Photo leftt: Erick Gaylord is congratulated by Newark's Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta) after scoring the first run of the 2011 PGCBL All-Star Game. Courtesy JEFF RICHARDS/Star Gazette. Photo front courtesy Amanda Morrison/Watertown Daily Times
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce that outfielder Erick Gaylord (Campbell) of the Watertown Wizards has been chosen as the 2011 PGCBL Player of the Year.
Gaylord, a rising senior at Campbell University, nearly captured the PGCBL Triple Crown in a hitter-friendly 2011 season. He topped the circuit in home runs (10) and runs batted (42) however he finished fourth in batting average (.360). Gaylord was the only player in the league to record a double-digit home run total and he was one of two to drive in at least 40 runs. He concluded the regular season ranked among the top five in nine individual offensive categories and led the league in home runs, RBI, total bases (100) and sacrifice flies (six). The Atlanta, Ga., native was second in stolen bases (21) and slugging percentage (.621) and he tied for second in hits (58) and runs scored (37).
The center fielder appeared in 46 games for Watertown and made 45 starts. He totaled 18 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI games. Gaylord was the lone PGCBL hitter to record two five-hit games; only three other players totaled five hits in a single contest. He had at least one hit in 30 games and drove in at least one run in 25 separate contests.
The speedy slugger did most of his damage away from Watertown’s Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. Gaylord batted .432 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI in 24 road games. He smacked 38 of his 58 total hits on the road, scored 25 runs and stole 12 bases. Gaylord amassed a .841 road slugging percentage and a .490 on-base percentage as well as five defensive assists from the outfield.
The most impressive performance of Erick’s season came on Sat., July 16 at Amsterdam’s Shuttleworth Park. In a game against the Amsterdam Mohawks, Gaylord went 5-for-5 with four home runs and seven RBI. He slugged a two-run home run in the first inning and then belted a solo shot in the second. After a base hit in the fifth, Gaylord dinged a two-run blast in the seventh to force a 6-6 tie. He rounded out his night with a third two-run clout in the eighth, one that held up as the game-winning hit in a 9-8 victory for Watertown.
Between July 16 and July 18, Gaylord slugged seven home runs in 10 at-bats and 12 total plate appearances. The day after his four belts at Amsterdam, the Watertown swinger drilled two more home runs at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field. The Campbell University product was a starter in the 2011 PGCBL All-Star Game for the West Division. Following a walk in his first ASG at-bat, Gaylord lofted a two-run smash over the left-center field fence at Elmira’s Dunn Field to give the West a 4-1 lead.
Gaylord, the Week 5 PGCBL Player of the Week, enjoyed a seven-game hitting streak between July 15 and July 22 which included seven-straight games with multiple hits. During the streak (not including the All-Star Game), Gaylord batted .630 (17-for-27) with seven home runs, 12 RBI, 14 runs scored and a 1.481 slugging percentage.
The 2009 graduate of East Paulding High School in Atlanta, Ga., set Watertown single-season franchise records for hits, home runs, RBI, runs scored and slugging percentage.