During the opening weeks of the college baseball season, players from across the country who have spent time in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League have been producing standout performances. This week, PGCBL.com looks at a selection of players from the current East Division, which represents a small sample of the numerous league alumni excelling at the collegiate ranks.
TJ Collett, Kentucky (Amsterdam 2017)- Collett, who was named the Top Prospect in the PGCBL after the 2017 season, has been one of the leaders in the lineup for the Wildcats over the first 21 games of the season, hitting .316 in his first 79 at-bats. The junior first baseman has belted seven home runs for the 14-7 Wildcats, and has driven in 28 runs. His totals in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and total bases all rank in the top five in the SEC.
Lucas Dunn, Louisville (Albany 2018)- The former Albany Dutchmen star has been a solid contributor for the Cardinals, who are ranked No. 5 in the newest Perfect Game poll. In 47 at-bats on the season, Dunn has posted a .340 batting average, and has recorded four extra-base hits. The sophomore hit his first home run and the third of his career in a victory over Connecticut. He has also drawn ten walks, giving him a .456 on base percentage.
Max Hunter, Dartmouth (Saugerties 2018)- Hunter has made the most of his opportunities on the mound during his sophomore season, becoming a trusted reliever for the Big Green. Hunter, who played in Saugerties last summer, has allowed just one earned run on three hits in his first 10.1 innings of work, and has earned a win and a save without taking a loss. His standout performance came in a win over Farleigh Dickinson, where he struck out six in three innings of work to pick up the win.
James Varela, LIU Post (Glens Falls 2017-18)- The two-year Dragon has resumed his spot as LIU Post's ace, recording a 1.50 ERA in his first 36 innings of work this season. Varela has struck out 48 hitters with just seven walks in his first five starts, and recorded victories over East Stroudsburg and Assumption. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly seven-to-one ranks among the best totals in the nation among pitchers with at least 30 innings on the mound.
Joel Alvarez, Barry (Mohawk Valley 2018)- A DiamondDawg from last season's roster, Alvarez has been a consistent starter for the Barry Buccaneers, who are ranked in the top 25 of the NCBWA's newest Division II rankings. In 20 appearances this season, the sophomore infielder has hit .346, with 18 hits in his first 52 at-bats. He has also belted two home runs, hitting the ball out of the park in games against conference rivals Nova Southeastern and Lynn.
Cassius Young, Georgia College (Oneonta 2018)- Perfect Game's No. 18 team at the NCAA Division II level has seen solid performances from the former Outlaw in the first 23 games of the season. Young has driven in a team-best 18 runs, and has started in every game for the Bobcats. He helped Georgia College, who holds a winning record both overall and in conference, to a series victory over No. 4 North Georgia, driving in runs in both of the team's victories.
If you know of a great performance by a former or future PGCBL player in college or professional baseball, please let us know! To see your favorite PGCBL player spotlighted on PGCBL.com, tweet us @PGCBLBaseball.