The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) unveiled today the All-League Team for the 2017 season, as determined by a polling of the league’s head coaches. Nine of the 13 teams in the PGCBL were represented with at least one selection on the First or Second Team, led by the Amsterdam Mohawks and Elmira Pioneers with six honorees apiece.
Highlighting this year’s postseason all-star squad are Jamestown catcher Christ Conley (Canisius), the 2017 PGCBL Player of the Year, and Albany righty Matt Pierce (Siena), the 2017 Pitcher of the Year award winner. Conley broke the single-season records for walks (51) and on-base percentage (.582), while leading the circuit with a .610 slugging percentage and ranking second with a .382 batting average. Pierce had a record-breaking summer of his own, as reliever-turned-ace registered a league-best 1.71 ERA and established a new high for wins in a season with eight.
Conley, who garnered Second-Team All-League honors with the Jammers last season, is one of two players that was recognized for the second time this year. Mohawk Valley reliever Zach Vennaro (Mount Olive) completed his third go-around with the DiamondDawgs in 2017 and added an All-League First Team selection to his Second Team award from a year ago.
Several of the league’s statistical leaders were rightfully award this season. Batting champion and Amsterdam Mohawk standout, John Valente (St. John’s), who led all batsmen with a .422 clip, was included on the First Team at third base, and across the diamond, Mohawk Valley’s Russ Olive (UMass Lowell) was named the top first baseman in the PGCBL this season after leading the league in both home runs (8) and RBIs (42). Albany’s Justin Bureau (Ave Maria) tied Vennaro for first place with eight saves this summer and both were elected to the First Team. Alex Bellardini (Youngstown State) racked up a league-high 61.0 innings of work in nine starts for Geneva and was rewarded with a spot on the Second Team.
Two of the three award winners from the 2017 All-Star Game festivities earned additional hardware with an All-League selection. Prospect Game MVP Eric Rivera (Florida Atlantic) and Home Run Derby champ Conor Grammes (Xavier) were both recognized on the First Team.
Below are the complete 2017 PGCBL All-League First and Second Teams:
2017 PGCBL All-League First Team
C – Christ Conley (Canisius) – Jamestown
1B – Russ Olive (UMass Lowell) – Mohawk Valley
2B – Nick Estrella (Azusa Pacific) – Albany
SS – Nick Gallo (Oklahoma State) – Albany
3B – John Valente (St. John’s) – Amsterdam
OF – John Conti (Canisius) – Jamestown
OF – Brian Uliana (Rider) – Glens Falls
OF – Eric Rivera (Florida Atlantic) – Amsterdam
DH/UTL – Conor Grammes (Xavier) – Elmira
SP – Matt Pierce (Siena) – Albany
SP – David Lyskawa (Niagara County C.C.) – Jamestown
SP – Andrew Saalfrank (Indiana) – Amsterdam
SP – Houston Roth (Ole Miss) – Elmira
RP – Zach Vennaro (Mount Olive) – Mohawk Valley
RP – Justin Bureau (Ave Maria) – Albany
2017 PGCBL All-League Second Team
C – Marshall Gilbert (John A. Logan) – Elmira
1B – Liam Wilson (Canisius) – Amsterdam
2B – Jimmy Standohar (Mercyhurst) – Jamestown
SS – Will Holland (Auburn) – Amsterdam
3B – Hunter Wells (Tyler J.C.) – Newark
OF – Mikey Arman (Kenyon) – Geneva
OF – Matt Chamberlain (New Haven) – Geneva
OF – Ayrton Schafer (Samford) – Elmira
DH/UTL – Allbry Major (Xavier) – Elmira
SP – Alex Bellardini (Youngstown State) – Geneva
SP – Henry Martinez (Cypress) – Newark
SP – Grant Donahue (Virginia) – Elmira
SP – Thomas Lane (Boston College) – Amsterdam
RP – Matt Bowman (SUNY Broome C.C.) – Onondaga
RP – Allbry Major (Xavier) – Elmira
About the PGCBL
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a 13-team summer collegiate baseball league in Upstate New York. Since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL – which annually draws talent from some of the best NCAA, NAIA, and junior college programs – has quickly evolved into the premier wood bat league in the state of New York, while becoming one of the most widely respected summer leagues in the country. The PGCBL is affiliated with Perfect Game, the nation’s largest independent amateur scouting bureau. Last year, there were more than 1,500 players in the pros who either wore the uniform of a PGCBL team or participated in a Perfect Game event. For more information, please visit www.pgcbl.com.