Fahsel Fuel: CWU Sparkplug Named Player Of The Year
Central Washington's Adam Fahsel earned the GNAC Player of the Year award after ranking among the league leaders in nearly every offensive category.
Central Washington's Adam Fahsel earned the GNAC Player of the Year award after ranking among the league leaders in nearly every offensive category.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – Nobody did more to ignite a potent Central Washington offense than center fielder Adam Fahsel. Slotted in the No. 2 spot in the Wildcats’ order, the junior was equally excellent at driving in those ahead of him and getting on base for those behind him.

After a prolific offensive season, Fahsel was named the Player of the Year, highlighting the 2022 GNAC Baseball All-Conference team.

Ranked in the top three in the GNAC in nearly every offensive category, Fahsel passes every possible numbers test. He finished the regular season second in batting average (.351), third in on-base percentage (.459), first in slugging percentage (.580), first in runs scored (58), second in RBI (44), second in doubles (17), second in walks (30) and tied for fifth in home runs (eight). He recorded 21 multi-hit games in 49 appearances for the Wildcats this season.

Western Oregon junior right-hander Arturo Alvarez doubled up as both the Pitcher of the Year and the Newcomer of the Year. A transfer from Los Angeles Harbor College, Alvarez went unbeaten in the regular season with a 7-0 record in 11 starts. In 60.1 innings pitched, Alvarez is holding opponents to a league-leading 2.83 ERA and a .217 batting average, which is the second-lowest in the conference. Alvarez allowed the fewest earned runs (19) and home runs (two) of any GNAC starter this season.

Western Oregon’s Kellen Walker was named Coach of the Year after piloting a Wolves club that finished 18th in Division II with a 3.97 ERA and fifth with a .975 fielding percentage. Picked in the preseason to finish second in the conference, Western Oregon finished as regular-season co-champions with Northwest Nazarene, going 21-11 in GNAC play. Walker is now a three-time GNAC Coach of the Year, having previously won in 2013 and 2017.

Cooper Dulich won Freshman of the Year honors after emerging as a mainstay in the heart of the Montana State Billings order. Immediately winning the MSUB starting shortstop job, Dulich finished the regular season ranked third in the GNAC in both batting average (.364) and on-base percentage (.459) while tying for fifth in RBI (35).

In a season where two teams finished in a dead heat for the regular season championship, the conference’s parity and depth are on display in the make-up of the All-Conference First Team. Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington lead the way with four selections, Western Oregon and MSUB are just behind with three apiece and Saint Martin’s has two first-teamers.

Northwest Nazarene led the way with 10 total all-conference selections. They feature a pair of first-team relievers in Blake McFadden and Max Holtzclaw. McFadden has a 2.09 ERA in 35 innings pitched with five wins and four saves. Holtzclaw ranks tied for second in Division II with 11 saves and has a 2.05 ERA in a GNAC-high 21 relief appearances with 53 strikeouts against only eight walks.

Two-way player Haden Keller also earned selection as the first-team utility player. Keller hit .311 with five home runs as an outfielder and designated hitter, but also served as the Nighthawks’ ace on the mound, starting 12 games. Keller held opposing hitters to a GNAC-low .210 batting average and struck out 63 in 55.2 innings. Keller threw the sixth no-hitter in GNAC history on March 9 against Central Washington. Nighthawks third baseman Duke Pahukoa also made the first team after hitting .306 with eight home runs.

Western Oregon had eight total selections. The Wolves placed two starting pitchers on the first team in Alvarez and Mike Peterson. In 10 appearances, including eight starts, Peterson went 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA. Peterson had four times as many strikeouts (48) as he did walks (12). Center fielder Jacob Maiben was also selected to the first team after batting .344 and leading the GNAC with a .460 on-base percentage and 19 stolen bases. It is a well-deserved breakthrough for the senior, who was named to the second team in both 2019 and 2021.

Central Washington had seven total selections, but put four on the first team, including a trio of outfielders in Fahsel, Zach Berryman and Tyler McClain. Berryman won the conference regular-season batting title with a .379 average and also led the league in hits (77) and total bases (110). Berryman became the sixth GNAC player to amass six hits in a conference game on the final day of the regular season against Montana State Billings. McClain hit .328 with eight home runs and 35 RBI, ranking fourth in the league in total bases (94) and runs scored (43).

Catcher Austin Ohland is the fourth Wildcat on the first team. Ohland hit .289 with a conference-leading 51 RBI. He also led the conference and ranked fourth in Division II with 23 doubles while boasting a .986 fielding percentage behind the dish. Ohland, Berryman, Peterson and Holtzclaw are the four returning members from the 2021 first team. It is the second career selection for all four.  

Montana State Billings had three freshman first-teamers among their six selections. In addition to Dulich at shortstop, the Yellowjackets swept the middle infield with second baseman Tyler Godfrey, who hit .285 with a .404 on-base percentage. Godfrey memorably had two walk-off hits on the same day on April 8, singling home the winning run in the opening game of a doubleheader against Western Oregon before blasting one of his three home runs to walk off the nightcap. Mitch Winter also earned selection as the first-team designated hitter. Winter led the conference with 10 home runs in 100 at-bats, batting .270 and slugging .610.

Saint Martin’s had four all-conference selections, including a pair of first-teamers in pitcher Justice Yamashita and first baseman Aaron Renaud. Yamashita led the league in strikeouts with 71, finishing with a 3.68 ERA in 63 innings. Yamashita frequently shined against the best, throwing a complete-game three-hitter against Northwest Nazarene on March 11 and a complete-game win over Western Oregon in which he gave up two runs on two hits. Yamashita had a GNAC-high five complete games on the season.

Renaud was the Saints’ best bat all season long. He finished with a .333 batting average (fifth in the GNAC), .420 on-base percentage and .558 slugging percentage (second in the GNAC), making him one of five conference players with a .300/.400/.500 slash line.

Renaud, Jacob Maiben, Western Oregon outfielder Derek Maiben and Northwest Nazarene shortstop Parker Price all earned the third all-conference recognition of their careers. Renaud previously was named to the second team in 2019 and honorable mention in 2021. Derek Maiben earned honorable mention this season after making the second team in 2019 and the first team in 2021. Price earned his third consecutive second-team selection this season. Eleven players earned their second selection in 2022.

Player of the Year:
Adam Fahsel, Central Washington
Coach of the Year: Kellen Walker, Western Oregon
Pitcher of the Year:
Arturo Alvarez, Western Oregon
Freshman of the Year:
Cooper Dulich, Montana State Billings
Newcomer of the Year:
Arturo Alvarez, Western Oregon

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
* Arturo Alvarez Western Oregon P 6-4 Jr. Inglewood, Calif.
(Los Angeles Harbor Coll.)
* Justice Yamashita Saint Martin’s P 5-10 So. Honolulu, Hawaii (Maryknoll)
# Blake McFadden Northwest Nazarene P 6-3 Sr. Meridian, Idaho (Treasure Valley CC)
*+ Max Holtzclaw Northwest Nazarene P 6-3 Sr. Palo Cedro, Calif. (Shasta CC)
+ Mike Peterson Western Oregon P 6-5 Sr. Pullman, Wash. (Walla Walla CC)
*+ Austin Ohland Central Washington C 6-1 So. Maple Valley, Wash. (Lafayette)
*@! Aaron Renaud Saint Martin’s 1B 5-10 Jr. Lihue, Hawaii (Saint Louis)
* Tyler Godfrey Montana State Billings 2B 5-10 Fr. Buckeye, Ariz. (Luna CC)
* Cooper Dulich Montana State Billings SS 6-2 Fr. Encinitas, Calif. (La Costa Canyon)
* Duke Pahukoa Northwest Nazarene 3B 6-2 Jr. Maui, Hawaii (Univ. of Nevada-Las Vegas)
*@ Haden Keller Northwest Nazarene UT 5-11 Sr. Minden, Nev. (Mendocino Coll.)
* Mitch Winter Montana State Billings DH 6-1 Fr. Rio Rancho, N.M. (Rio Rancho)
* Adam Fahsel Central Washington OF 6-0 Jr. Lake Tapps, Wash. (Bonney Lake)
* Zach Berryman Central Washington OF 6-0 Jr. Ephrata, Wash. (Walla Walla CC)
*#! Jacob Maiben Western Oregon OF 5-9 Sr. Newberg, Ore. (Newberg)
*@ Tyler McClain Central Washington OF 6-2 Jr. Bonney Lake, Wash. (Everett CC)
SECOND TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Parker Johnson Western Oregon P 6-0 Jr. Anchorage, Alaska
(Indiana Wesleyan Univ.)
Matthew Houlihan Montana State Billings P 6-4 So. Renton, Wash. (Charles M. Russell)
Sebasten Boivin Western Oregon P 6-5 Sr. Medford, Ore. (Gardner Webb Univ.)
+ Bryant Nakagawa Saint Martin’s C 5-11 Sr. Wailuku, Hawaii (Maui)
James Anderson Montana State Billings 1B 6-1 So. Corvallis, Ore. (Skagit Valley CC)
+ Grant Kerry Northwest Nazarene 1B 6-3 So. Wynward, England (Boise State Univ.)
Charlie Larson Central Washington 2B 5-11 Jr. Tacoma, Wash. (Everett CC)
!^ Parker Price Northwest Nazarene SS 5-10 Sr. Boise, Idaho (Gonzaga Univ.)
Hunter Kosmider Saint Martin’s 3B 5-8 So. Olympia, Wash. (North Thurston)
Michael Copeland Central Washington DH 5-11 Sr. Vancouver, Wash. (Mt. Hood CC)
# Carson Green Montana State Billings OF 5-9 Jr. Kennewick, Wash. (Walla Walla CC)
@ Hayden Foltz Montana State Billings OF 5-11 Jr. Pocatello, Idaho (Coll. of Southern Idaho)
Tyler Best Northwest Nazarene OF 6-1 Jr. Eagle, Idaho (Univ. of Hawaii)
Jackson Holstad Western Oregon OF 6-2 Jr. Monmouth, Ore. (Chemeketa CC)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Ryan Arredondo Central Washington P 6-1 Fr. Warden, Wash. (Warden)
Dylan Barkley Montana State Billings P 5-11 Jr. Santa Clara, Calif. (Cupertino)
Brock Moffitt Northwest Nazarene P 6-0 Jr. Valley Center, Calif. (UC Davis)
Kyle Payne Northwest Nazarene 2B 5-10 So. Bellingham, Wash. (Skagit Valley CC)
Alex Salsman Northwest Nazarene DH 6-0 Sr. Meridian, Idaho (Blue Mountain CC)
# Matthew Dunaway Western Oregon P 6-0 Jr. Mililani, Hawaii (Skagit Valley CC)
+! Derek Maiben Western Oregon SS 5-10 Sr. Newberg, Ore. (Newberg)
* - Unanimous Selection    
+ - First Team Selection In 2021  
# - Second Team Selection In 2021  
@ - Honorable Mention in 2021
! – Second Team Selection in 2019      
^ - Second Team In 2018