.29 ERA in 82 innings, striking out 73 opposing batters.

“Jaramy will be a front of the rotation guy and has the maturity and experience to help our younger pitchers,” NNU’s coach added.

“When he was here on his official visit we ran into some logistical issues that I thought were going to really hurt our chances, but luckily for us, Jaramy has a strong desire to help NNU Baseball win a championship.”



A Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Gold Glove first baseman as a freshman, Nielsen also took to the mound effectively for the Titans.

The left-hander hit .265 with three home runs and 44 RBIs as a freshman at Tacoma, then hit .265 with 10 RBIs as a sophomore.

On the hill, Nielsen pitched in 14 games in relief during his career at Tacoma, compiling a 1-1 record in 12 1-3 innings, striking out 12 opposing batters and allowing 14 earned runs.

“Nielsen has off-the-chart baseball tools, and with some confidence I see him as being one of the most talented players in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference,” Musgraves said of the junior utility player who won a state championship his senior year at Sheldon High School.



Nyborg bolsters the NNU bullpen as he steps back onto the diamond after two seasons away from collegiate competition.

The right-handed hurler went 5-2 in 10 starts for Treasure Valley CC in 2012 with an impressive 2.40 ERA that included 42 strikeouts in 67 1-3 innings on the hill.

“Ryan Nyborg is a big, strong, durable power arm that definitely has a ‘presence’ on the mound,” Musgraves said.

“He sat out a couple of years and now really has a hunger to get back at it. He projects out to be a weekend starter.”



Pollock will be a wall behind the plate for the Crusaders as he was named to the national junior college ABCA/Rawlins Gold Glove Team for his play at catcher for the Chukars. He had 236 putouts, 34 defensive assists and just three errors all season for a .989 fielding percentage this past spring at TVCC.

A standout behind the plate, Pollock also produced at the plate, hitting .295 with a home run and 18 RBIs for the Chukars last season.

“He was the Gold Glove recipient for the Northwest Region last season, so we are excited about what he brings to the table defensively,” Musgraves said.

“At TVCC, he was the type of player that coach (Aaron) Sutton had to have in the line-up, even when he wasn’t catching. I think Spencer really fits the ‘winning’ culture we want.”



A right-handed reliever at Chabot, Ramos saw action in 28 games, starting once in two seasons with the Gladiators.

Ramos compiled a 0-2 record and pitched 35 1-3 innings for Chabot, where he struck out 28 opposing batters and maintain a 4.08 ERA for his career at the California junior college.

“Ramos gives us another power arm to attack a lineup after the starter is out,” Musgraves said. “His stuff is electric.

“He comes from a very highly respected program in Chabot College, so we know he has the habits of success. He pitched in 17 games last year and had quality outings in 16 of those games.”

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