NCS Senior of the Year
DALTON BOWLING, KENNEDY-FREMONT
San Jose State-bound senior Dalton Bowling could have likely played any position for the Kennedy-Fremont baseball team this season. As it was, he was not only the top threat at the plate for the Titans, but one of the top offensive talents across the North Coast Section and a vital arm out of the pen.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound infielder wound up hitting .536 for his senior season, finishing his four-year varsity career with a .420 career average. His .365 batting average as a freshman at the varsity level was his lowest of the four years, a stretch which now includes a pair of Mission Valley Athletic League MVP awards. And his final campaign saw him reach career highs in every major offensive category, slugging 23 extra-base hits, including seven home runs, to go with 33 runs scored, 12 stolen bases and 33 RBIs.
“He is a very strong kid, and the ball just pops off his bat. I have been watching him hit the ball out of the park for many years now,” said Kennedy coach Fred Aquilina. “He has great baseball instincts and is very quick for his size. He could have played anywhere on the field for us, and I think he has a great future at either corner position. He played shortstop for us and batted leadoff because we needed him to be in a key position defensively and needed to get him more at-bats and make it harder for other teams to pitch around him.”
The Titans also used Bowling as a closer on the mound. He posted a 1-0 record with four saves in nine appearances, striking out 16 batters in 15 innings pitched with a 1.83 ERA. But his biggest contributions by far came at the plate, where he hit safely in 22 of 24 games this season, including each of the last eight. That included a wild 16-15 win over Campolindo, where he went 4-for-5 with five RBIs and a stretch against Moreau Catholic which he won’t forget anytime soon.
“The doubleheader we played against Moreau was a major highlight this year. I led off the first game with a solo home run, and hit another in my next at-bat, which led to intentional walks in my next two plate appearances,” Bowling commented. “The next game marked my third official at-bat in the two games, and I led off the bottom of the first with another home run to give me three home runs in three at-bats.”
Bowling, who also had an on-base percentage of .598, has stated that his goals for the next year include improving his ability to drive the ball to all fields and getting used to a faster pace at the college level. Aquilina does not seem to think he will have any issues there, and in fact sees him being able to step into the four or five spot in the Spartans’ lineup, as he stays close to home for his college ball. For now, Bowling is enjoying the fruits of hard work on the diamond.
“It is definitely a great feeling, to be able to show the hard work that I put in over the summer and fall and end being rewarded with back-to-back league MVP awards and now this recognition across the NCS,” Bowling added. “I know there are a lot of guys out there working their tails off to get to the next level, so I just look at it as you have to be willing to put in more reps than the guy in front of you or behind you.”
For his efforts throughout this season, we are pleased to recognize Dalton Bowling as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Senior of the Year.
Other players considered for this award include Drake’s Eamonn Lance, Monte Vista’s Josh White, De La Salle’s Chris Santiago and Berkeley’s Michael Dixon.
NOTE: We would like to thank our media partners, coaches, parents, players and fans for contributing photos for our all-section features.
We salute all of the players that have made this a wonderful season of NCS baseball.