During each week of the 2018 PGCBL season, the league office will recognize one position player and one pitcher as the League's Player and Pitcher of the Week. However, this week, two pitchers earn co-honors after commanding starts, while one hitter dominated all week to run away with the award.
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce that Adirondack’s Mike Sansone (Fairfield) and Amsterdam’s Zane Stephens (Mississippi State) have been awarded PGCBL co-Pitchers of the Week, while Newark’s Allen Murphy (St. John Fisher) is the PGCBL Player of the Week.
Mike Sansone is in his first season with the PGCBL, and is putting together a very successful summer campaign so far as he was named to the West Division All-Stars. In his last start before the All-Star Game, Sansone earned the complete game win against the first-place Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. He held opposing batters to a .182 AVG over nine shutout frames, while only allowing eight baserunners during the entire game. The win caused the Fairfield Stag’s ERA to drop by almost one run per nine innings, while his opposing batting average dropped to .265 from its previous level of .293.
Sansone, a recent high school graduate, has signed to play baseball with Fairfield for his collegiate career. He is one of four high school grads who made the TrailBlazers’ roster, joining three others. PGCBL allows incoming college freshmen to play in the league, provided each team does not have more than four and the player earns approval from Perfect Game USA. Sansone was ranked at 311 in his position in the national HS class of 2018 by Perfect Game, and at no. 4 in his position and no. 31 overall for the state of Connecticut.
Zane Stephens had two starts for Amsterdam in the last week, against both Albany and Saugerties. Over the eight innings he pitched, Stephens allowed zero runs on three hits. He also threw a complete game in the shortened game in Albany on July 14. Stephens has dropped his opposing batting average to .196, which ranks third in the league. He also is tied for second in ERA (1.80), and while he is one of nine pitchers in the league have thrown a complete game, he is one of two who has thrown a complete game shutout. The other? Fellow co-Pitcher of the Week Mike Sansone.
Stephens did not make any appearances for Mississippi State in the 2018 season, but is projected to have a larger role within the team next year. A 2017 HS grad, Stephens was ranked as the no. 500 HS recruit by Perfect Game in the nation, and at no. 113 in Florida.
Allen Murphy, another 2018 All-Star, had a tremendous week at the plate as part of the Newark Pilots. Murphy played in four games during the week as an outfielder, as well as one as a pitcher. During the week, Murphy went 10-for-17 with 2 HRs. His batting average skyrocketed during the week as well, rising over .04 up to .396 on the season. Murphy is slated to be a starter in this year’s All-Star game in Elmira. Murphy also made a start as a pitcher during the week, getting the win while throwing five innings. Murphy ranks second in the league in batting average, second in RBIs (33), and tied for fourth in HR (6).
Murphy is a sophomore at St. John Fisher, where he plays in a utility role switching between pitcher and position player. In 2018, Murphy hit .324 AVG in 37 games. He was tied for second on the Cardinals with seven home runs. In 2017, he was named to the Empire-8 All-Tournament Team. Murphy helped the Cardinals reach the Empire-8 title game in 2018, however St. John Fisher fell in the game and didn’t receive an at-large bid to the NCAA D-III tournament.
The PGCBL is pleased to recognize the accomplishments of Sansone, Stephens and Murphy over the last seven days. The league will continue to honor the best performances in the PGCBL throughout the summer with both nightly and weekly awards.