Amsterdam's Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) pitching against Mohawk Valley in the PGCBL playoffs. Photo courtesy Little Falls Times/Jon Rathburn
Five players from Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League squads have been named to Perfect Game USA’s 2012 Summer Collegiate All-America Team. Both 2012 PGCBL Player of the Year Ross Kivett (Kansas State) of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles and 2012 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) from the Amsterdam Mohawks were named to the All-America first team.
Jeff Melillo (Rutgers), a member of the 2010 Glens Falls Golden Eagles, was a first team All-American with the number one nationally-ranked Newport Gulls. In addition, Melillo was chosen by Perfect Game as the Top Summer Collegiate Rising Senior for 2012. Jack Fischer (Wake Forest), who pitched for the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2011, was a second team All-American with the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League. Another 2011 Mohawk, Zach Shank (Marist), was a third team All-American with the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Danbury Westerners.
The full team can be found here
Ross Kivett won the 2012 PGCBL batting championship with a .401 batting average and topped the league overall in on-base percentage (.497), hits (61) and stolen bases (37). Kivett also finished among the top five in the league in slugging percentage (.556), runs scored (41), total bases (86), triples (three) and HBP (nine). Overall, Kivett batted .401 with three home runs, 29 RBI, 10 doubles and 22 walks. The Broadview Heights, Ohio, native played 40 games for the Green and Gold and reached base safely in all 40 via hit, walk or hit by pitch. Kivett ended his summer on an 18-game hitting streak.
Chandler Shepherd was the top starting pitcher in the PGCBL. He finished first in the league with a .154 opponents batting average and tied for the PGCBL lead in victories (seven) and earned run average (1.31). He finished second in innings pitched (55.0) and tied for fifth in strikeouts (50). During the regular season, Shepherd went 7-0 in eight starts. He yielded just 29 hits and did not allow his ERA to rise higher than 1.35. Shepherd, after pitching for the University of Kentucky in the NCAA regionals, began his summer with 14 straight scoreless innings. He earned two winning decisions in the playoffs and ended the year with a 10-strikeout performance in relief against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in Game 2 of the PGCBL Championship Series.
Jeff Melillo was the starting catcher for the national championship winning Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. He won the NECBL’s batting championship with a .404 batting average and he was selected as the league’s Most Improved Player. Melillo set an NECBL record with a .548 on-base percentage. The rising senior from Rutgers batted .404 with five home runs, 30 RBI, 34 runs scored, 12 doubles and 26 walks. He also selected as one of the starting catchers for the NECBL All-Star Game. Melillo appeared in 17 games for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in 2010.
Jack Fischer arrived in Amsterdam last summer as a utility player from Wake Forest. Fischer, who did not pitch in his freshman season at Wake Forest, eventually moved into the Amsterdam starting rotation. He finished the summer 3-0 with a 2.45 earned run average in seven appearances and was named to the 2011 PGCBL Rising Stars team. This summer, Fischer garnered the Pitcher of the Year Award in the Northwoods League. The Hinsdale, Ill., native led the Northwoods with a 1.76 earned run average and earned a first team All-Northwoods selection. He compiled a 6-1 record over nine starts and struck out 61 batters in 56.1 innings. Fischer did not allow a run in his first two starts and then yielded just one earned run in three-straight starts between July 21 and Aug. 2.
One of Fischer’s teammates last summer in Amsterdam was shortstop Zach Shank. Shank was an All-PGCBL first team infielder for the Mohawks. He led the league with 38 runs scored and set a Mohawks franchise record with 58 hits. Overall, Shank batted .341 with two home runs and 17 RBI over 45 games. This summer with the NECBL’s Danbury Westerners, Shank picked up where he left off. Shank, an NECBL all-star, was tabbed All-NECBL first team. The Marist College product batted .308 with four home runs, 25 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He smacked out 49 hits, including 12 doubles, in 41 games and scored 37 runs. Defensively, Shank topped Danbury with 132 assists and he committed just seven errors in 201 chances.