The Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League have been ranked 15th nationally in the first Summer Top 30 of the 2012 season. The second-place Oneonta Outlaws and the defending league champion Newark Pilots were listed among those teams also receiving votes. The poll, released on June 20, was compiled by Allan Simpson of Perfect Game USA.
According to a Perfect Game press release, teams in the poll are ranked on the following criteria: won-loss record, league dominance, depth and quality of professional talent and overall strength of the league. All of the teams ranked in the top 30 this week have at least a .500 winning percentage.
To see the press release and the full rankings, click here
The Amsterdam Mohawks, skippered by head coach Keith Griffin, currently lead the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League with a record of 9-2 (.818). The Mohawks have won eight games in a row dating back to June 9 and have the most wins of any team in the PGCBL.
Pitching has been a strength of the Mohawks with a league-low 1.99 earned run average and three shutouts. Amsterdam pitchers have combined to throw a pair of two-hit shutouts and one three-hit shutout over the last five days. Two of the three shutouts came away from Amsterdam’s Shuttleworth Park. Starting pitcher Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky), a 41st-round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, leads the Mohawks and the PGCBL with a 0.00 earned run average through two appearances. Monday night, Shepherd fired a two-hit shutout over eight innings and struck out six in a 2-0 victory over the Albany Dutchmen.
Other mound standouts for the 2011 PGCBL runners-up include starting pitchers Taylor Martin (Kentucky) and Rocky McCord (Auburn) as well as reliever Matt Gage (Siena). Martin, a 41st round pick of the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 MLB draft, is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts. Taylor Martin has allowed just one run in 11.0 innings pitched. Minnesota Twins 39th-round pick Rocky McCord is 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA in three starts. He has struck out 18 batters in 16.1 innings. Six-foot-seven southpaw Matt Gage leads the Mohawks with 20 strikeouts in 15.0 innings. Gage boasts a 2-0 record over four appearances with a 1.20 earned run average. He has retired 26 of the last 27 batters he has faced.
Offensively, Amsterdam’s .295 batting average is first in the PGCBL. The Mohawks lead the loop in batting average, runs scored (74), hits (124), total bases (182), slugging percentage (.433) and on-base percentage (.391). Shortstop Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville) has been the most potent bat in the Amsterdam line-up. The rising junior from Effingham, Ill., is first in the PGCBL in batting average (.432), slugging percentage (.659) and on-base percentage (.528). Green is tied for the league lead in hits (19) and sits second in runs scored (14).
Recent Mohawk arrivals Evan Stephens (Wake Forest), Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) and Nathan Gomez (Marshall) are all batting over .500 through five games or more. Gomez, Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) and Josh Nethaway (UAlbany) are all tied for the team lead with eight RBI. Five different Mohawks have hit at least one home run and lead-off man Ed Charlton (NJIT) is first on the team with two belts. All six Amsterdam home runs have been on the road.
The Oneonta Outlaws, like the Amsterdam Mohawks, are among the hotter teams in the league. The Outlaws (7-3) have won four games in a row to keep pace just behind Amsterdam at the top of the PGCBL table. One of the reasons for Oneonta’s recent success has been the bat of outfielder Logan Brown (Baylor). Brown, a late arrival because of Super Regionals, is batting .500 (9-for-18) with five RBI and five runs scored. The Outlaws are unbeaten since he entered the starting line-up. Oneonta’s starting line-up includes Zac Johnson (Illinois State), an All-Missouri Valley Conference infielder and Zach Lucas (Louisville), the starting shortstop for the nationally-ranked Louisville Cardinals. Johnson leads the Outlaws with nine RBI. On the mound, Oneonta’s 2.08 earned run average is second in the league behind Amsterdam. Number one starter Sheldon Lee (San Francisco) is 2-0 with a 1.59 earned run average over three appearances. He has struck out 12 and walked two in 17.0 innings. Starter David Sosebee (Georgia), a 48th-round choice of the Boston Red Sox in 2011, Taylor Hicks (Georgia), Brett Lisle (Virginia) and Nathaniel Abel (Virginia) comprise the rest of the starting rotation.
The Newark Pilots currently find themselves in third place with a 6-5 overall record. Newark has one of the top offenses in the league. The Pilots have scored 72 runs in 11 games and that includes three double-digit scoring performances topped by a 19-run outburst against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at Colburn Park. Newark infielder Joe Landi (Rhode Island) was the PGCBL Player of the Week for the period of June 6 through June 17. He scored 16 runs in Newark’s first eight games and compiled a .414 batting average. Lead-off man Josh Crowdus (Delta State) has a team high .357 batting average. Brent Langston (Delta State) and Sean Osterman (St. John Fisher) are among the league leaders in RBI with 11 and 10 respectively. On the mound, Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.) has been the best starter for the Pilots. He is 2-0 with a 0.69 earned run average. The rising junior has given up just one earned run in 13.0 innings.
Perfect Game USA, baseball’s largest scouting service, partnered with eight summer collegiate baseball teams in the fall of 2010 to form the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. In addition to naming rights, Perfect Game actively assists the league in identifying and recruiting top college and junior college prospects.