Resurgent season yields 10 All-NWC awards for Boxers
Postseason honors stacking up after Pacific's first conference baseball title in 33 years
After leading Pacific to its first Northwest Conference baseball title in 33 years, seniors Jared Van Hoon and Rob Dittrick each earned First Team All-NWC honors, highlighting the selection of 10 Boxers to the conference's annual all-star team.
Van Hoon was rewarded for his versatility, earning First Team honors as both a relief pitcher and utility player - and also garnering honorable mention status as a third baseman - while Dittrick earned his second straight First Team All-NWC nod as a starting pitcher.
Outfielders Donnie Bradley and Nick Tasaka both earned Second Team honors, while Chad Fahey was a Second Team selection as a starting pitcher and an honorable mention selection as a designated hitter.
Pacific's other honorable mention selections were first baseman Mike Nagamine, second baseman Nate Rasmussen, shortstop Michael Arakaki, outfielder Kevin Schwartz and starting pitcher Mike McGuire.
The Boxers were represented at eight of the nine positions, a fitting reward for a season that saw Pacific win its first NWC baseball championship since 1979. The Boxers finished the regular season with a 22-15 record and tied for first with Whitworth in the NWC standings at 19-5, which set a school record for conference wins in a season.
Van Hoon batted .275 with 11 doubles and two triples, and he also made eight appearances as the Boxers' closer, amassing a 3-0 record and a 0.63 ERA. His four saves ranked second in the conference.
'Jared had a great senior season,' said Pacific head coach Greg Bradley. 'He was lights out as a relief pitcher and he played very well defensively. He was in the middle of our batting order and produced, especially in the clutch.'
Dittrick turned in another first-class season as the Boxers' No. 1 starting pitcher. The junior finished the season with an 8-2 record and a 2.87 ERA. His eight wins led the NWC and ranked 18th in the country among Division III pitchers.
'We as coaches and his teammates have had extreme confidence in Rob on the mound to begin each series,' Bradley said. 'Rob continues to set and meet high standards and is very deserving of this award.'
Fahey was named a Second Team All-NWC pitcher for the second straight year, but also earned recognition for his hitting ability as an honorable mention designated hitter. The senior finished with a 6-2 record as the Boxers' No. 2 starter, and also batted .321 with five doubles and 11 RBIs.
'Chad excelled in many areas this year,' Bradley said. 'He is a fierce competitor who wants the ball in his hand when the pressure is on.'
Tasaka led the Boxers with a .349 batting average and played 30 games as the Boxers' starting right fielder. His offensive line included seven doubles, a home run and 18 RBIs.
'Nick ... came through with timely clutch hits over and over again,' Bradley said.
Donnie Bradley transitioned from playing the infield in high school to becoming a starting outfielder for the Boxers with relative ease. Finishing second on the team with a .333 batting average, Bradley had three doubles and a home run while batting in the No. 9 position.
'Donnie had a very good year,' Greg Bradley said. 'He was able to help the team offensively by hitting for average, bunting and stealing bases.
'It is quite an accomplishment for a freshman to be recognized with this award.'
Nagamine, an honorable mention selection in 2010, proved a solid presence for the Boxers at first base and at the plate. He batted .282 for the season with 13 RBIs and a team-high four home runs.
Rasmussen repeated as an All-NWC selection after earning First Team honors in 2011. The Boxers' regular starting second baseman, he finished with a .284 average, 17 runs and a team-high 12 doubles, which ranked third in the NWC.
Arakaki proved to be one of the most solid defensive infielders in the NWC, committing just seven errors in 118 total chances. At the plate, the junior proved just as potent with a .305 average in 30 games, including 14 runs scored, five doubles and 10 RBIs.
Schwartz finished his Pacific career by ranking third on the team with a .327 average while playing in all 37 games. His offensive line included a team-high 49 hits, 30 runs, seven doubles and 24 RBI.
Schwartz finished with 16 multi-hit games and punctuated the season by going 3 for 5 with two runs, five RBI and his first collegiate home run, a grand slam, against Willamette on Apr. 1.
McGuire recovered from an injury-riddled junior year to become a factor in the Pacific rotation as a senior. Working his way into the lineup at midseason, McGuire finished the year with a 3-2 record and a 4.10 ERA. He earned three straight wins against Lewis and Clark, Willamette and Whitman, topped by six innings of four-hit shutout baseball against the Pioneers on March 17.