Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chafin drafted by Diamondbacks

Western Reserve graduate Andrew Chafin has been selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 43rd pick in the compensatory first round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Chafin becomes Kent State’s 76th draft selection and first ever selected by the Diamondbacks. He is the 20th Kent State pitcher who has been mentored by associate head coach/pitching coach Mike Birkbeck to be drafted.

Chafin, who just helped lead the No. 24-ranked Golden Flashes to Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament crowns and a trip to the 2011 NCAA Championship Austin Regional Final, entered the collegiate postseason ranked 29th in the nation in ERA and tied for 39th in strikeouts. Chafin’s efforts helped the Flashes rank sixth in the country in team ERA in 2011.

He finished the 2011 campaign with an 8-1 record, posting 105 strikeouts over 89 innings. Chafin’s 2011 strikeout total ranks as the third-most in a single season in the Kent State record books. He finished his two-year collegiate career with a 12-2 record to go with a 1.80 ERA and 160 strikeouts.

Chafin concluded his Kent State career by outdueling Texas right-handed top-15 draft pick Taylor Jungmann last Saturday in the winner’s bracket final of the Austin Regional. He fanned eight over 8 2/3 innings to power the Golden Flashes to a 7-5 triumph over the No. 5-ranked Longhorns on Texas’s home field.

Chafin constructed a scoreless complete-game masterpiece in Kent State’s MAC Tournament semifinal win over Eastern Michigan, striking out six and walking two to improve to 7-1 on the season. The First Team All-MAC selection sat down the side in three innings.

Chafin hurled a complete-game four-hit shutout and tallied a career-high 15 strikeouts with no walks as Kent State won its MAC opening game and 2011 home opener, 1-0, over Toledo on March 25. He hurled 113 pitches with a whopping 88 going for strikes, sat down the side in six innings — including striking out six straight between the seventh and ninth frames — in addition to issuing 22 first-pitch strikes. He was awarded MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for the performance. Chafin tallied 13 strikeouts, allowed one earned run on seven hits in 8 2/3 innings of work and did not issue a walk as Kent State defeated Eastern Michigan, 4-2, on April 8. He totaled seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball for the Golden Flashes and had a no-hitter going through five frames at then-No. 23 Louisville on March 4 in his second start of the season, garnering MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week accolades for his effort.

Chafin’s solid sophomore campaign came after he rebounded from an elbow injury that sidelined him for the 2010 season. As a freshman in 2009, Chafin was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team after becaming only the third Kent State player and the first since 1992 to be named MAC Freshman of the Year.

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