Led by a no-hitter from an incoming PGCBL player, former and future stars continue to dominate their competition across college and professional baseball.
Mario Ferraioli, Iona (Mohawk Valley 2018)- An incoming member of the Diamond Dawg roster made program history on Saturday, tossing the third no-hitter in Iona history. Ferraioli struck out ten hitters over his seven innings on the mound, scattering five walks. His efforts on the mound, which moved him to 3-0 on the season, guided the Gaels to a 3-0 victory. The no-hitter was just the third start of the season for Ferraioli, who boasts a 0.85 ERA over 31.2 innings of work for Iona.
Zack Brown, Milwaukee Brewers organization (Amsterdam 2014)- In his third season of professional baseball, Brown has settled in as a solid starter for the double-A Biloxi Shuckers. Brown earned his first win of the season on Sunday, working 5.1 innings with just one earned run allowed against the Birmingham Barons. The 2016 fifth round pick also tossed five innings on Monday, allowing just four hits in a no decision against the Montgomery Biscuits. In 26.1 innings on the mound this season, he has struck out 28 hitters with only five walks.
Matt Thaiss, Los Angeles Angels organization (Watertown 2014)- A member of Watertown's first PGCBL franchise, Thaiss has been productive in his second season of double-A ball in the Angels farm system. For the Mobile Bay Bears, Thiass has driven in 16 runs with a .273 batting average. He logged one of the best games of his season on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored in an 8-4 victory over the Mississippi Braves, and hit his third homer of the season on Saturday against Montgomery.
Peter Battaglia, Niagara (Newark 2017)- The MAAC leader in home runs in conference play (6) drove in 16 runs over five games this week, and led the Purple Eagles to a sweep over Saint Peter's. He drove in nine runs in two midweek games, driving in four against Youngstown State and another five against Canisius, which included a three-run homer. He drove in at least one run in all three victories over Saint Peter's, including four RBIs in an 18-5 victory in the series opener. On the season, Battaglia has driven in 44 runs with 21 extra-base hits.
Mitchell Henshaw, Potomac State (Albany 2018)- Henshaw had an absurd day on Saturday in games against CCRI and CCBC Catonsville. The incoming Dutchmen belted five home runs and drove in ten runs in a pair of victories. Henshaw's spotlight performance came against CCBS Catonsville, where he went 3-for-3 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. In six games on the week, Henshaw went 11-for-20 with 14 RBIs, and led the 32-9 Catamounts, who play at the junior college level, to a 5-1 showing.
Tommy Miller, Siena (Albany 2017)- Siena's wins leader picked up his fifth win of the season on Saturday, leading the Saints to a 5-0 victory at home over Abilene Christian. Miller allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings, and struck out five hitters. In conference play, Miller has gone 4-1 with a 3.03 ERA. He is one of six pitchers in the MAAC with four or more conference wins, and currently leads the conference in complete games.
Sean Hjelle, Kentucky (Elmira 2016)- One of the nation's best starting pitchers continued to deal on Saturday, earning his sixth victory of the season against conference rival Missouri. The former Pioneer did not allow an earned run over eight innings on the mound, and struck out eight Tiger hitters. The win helped Kentucky to a crucial series victory over Missouri, and dropped Hjelle's ERA to 2.95, with 66 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 73.1 innings on the mound.
Cory Blessing, Ohio (Jamestown 2016-17)- The two-year Jammer was dominant out of the bullpen on Friday, leading the Bobcats to a conference victory over in-state rival Miami (Ohio). In four innings on the mound, Blessing struck out eight of the 13 hitters he faced, and allowing only one hit. Entering with the Bobcats down 3-1, he worked through the seventh inning with just one hit allowed to pick up the win. On the season, Blessing has a 3.02 ERA, best on the team among players with 25 or more innings pitched.
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.
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