The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League announced today that Dominick Ruscitti (Kutztown) of the Newark Pilots has been selected as the 2011 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year.
Ruscitti 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.
The 6-foot-2 pitcher began the summer as a reliever in the Pilots’ bullpen. He garnered the first victory in Newark Pilots’ franchise history over the Watertown Wizards on June 9 with five strikeouts over five shutout innings of relief; Newark won the high-scoring affair 9-6. Ruscitti began July with back-to-back gems at home against Watertown and Glens Falls. He weaved a five-hitter over eight innings and allowed one run versus Watertown on July 1. In his next start, Ruscitti pitched a complete game four-hitter in a 2-1 triumph over Glens Falls. He gave up one run, walked one and struck out six in the shortest nine-inning game (1:53) in PGCBL history.
Ruscitti pocketed two key late-season victories for the Pilots as well. He struck out nine in a four-hitter against Cooperstown on July 22. Ruscitti’s four-hit bid in the seven-inning affair helped Newark snap a six-game winning streak by the Hawkeyes. The pitcher from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference then helped the Pilots clinch a spot in the 2011 PGCBL playoffs. He pitched a five-hit shutout over seven innings and struck out seven in a 3-2 victory over Elmira on Aug. 2.
The Washingtonville, N.Y., native recorded two of Newark’s four victories in the postseason. Ruscitti struck out eight over seven and one-third innings and allowed three runs on six hits in a decisive Game 3 victory versus Cooperstown in the divisional playoffs. Pitching on three days’ rest, Ruscitti fired three scoreless innings of relief in Game 2 of the PGCBL Championship Series at Amsterdam.
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