PC: Jon Rathbun of The Times Telegram
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce that Joe DeSarro of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs and Brennen Smith of the Victor RailRiders have been selected as Co-Pitchers of the Year for the 2016 season.
The two were the ace pitchers for the reigning East and West Division champions. Combined they won 11 games, struck out 98 batters and had a 1.93 ERA. This is the second straight year there has been Co-Pitchers of the Year.
"We had some live arms on the hill this year. But, our Co-Pitchers of the year move to the next level. They really showed they could pitch, not just throw," said PGCBL President Jeff Kunion.
DeSarro led a Mohawk Valley pitching staff that won 27 games this season. He led the league with seven wins, which tied a league record. His 61 innings pitched also led the league and is the second-most in PGCBL history. The right-hander had a 2.80 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Opponents hit just .231 against him and he he struck out 46 batters, which was top 10 in the league. The Herkimer product went 7-0 in his final eight appearances. He allowed no more than two earned runs in any of those games.
At Herkimer this year, DeSarro made 10 appearances and went 6-0 with a 3.89 ERA. He struck out 51 batters in 44 innings (10.43 K/9) and also notched a save.
Said Mohawk Valley owner/GM Travis Heiser: "We are so thrilled to hear that Joe (DeSarro) is PGCBL Pitcher of the year. Joe was a workhorse on this staff this year leading the team in innings pitched and rung up 46 batters. Joe led by example this year setting the bar high for our other pitchers and did it with ease going 7-1 on the year. What makes this even sweeter is that Joe is a local kid who played high school ball down the road in Frankfort and is playing collegiate ball just a stone throws away at Herkimer. To have him suit up here in Little Falls as a DiamondDawg is important to us as we want to showcase our local talent and it's always nice to have friends and family cheer him on. His performance this year is no surprise to us as we knew what Joe was capable of and are happy for him to get the recognition he deserves."
Brennen Smith finished in the top three in each pitching Triple Crown category. The lefty tied for the league lead with 52 strikeouts, posted a 1.06 ERA and won four games. The 1.06 ERA is the fourth lowest ERA in PGCBL history. Smith appeared in 13 games (seven starts) this season for Victor. In his final three wins of the season, the Canisius product combined to throw 22 innings, allowed just two runs and struck out 18 batters. He finished the season with a 1.20 WHIP as opponents hit just .160 off him.
Smith will be a freshman at Canisius in the fall.
“From the time we met Brennen, we knew he would perform. He quickly became our most reliable arm that proved he could dominate any team. Brennen also showed what a class act he was off the field and in the dugout. Canisius has a great pitcher heading its way. We'd love to have him back next season,” said Victor owner Jim Ludwig.
Pitcher of the Year Winners
2016- Joe DeSarro, Mohawk Valley
Brennen Smith, Victor
2015- Zach Logue, Amsterdam
Kyano Cummings, Elmira
2014- Jayson Yano, Newark
2013- Eann Cox, Cooperstown
2012- Chandler Shepherd, Amsterdam
2011- Dominick Ruscitti, Newark
The PGCBL is affiliated with Perfect Game, the largest independent scouting service in the country. Last year, more than 1,400 professional players had either worn the uniform of a PGCBL team or participated in a Perfect Game event.
For more information about the PGCBL, visit www.pgcbl.com and follow the league on Twitter, @PGCBLbaseball.