Aidan Colagrande (Fairfield University) of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs has been named the 2023 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year. Colagrande becomes the second member- and first since 2016- of the DiamondDawgs and first player from Fairfield University to be selected as the league’s Pitcher of the Year.
Colagrande was dominant in a unique way this summer, becoming the first pitcher to have been used exclusively out of the bullpen to be named the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year. His 14 regular season appearances and six saves were each second most in the league in 2023, and the lefty from Kings Park allowed just five runs (only three earned) across his 34.1 innings pitched. Opponents struggled to a minuscule .139 batting average against Colagrande while the southpaw struck out 58 batters- a number that works out to a monstrous 15.2 Ks per 9.
The Fairfield product was commonly used in a bulk innings role- nine of his 14 appearances were for two innings or longer- and was dominant in his extended part from the beginning.
After going 3.2 strong to pick up the victory in his season debut in Mohawk Valley’s first win of the summer June 3rd at Boonville, Colagrande would throw four shutout innings- allowing just one hit and two walks- to go with a season-high eight strikeouts en route to picking up his first save his next time out in Saugerties.
He would strike out six more across the final 3.2 innings of the DiamondDawgs June 15th win against Amsterdam that got him his second save of the summer, before exactly two weeks later turning in his longest outing of the season- 4.2 innings- where he allowed no hits, no runs, and just one walk, while striking out seven Stallions.
Colagrande matched his season-high eight strikeouts July 4th in his third consecutive dominant appearance against Saugerties, this time allowing just two walks in three innings for save number three. After one short outing of just two-thirds of an inning July 8th against Boonville- where he picked up the victory- Colagrande stepped into a big role in the playoff push, appearing six times in shorter stints for the DiamondDawgs in the final two weeks of the season.
After Colagrande allowed his first earned run in almost a month and a half on July 15th, he responded two days later by throwing three commanding innings with six strikeouts at Watertown. He would pick up a win, two saves, and eight more strikeouts across 5.1 innings over his next three appearances, before again matching his season-best eight strikeouts in his regular season finale, a three inning save July 27th against Boonville.
Colagrande will return to Fairfield this fall for his sophomore season coming off his award-winning summer, looking to move into a larger role for the Stags after just two outings in his freshman campaign and with many opportunities openly available for the defending MAAC regular season champions.
The PGCBL would like to congratulate Aidan Colagrande (Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs/Fairfield University) on his selection as the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year. The league will be announcing their 2023 Player of the Year on Friday before All-League Teams are announced next week.