His name is Cedric Gatter, but he goes by Ricky.
At Western Oregon University, the baseball team calls him a lucky charm.
The Wolves are 16-3 when the second baseman from Anchorage starts after beating Central Washington 5-4 Thursday at the GNAC Championships in Lacey, Washington.
Gatter, of South High fame, went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .304 on the season.
Western Oregon hasn’t lost a game with the Alaskan in the lineup since April 8. Since then, the Wolves have rattled off 11 wins in a row as Gatter raised his average 63 points during that stretch.
Western Oregon (29-13) won two games Thursday, knocking off Central Washington and beating Northwest Nazarene 5-4, to advance to Saturday’s title game of the GNAC Championships.
The Wolves will face Northwest Nazarene, needing to win just once to capture their 15th conference title in 18 years and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Northwest Nazarene (24-28) needs to win the first game to force an if-necessary winner-take-all game in the double-elimination format.
Gatter is looking to become the second Alaskan in as many years to win a GNAC championship with Western Oregon. Last year it was Anchorage pitcher Parker Johnson, who earned All-GNAC honors as well as a championship ring.
This year it could be Gatter, a sophomore transfer from Skagit Valley in the NWAC.
The infielder has been swinging a hot bat over the last month, going 14-for-40 in 11 games as his average has skyrocketed from .241 to .304.
In addition to ranking seventh on the team in batting, he has nine RBIs and 10 runs scored in 20 games.
Defensively, he has a .957 defensive percentage with 54 assists, 36 putouts and four errors on 94 total chances. Twice he’s had many as 10 chances in a game. He’s been involved in 12 double plays.