N.Y. – The Newark Pilots play all their home games at Colburn Park
in Newark, N.Y. and were the host of the 2013 Perfect Game Collegiate
Baseball League All-Star Game, with which they did a tremendous job.
The field itself was in pristine playing condition, complemented with
a large scoreboard atop the left field wall, which would eventually
get dinged up a couple times between pre-game festivities and the
than the field was the surrounding atmosphere; the wooden bleachers
you would expect in a western New York stadium, still giving it an
old-time feel, the nearly 2,120 fans cheering for both teams (Pilots
players were applauded a bit louder), and the smell of hot dogs and
popcorn filling the air.
big round of applause goes to PGCBL President Jeff Kunion, Pilots
General Manager Brian Connell and his staff for their hospitality and
a job well done with the 2013 PGCBL All-Star Game. Fan interaction is
a key part of any league, especially that of a summer league, and the
Newark staff did a great job with that, taking moments throughout the
game to applaud different groups of people (fans that traveled,
parents of players, etc.), having multiple giveaways, t-shirt tosses,
and on-field contests and promotions.
more All-Star and showcase events, the PGCBL had a skills showcase
prior to the first pitch of the game at 7:49 PM. The first scheduled
event was the 60-yard dash in which players ran one at a time from
the right-field foul line into center field, with roughly 20-25 pro
scouts huddled around the finish line, representing various teams.
Joe Moroney of the Watertown Rams (University of Kansas)
turned in the fastest time, running it in 6.61 seconds, edging out
Amsterdam Mohawks teammates Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) and Jordan
Ebert (Auburn), both of whom had a top time of 6.63 seconds.
Other notable 60 times were Dalton Herrington (Mohawk Valley
Diamond Dawgs/ULM) at 6.70 and Garrett Degallier (Glens Falls
Golden Eagles/Tacoma C.C.) at 6.79.
Ebert, who start 54 games for Auburn this spring as a freshman and
hit .303, is fully aware of Perfect Game, having participated in the
2011 Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla., and the 2012
World Showcase, as well as playing in the WWBA World Championship in
2011 with the East Cobb Astros. Ebert has continued his hot hitting
in the PGCBL, accruing a .310 batting average to go along with his
four home runs and 19 RBI.
Barrett played with the Orlando Scorpions during his summer days in
high school, competing in two WWBA World Championships in Jupiter,
Fla., and made one showcase appearance, the 2010 Junior National
Showcase in St. Petersburg, Fla.
the 60-yard was batting practice for both teams, the East and the
West, with infield/outfield and catcher pop times rounding out the
all the players in the game were deserving of the honor and know how
to hit the baseball, there were a few bats that stood out to me in
the 2 rounds that each player took.
Gonzalez, who just completed his junior year at Auburn, plays for
the Utica Brewers this summer and was the first hitter that made an
impression. With the wind steadily blowing in from center at the
beginning of batting practice, and despite not hitting any home runs
this spring or summer, Gonzalez hit two balls that were no doubters
off the bat over the right field wall. Throughout his round, Gonzalez
made consistent hard contact to all fields, squaring up the ball with
he wasn’t in the All-Star Game and only the Home-Run Derby, Chris
Divarco of NIU took a solid round of batting practice, using his
strong upper half to drive the ball to gaps and deposited a ball off
the scoreboard in left, a prelude to his HR Derby performance.
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Divarco has hit two home runs
this summer and 12 doubles for the Adirondack Trail Blazers.
playing for the Adirondack Trail Blazers this summer is Alex Mata,
a middle infielder from Saint Leo. Even though he didn’t play this
spring after redshirting, Mata looked like he hasn’t missed a beat,
both in the field and in the batter’s box. Mata sprayed line drives
to all fields, showing a quick bat, which he used to take one of the
better overall rounds on the day. He also stood out defensively
during the drills portion, showing soft, easy hands and was very
fluid in his actions. He moves well laterally and showed that he
could throw from all different arm angles with enough arm strength to
finish the plays. In the game Mata lined out to center field and flew
out to deep right, showing a bit of pop in his bat as the ball to
center field registered 90 mph off the bat.
the same role of middle infielder/top of the order bat like Mata is
K’Shawn Smith of Stetson, who is playing for the Utica
Brewers this summer. Smith put his quick bat on display, squaring up
the ball and should develop some power in the next year or two as he
adds onto his frame. Smith is a quick twitch defender and profiles as
a second basemen in the future.
league's defending Player of the Week, Matt Dacey of Richmond,
put on a small show during BP and Home Run Derby, as he edged out
Buddy Putnam (below) to take the victory in the 2013 PGCBL
Derby. A late addition to the event as he wasn’t listed in the
program, Dacey showed a strong left-handed swing, making loud contact
with each swing and easily lifted his last two BP pitches over the
fence, with some very long hang time on each. He demonstrated that he
could hit with gap-to-gap power, showing the same hit tool that he
did at the 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla.
and various other PG showcases he played in throughout his days at
Don Bosco Prep. Having just advanced in the first two rounds in the
Derby, hitting one home run in each round, Dacey saved his power for
the final round, hitting three long home runs and nearly had two
more, that just stayed in the park, bouncing off the wall in right
Buddy Putnam (GF Golden Eagles/South Florida) and Ben Hall
(Cooperstown Hawkeyes/Central Alabama C.C.) showed a smooth
left-handed stroke with some pop in their bat. Putnam, another alum
of the Orlando Scorpions travel program, has had a splendid summer
thus far, hitting .320 with three home runs and 28 RBI. He also
showed some athleticism at first base during infield/outfield drills,
moving well and showing plenty of arm across the diamond. Ben Hall
may not have hit any balls out during BP but the strength in his
swing proves he is capable of it, as do the four home runs this
summer. He showed good bat speed with some leverage in his swing and
during the game lined a ball back up the middle for a single,
registering 93 mph off the bat.
Carolina's Zach Remillard showed well in all facets of the
game, particularly in the infield portion, where he has a strong arm
across with good carry on his throws, all of which were online to the
first baseman's glove. In the box he had some hard contact from the
right side and has a chance to develop more power once he relaxes at
five catchers that worked out showed solid tools, which translated
into good pop times, but the catcher that stood out the most was Mike
Fischer of Columbia, who I will talk about more below.
the final touches to the field were completed, rosters were announced
and the rendition of the National Anthem was completed, the West took
the field and the 2013 PGCBL All-Star Game was under way.
offense was blazing from the beginning of the game, as the teams
exchanged two runs apiece in the first inning. In the top of the
first inning the East capitalized on some defensive miscues by the
West and used some timely hitting by Josh Anderson (GF Golden
Eagles/FIU) and Dylan Smith (Amsterdam Mohawks / University of
Auburn) to jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Anderson picked up his
first hit of the game on a single down the left field line,
collecting an RBI and Smith duplicated Anderson’s first AB,
singling down the left field line, scoring Anderson from third base.
the East team in the top half of the first, the West took advantage
of some errors and plated two runs of their own to erase the deficit
and make it a new ball game. Chris Kalousdian (Elmira
Pioneers/Manhattan), who opened some eyes in the 60-yard, knocked a
double to right-center field in his first trip to the plate, plating
a run for the West. Kalousdian hitting a double shouldn’t have come
as a surprise to anybody though as he leads the league in that
category with 17, as well as with hits (58) and RBI (30). He showed
some opposite field pop later in the game with a loud out to the
right field warning track and a hang time of 6.09 on the flyout.
Fischer made sure the East took the lead again quickly, as he hopped
on a fastball and drove it out of the park to lead off the top of the
second inning. Along with his hit tool that played up in game
compared to his BP, Fischer was very good behind the plate
defensively. He blocked all the pitches that were bounced in the dirt
and popped a 1.88 in workouts, showing a quick transfer and a strong,
online arm. He is the younger brother of LHP David Fischer, a
four-year player for UConn and recent draft pick of the Washington
Nationals in the 2012 draft.
a single by Tyler Orris (Albany Dutchmen/Millersville), a hit
batter, and a walk, Josh Anderson made his second plate appearance in
as many innings and hit a hard single at the third baseman, picking
up his second single and second RBI in as many at-bats. Capping off
the scoring in the second inning was Landon Thibodeaux (Mohawk
Valley Diamond Dawgs/LSU Eunice), who hit a sac fly out to right,
plating the third run of the inning for the East squad.
pitcher Eann Cox of the Cooperstown Hawkeyes threw the first
shutout inning of the game, with his fastball sitting 86-88 topping
89 mph and showed a sharp curveball at 78 mph which he showed a good
feel for and used to pick up 1 strikeout in his inning of work. Cox
relieved Matt Snyder who pitched the first inning for the East
and ran his fastball up to 88 mph. Snyder, a long and lean LHP
attacked hitters and had some arm side run on his fastball, throwing
from a three-quarters arm angle.
the top of the third the East plated their sixth run of the game and
it would be their last until the 8th inning. Ben Hall and Mike
Fischer started the inning with back to back singles and after two
fielder’s choices, the second by Anthony Marks (Kentucky)
who beat the throw to extend the inning with a run scoring, the East
went up 6-2.
the bottom of the third inning RHP Ryan Davis was cruising
until the league leader in batting average, Michael Pierson
(.414, Utica Brewers/Appalachian State), stepped in and quickly
stepped out after launching a Davis offering over the right field
fence for a solo home run, which would ultimately be the last hit and
run for the West team.
though the scoring ceased for both sides for the next five innings,
the East continued to pick up base hits, totaling 17 when the game
was over. Kyle Barrett and
John Nogowski each picked up a single in the fourth, Zach
Remillaird singled in the fifth, and then the East was able to
scratch across another run in the eighth, with the help of three
hits. John Sansone started the offense, singling to center
field, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and came in to score
on a hard single up the middle by Dalton Herrington (95 mph
off the bat), making the score 7-3 East. Also picking up a single in
the inning was Garrett Degallier of Tacoma Community College.
Both Jordan Ebert and Nick Loetz picked up singles in the
ninth inning, but neither were able to touch home plate.
the lack of offense in the middle innings by both team, it was
evident that the pitching was outweighing the hitting. The pitching
for East was dominant from the 4th inning on, not allowing a single
hit nor a run. Mike Urbanski (Amsterdam Mohawks/Binghamton)
only faced the minimum of three batters, striking out one and
inducing two weak ground-outs, but that’s all he needed to make an
impression. Working exclusively from the stretch, Urbanski has a very
quick arm and lit up the radar guns, working 88-91 and on some guns
in the stands he touched 92 mph. Safe to say once he started to
throw, a silence fell over the scouts behind the backstop as the all
locked in to Urbanski on the mound. Along with his fastball, he threw
a tight slider 75-77 mph.
Bray (Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs/ULM) worked a quick inning also
for the East in the 5th inning, throwing from a submarine arm angle,
one which hitters had a hard time picking up. Working his fastball
between 84 and 86 mph, Bray got very good run on his fastball and
threw his slider at 71-74 with good, sweeping break. Working only
from the stretch as well, Bray’s final pitch was a slider that got
in on the hands of the hitter and splintered his bat, inducing a weak
ground ball back to Bray.
Hopf, Keegan Long, Armand Rugel, and Dylan
Collet worked the final four innings for the East. Hopf worked
79-84 mph on his fastball and picked up a game high of two strikeouts
with the help of his 12-to-6 curveball at 76 mph. Keegan Long
sat 85-88 mph with his fastball and got good downhill plane on his
pitches. The ball came out of his hand easily and he also flashed a
slider which was 74-76 mph. Both Rugel and Collet worked a 1-2-3
inning to close out the game. Rugel worked 78-82 on his fastball and
showed a good feel for his curveball which he threw 65-66 mph and
Collet attacked the zone from a three-quarters arm angle, working his
fastball at 81-83 mph. With a whippy arm, Collet should see his
velocity jump a little once he incorporates his lower half.
on the mound for the West was Parker Curry (Elmira
Pioneers/Samford), Nick Schavone (Utica Brewers/UNC Asheville)
and Donald Frew (Newark Pilots/Young Harris).
Curry worked the fifth inning for the West, running his fastball up
to 88 mph on a handful of pitches and worked 86-88 mph both from the
windup and stretch. To complement his fastball, Curry showed a
curveball at 75-76 and a nice changeup at 79 mph that had fade and
dip arm side to it.
Nick Schavone, who like Tyler Bray, is a submarine pitcher and
made it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand.
Schavone had a quick 1-2-3 inning, striking out one batter and
getting the other two outs on weak contact. Although his fastball was
75-78 mph and curveball was 71 mph, he was able to miss a lot of bats
and has averaged more than a strikeout per inning both this summer
with Utica and this past spring with UNC Asheville.
pitcher Donald Frew received a loud applause as he entered the
game to work the top of the ninth for the West. With his Newark
teammates looking on behind the backstop, Frew worked 86-89 mph and
had some arm side run on his fastball, throwing from a three-quarters
arm angle. He also threw a two-seam fastball at 84 mph which had even
more run to it. Along with those two pitches, Frew flashed both a
curveball at 72 mph and a slider at 81 mph which he used to strikeout
the end of the game league President Jeff Kunion presented the
All-Star Game MVP to Mike Fischer, who was 2-for-2 with a home run
and a single and walked in his third plate appearance, and also stood
out defensively behind the plate in his four innings of work.
any good summer activity, the 2013 PGCBL culminated with a big
fireworks display over the center field wall, lighting up the brisk
night sky. And despite the weather dipping to the point that you
could see the pitchers breath in between pitches, a majority of the
2,000-plus fans stuck around for the fireworks and the opportunity to
collect autographs of all the players after the game.