UTICA, N.Y.- The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce the selection of Mason Hazelwood (Kentucky) as the 2018 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year. Hazelwood, who played this summer for the Elmira Pioneers, was a unanimous selection for the award.
Hazelwood is the second Elmira Pioneer to win the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year award since the league's inception, and the first to win it outright. In 2015, Kyano Cummings (Siena), who now plays professional baseball for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League, shared the award with Amsterdam's Zach Logue, who preceeded Hazelwood at Kentucky.
During his summer with the Pioneers, Hazelwood was utterly dominant, setting a new PGCBL record with 84 strikeouts. The Salvisa, Kentucky native started eight games for Elmira, and came out of the bullpen three times. In his 50 innings on the mound, Hazelwood allowed just 35 hits and 19 walks, and held opposing hitters to a .189 batting average. For his efforts, he was selected to the PGCBL All-Star Game at midseason, which was held in Elmira. During the All-Star Game, Hazelwood tossed a perfect inning with three strikeouts.
Hazelwood ended his season with a 5-1 record and a 1.80 ERA. The earned run average was best among eligible pitchers in the PGCBL, and the win total tied Watertown's Jack Buckley (Franklin and Marshall) and Albany's Matt Pierce (Siena) for the league lead. The lefty was at his best during the final month of the season, going 4-0. The Pioneers won six of the seven games where Hazelwood appeared from July 3 to July 28.
The lefthander's signature moment came at Dunn Field on July 22 against the eventual PGCBL champion Jamestown Jammers. In a 4-1 Elmira victory, Hazelwood struck out 16 of the 24 batters he faced, and allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings. His 16-strikeout performance earned him the second of his two PGCBL Pitcher of the Week awards. On the season, the Wildcat struck out ten or more hitters three times, all coming in Pioneer victories.
At Kentucky, Hazelwood appeared in 18 games during his freshman season, and struck out 19 hitters in 19 innings. He picked up his first collegiate victory on May 15 against Murray State, and did not allow a run in five of his last seven outings.