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West ace Chapman voted MVP of Cook Inlet Conference

Van Williams | Alaska Sports Hall of FameAlaska Sports Hall of Fame
Bill Roth

As one of the hardest throwers in Alaska, West High pitcher Dalton Chapman was able to intimidate most batters with just one pitch -- his fastball, which has been clocked at 89 mph.

Then the 6-foot-5 right-hander added a 12-to-6 curveball to his arsenal and he became almost untouchable. His strikeouts went up from 55 last season to 77 this season.

"In counts where people assumed I'd throw a fastball, I'd mix it up and throw my curveball," Chapman said. "I think that's the reason why I struck out a lot of batters. I just kept them guessing."

There is no guessing when it comes to the best baseball player in the Cook Inlet Conference.

Chapman, who dominated on the bump and in the box, was the unanimous choice for the 2014 Don Rabung CIC MVP Award in a vote by league coaches.

The ace of the West staff, Chapman was 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA, allowing just six hits and five earned runs in 362/3 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was 7 to 1. He also had a save.

Chapman was at his best in the first playoff game against Eagle River when he struck out a state-record 20 batters, breaking the previous record of 17 shared by South's Max Karnos and Service's Johnny Meszaros in 2013.

It's easy to see how the strikeouts pile up. Chapman is apt to follow a sharp fastball with a knee-buckling breaking ball. He breaks bats, and hearts.

Chapman threw seven one-hitters over the last two high school seasons. In the second playoff game against Eagle River this season, he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before all-star RJ Dirscherl broke it up with a single.

"That was definitely my biggest regret. I want that so bad," Chapman said. "But you can't always be thinking about a no-hitter. I got to realize that's a tough thing to overcome. I care more about wins than I do no-hitters."

Chapman, who also plays shortstop and first base, was a second-team pick at first base. He hit .486 with 15 RBIs, four triples and one double. His slugging percentage was .771.

"I can hit," he said. "But when I go down to Seattle I'm known as a pitcher and that's all I'm going to be in college."

Chapman has signed with Everett Community College, the reigning NWAACC champion. He will join the team this fall.

Van Williams is an Anchorage freelancer and the Alaska Legion Baseball media director.

Cook Inlet Conference

Don Rabung MVP Award -- Dalton Chapman, Sr., West (4-0, 0.96 ERA, 1 Save, 77 strikeouts, 36 innings, .456 batting average, 15 RBIs, 4 triples, .711 slugging percentage)

Big Stick -- Alec Valdez, Sr., South, (.444 BA, 10 RBIs, 15 runs, 13 walks).

Gold Glove -- Mike Rosenberg, Jr., Eagle River (0 errors on 71 fielding chances at first base).

First Team

Starting pitchers --- Dalton Chapman, West; Nick Jensen, South; Guido Garili, Eagle River; Brandon Sakumoto, Dimond. Relief pitchers -- Matt Schnellbaecher, East; Trent Talley, Eagle River.

Catcher --Alex Valdez, South. First base -- Mike Rosenberg, Eagle River. Second base -- Lauren Frost, Eagle River. Shortstop -- Willie Homza, South. Third base -- LJ Felix, West.

Outfield -- Collin Metzel, Eagle River; Spencer Floyd, South; Brandon Sakumoto, Dimond. Utility --Nick Jensen, South; Logan Williams, Bartlett; Preston Micheloto, Dimond. Designated hitter -- Max Micks, South.

Second team

Starting pitchers -- Logan Williams, Bartlett; Josh Fetko, Service; Gaten Davis, East. Relief pitchers -- Jacob Crapps, South; Preston Micheletto, Dimond.

Catcher -- Liam Oberly, West. First base -- Dalton Chapman, West. Second base -- Jose Ovalles, West. Shortstop -- RJ Dirscherl, Eagle River. Third base -- Lucas Thorpe, Dimond.

Outfield -- Don McMorris, West; Yerarmy Valdez-Aristy, East; Parker Johnson, South. Utility -- Zach Brueggemann, Chugiak.

ASAA/First National Bank

State baseball tournament

Sitka

Thursday's first round

10 a.m. -- Colony vs. Lathrop

1 p.m. -- Wasilla vs. West Valley

4 p.m. -- South vs. Juneau

7 p.m. -- Sitka vs. Eagle River

State baseball

ASAA/First National Bank

State baseball tournament

Sitka

Thursday's first round

10 a.m. -- Colony vs. Lathrop

1 p.m. -- Wasilla vs. West Valley

4 p.m. -- South vs. Juneau

7 p.m. -- Sitka vs. Eagle River


By VAN WILLIAMS
Special to the Daily News