Butte roots sprout bright spots for ‘Jackets baseball

PORTLAND, Ore. – Players with Butte ties have gained recent notice competing for the Montana State-Billings baseball program.
Junior second baseman Brody Miller of Missoula has selected as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference baseball Player of the Year, after batting .390 with six home runs, 34 RBI and 37 runs scored for the Yellowjackets this season. Junior pitcher Jake Mills was voterd to the all-conference squad second team and Bryon Baker from Butte was recently cited for efforts late in the college baseball season.
Miller, son of Butte natives Bill and Krissy (Piazzola) Miller, led the GNAC in on-base percentage at .495, tied for the lead in doubles with 16, and was second in slugging percentage at .587.
Miller has entrenched himself in the MSUB record books in several categories after his stellar season. His .390 batting average was the second best mark in the GNAC and is the second highest in a season All-Time at MSUB. He is now number two with 521 at bats in a career; tied for third with 37 runs in a season which now gives him 92 and is second All-Time in a career.
He is now number one with 67 hits in a season and is number two with 179 in a career. His 16 doubles have him tied for first All-Time in a season and he now has 29 in a career which is tied for third. Miller hit six home runs this year which has him tied for third in a season. He now has 11 in his career which is number two All-Time at MSUB.
The 34 RBIs has him tied for fourth in a single season and is now number two with 99 in a career.
Mills was named to the GNAC Second Team All-Conference as a relief pitcher. He led the team and was sixth in the conference with an ERA of 2.76 which is also third All-Time at MSUB for ERA in a single season.
Mills is from Burley, Idaho, and is the son of Butte Central graduate Craig Mills. He finished with a 4-3 record appearing in 20 games which is second all-time in a season at MSUB. He pitched 42.1 innings, allowed 51 hits only 18 runs and had 26 strikeouts.
“Mills was our most consistent guy on the mound this year and was put into tough spots all year long as a reliever,” head coach Rob Bishop said. “He is a great kid and will do anything for his team and teammates. I am glad that he is being honored for his terrific season.”
Baker, a freshman pitcher, posted a 2-2 season record and 4.24 earned run average. He appeared in 14 games, starting four. He registered one save while pitching 40 and a third innings.
Baker struck out 30 batters and walked 19. Opponents batted .244 off of him, which ranked No. 1 on the team. He had a 3.82 ERA in conference games.
He is the son of Butte natives and residents Corey and Angie (Conlan) Baker.

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