Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chafin named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year at Kent State

Western Reserve’s Andrew Chafin was named the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, while pitching for Kent State, which was announced last week.

Chafin went 4-1 this year and recorded eight saves in nine chances. He had a 1.26 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. That not only earned him the Freshman of the Year honors, but a MAC First Team selection as well.

“You can’t expect that,” Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin said on the website. “He has overachieved and outperformed our expectations. He is awfully valuable in the bullpen when the game is on the line. He’s won a lot of games for us late where he’s just come in and taken control. It’s a luxury to have him back there … As a closer, he’s been as good as you can possibly be. He strikes out a lot of guys. He’s has a swing-and-miss slider; his fastball is overpowering. He has been in one word: dominating.”

The dominating 6-foot-2 lefty has been dealing with pressure-packed situations since his first appearance when he came in to pitch against UNC Greensboro in the bottom of the 10th inning with the score tied. He promptly struck out the first two batters and got the third to pop up before Kent State went on to win in 11 innings.

“I like being in the game when it matters the most,” Chafin said. “I thrive on the pressure that’s on me to get my job done. I enjoy knowing that it’s all on my shoulders.”

Against Northern Illinois, Chafin came into the game in the seventh inning and struck out seven of the ten batters he faced.

“In that game, I just went out and pitched like I could,” Chafin said. “I was fortunate that my stuff was working for me, and I just took advantage of that to take care of business.”

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