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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcat wins Pitching Hero of the Week

Junior pitcher Dalton Erb throws a ball during practice. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Hero status has been awarded to Dalton Erb, a junior pitcher for the Chico State Wildcats.

As the first player to throw a complete game in the 2016 Wildcat season, Erb earned Division II Baseball Pitching Hero of the Week by Hero Sports on April 29.

Erb pitched nine shutout innings at Nettleton Stadium against Sonoma State on Sunday, April 24 to win the four-game home series. With 11 strikeouts and only three hits, Erb pitched his best game to date at Chico State. His ERA on the season is 3.12, second best for any starter on the team.

Erb said he attributes the success of this game to a focus on clean mechanics. Tips from assistant coach and former Wildcat pitcher Luke Barker helped him throw accurately, he said.

“During that game I was just focusing on driving my hips more and getting my front leg out. Once I got that feeling under my belt, I felt better throwing,” Erb said. “I think that’s what really clicked for me.”

Not only did Erb lock in on the zone, but he threw confidently knowing a relentless defensive team was behind him.

“I don’t go up there with any pressure to get a bunch of strikeouts, because I trust my teammates,” Erb said. “We have guys that will run down balls in the outfield. Cam and Casey are an insanely good duo up the middle. We just have a solid all-around defense, so I feel like we have no holes in our team and I can throw with confidence.”

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Junior pitcher Dalton Erb zones in before a pitch during practice. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Erb has the chance to play in Canada this summer for the Victoria HarbourCats baseball team. He said he is very honored by the opportunity to play for a team out of the country with one of his good friends and teammates, junior outfielder Cody Snider.

One person that acts as Erb’s athletic role model is none other than basketball star and recent retiree Kobe Bryant. Erb said he appreciates his motivation and drive to be the absolute best with endless hard work in order to leave it all out there with the help of his teammates.

Not only is Erb driven on the mound, but also in the classroom. He studies kinesiology to learn skills that will help him pursue his ideal career in coaching baseball.

“I want to coach people and help them learn things I never learned when I was younger and give them opportunities I never got to see,” Erb said. “I would love to give people learning experience from my past in baseball.”

Erb chose Chico State for the team’s successful reputation and with the idea that he would help carry a winning team to the Division II College World Series. He said from the second he stepped foot on the mound at Nettleton Stadium he knew he was going to embark on a journey with a winning team.

“My job as a pitcher is to go out there and give my team the opportunity to win,” Erb said. “I like to go out there and get a quality start so we can grind from there.”

Anna Baytosh can be reached at [email protected] or @anna_baytosh on Twitter.

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Anna Baytosh, Staff Writer

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