Alaskans shine like a diamond on college baseball fields

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 8, 2014

Whether it was hitting, pitching, or both, college baseball players from Alaska had a wonderful weekend in the Lower 48.

At Mayville State, Anchorage’s Aaron Miller continued his Tony Gwynn impersonation with a 6-for-13 performance in a four-game series against Presentation College in a battle of the Dakotas.

This guy is hitting .402 in 45 career games at the NAIA school.

Miller, of Service High, drove in six runs in the series and lifted his average to .366 in 32 games this season. He has hit safely in nine straight games.

The sophomore left fielder is the king of contact, with just 12 strikeouts in 100 plate appearances. In fact, he has whiffed only once since March 20.

At Whitman College, Aaron Cohen of Juneau continues to lead the NCAA D3 Northwest Conference in RBIs with 34 in 33 games. 

The senior utility player is batting .344 after going 4-for-12 in a three-game series against Pacific in Oregon. He drove in two runs in Game 2 and doubled and scored in Game 3.

Cohen leads the team with 13 doubles and is tied for the team lead in home runs with three.

He also pitched over the weekend, throwing five innings and allowing two earned runs and six overall. He is 3-4 with a 3.64 ERA in nine appearances. 

At Western Nevada College, Anchorage’s Max Karnos struck out a season-high eight batters against league-leader Salt Lake Community College in Utah.

The right-hander left the game down 4-3 in the fourth inning. WNC eventually lost 6-3 in a battle between the top two JC teams in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

Karnos slipped to 4-2 in nine starts. The former Cook Inlet Conference player of the year out of South High has a 3.86 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.

Western Nevada has won 27 games so far this season and is seeking its third trip to the NJCAA World Series in the past six years.

 At the University of Dallas, Josh Crapps of Anchorage saved the day in the finale of a three-game NCAA D3 series against Chapman University in California. 

He came out of the bullpen to throw 3.1 scoreless innings in a 10-0 loss.

Crapps, of South High fame, was the lone bright spot for Dallas, which turned to the right-hander in the first inning after two previous pitchers fell behind 9-0 and were chased from the game.

After a slow start to the season, in part because he was coming off an injury, Crapps has since lowered his ERA to 4.91 in 18.1 innings. He has a 1-2 record and 14 Ks.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.