Erick Gaylord in action for the Watertown Wizards (Courtesy Watertown Daily Times)/Front: Kyle Ruchim (Courtesy GF Golden Eagles)
Three Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League standouts have been chosen for the 2011 Perfect Game USA Summer All-America Team. Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles, Erick Gaylord (Campbell) of the Watertown Wizards and Newark Pilots starting pitcher Dominick Ruscitti (Kutztown) were all named to the squad which included 45 players from 17 different summer leagues across the country. The full team can be found here
Kyle Ruchim was selected to the Summer All-America first team as a utility player. Erick Gaylord, the 2011 PGCBL Player of the Year, was tabbed second-team outfield and Dominick Ruscitti, the 2011 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year, earned a third-team nod as a starting pitcher.
Ruchim, an All-PGCBL first team selection as a utility player, was the top two-way threat in the PGCBL and he was a key component in Glens Falls’ 31-win season that included the PGCBL East regular season championship. He topped the Golden Eagles in hits (55), runs scored (37), doubles (16), multi-hit games (19) and saves (nine). Overall, Ruchim led the loop in doubles and he finished fourth in total bases (91). Ruchim doubled as the starting second baseman and the closer for the Green and Gold; he also spent some time in the outfield. Kyle batted .333 with six home runs, 27 RBI and six overall sacrifices, four of which were sacrifice flies. The Northwestern product added a .400 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage. On the mound, the Buffalo Grove, Ill., native struck out 43 and went 3-0 with a 2.05 earned run average over 15 outings. He averaged almost two strikeouts per frame and limited the opposition to a .175 batting average. Ruchim did not allow a run over his final seven regular season appearances and he blanked opposing teams in 11 of his 15 games pitched.
Gaylord, the PGCBL Player of the Year, 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 rising senior at Campbell University also set a league PGBCL record when he slugged four home runs in a single game at Amsterdam on July 16. The four belts against the Mohawks were part of a stretch in which Gaylord popped seven home runs in 12 plate appearances between July 16 and July 18.
Ruscitti, the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year, concluded the regular season as the league leader in victories (six) and earned run average (1.82). He amassed a 6-1 record over nine appearances with eight starts and two complete games. Ruscitti pitched 59.1 innings, walked 15 and struck out 49 (7.4 strikeouts per nine innings). He did not allow a home run and yielded only eight extra-base hits. His .196 opponents’ batting average was among the five lowest in the entire league and he ranked fifth in overall strikeouts. The Kutztown University rising senior earned five of his six victories over the final month of the season and he won four-straight starts between July 1 and July 22. In addition, Ruscitti was the starting pitcher for the West Division in the 2011 PGCBL All-Star Game. The right-handed hurler retired the side in order in the top of the first inning.