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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Junior pitcher hits his stride, notches two A-10 Pitcher of the Week awards

Photo Illustration by Jordyn Bailer | Assistant Photo Editor
Junior pitcher Chris Kahler earned the top conference’s weekly pitching accolade a second time after pitching another complete game against VCU

In his third season with the Colonials, junior pitcher Chris Kahler has hit his stride, grabbing personal accolades and helping even his squad’s Atlantic 10 record.

Kahler’s ERA has dramatically improved from his freshman and sophomore marks of 5.17 and 6.62, respectively, and he now sits at third in the A-10 with a 3.21 ERA, helping him earn back-to-back conference Pitcher of the Week awards last month. After pitching primarily as a reliever in his first two years on the team, Kahler’s starter status has allowed him to pitch three complete games and notch four wins this season, tied for best on the squad.

“I told myself there were three things I wanted to do,” Kahler said. “One, be A-10 Pitcher of the Week. Two, win A-10 Pitcher of the Year. And three, lead the team in virtually every category I possibly can.”

Kahler pitched a complete game against Fordham April 16 to clinch the series, earning the Colonials their second series win of the season and his first Pitcher of the Week title April 17. Kahler struck out 10 batters in 127 pitches throughout the game while giving up just two runs and two walks.

He said as the season has progressed, he has adjusted the types of pitches he relies on, specifically his fastball and slider. Kahler said while he’s not an “overpowering” arm zipping his fastball between 88 and 90 MPH, he credits most of his strikeouts to his heater.

“I would say I hit my spots very well and rely on my fastball,” Kahler said. “I feel like I just have the conviction and knowing when to get there, getting that ball there and just let everything else happen and fall in place. And I think most of my strikeouts have been on fastballs this year and down the wedge.”

During his sophomore season, Kahler pitched, mostly as a reliever, going for 35.1 innings and maintaining a 6.62 ERA. He attributes his success and improvements this year to his new mental approach

“I’m very hard on myself, and any person who knows me at this school, especially on the baseball aspect, knows how hard I am on myself when it comes to baseball,” Kahler said. “So I think a lot of people — and it’s probably a fair statement — a lot of people probably call me crazy in some regards with that.”

Kahler earned the top accolade a second week in a row April 24 after pitching another complete game against VCU, striking out eight batters before giving up a walk, leading to a series win. He also surrendered two runs off four hits. 

Kahler said despite the teams’ initial struggles, with lopsided series losses against both East Carolina and Fairfield in February, he hopes his teammates continue to bond and keep up their momentum as they battle through the A-10 slate.

“We’re finally starting to click a little bit,” Kahler said. “The season we’ve hoped for has really been showing up these past two weekends between Fordham and here. I think we’re playing our best ball right now — playing defensively, clean hitting and pitching has been great.”

In GW’s Saturday win over Davidson, Kahler headed to the mound as a reliever in the top of the sixth with two runners on and two outs. He closed the inning and kept the score even at 1-1, striking out senior shortstop Jacob Hinderleider swinging.

In the seventh, Kahler allowed two singles, but two groundouts and a flyout stranded both the runners. In the top of the next eighth with the game still knotted up at 1-1, the junior tacked on two more strikeouts, keeping the Wildcats off the board.

After a single from sophomore outfielder Sam Gates scored in graduate student catcher Anthony Frechette, GW took the lead going into the top of the ninth. Kahler slammed the door on Davidson in the top of the frame, throwing his fourth and fifth strikeouts before securing the victory on a popup to first base.

Sunday’s third game against the No. 1 ranked A-10 squad was rained out, but the series split helped even GW’s conference record to 7-7 and placed them squarely in the middle of the standings.

“The team goal is not just to make the playoffs, but I want to win the A-10 Championship,” Kahler said. “I don’t want to get there and just have to sit there.”

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