Andrew Amato (University of Delaware) of the Saugerties Stallions has been named the 2023 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) Player of the Year. Amato becomes the first member of the Stallions and first player from the University of Delaware to be selected as the league’s Player of the Year.
Amato set PGCBL records with 13 home runs, a .962 slugging percentage, and 1.470 OPS this season, while also registering a .415 batting average, good for second-best in the league, and driving in 38 runs, the fourth-highest mark. His .508 on-base percentage and 28 extra-base hits were also tops in the league in 2023, and his 38 runs scored were second-most.
After Amato had a reasonably quiet month of June in the first half of the season, in which he played in just 11 of Saugerties’ 16 games, the Weston, CT native put up one of the best calendar months in league history in July, hitting .436 with 12 home runs, 34 runs batted in, 30 runs scored, eight doubles, and three triples.
Amato packed a punch in the games he did appear in during June, as he started off his summer going 6-for-18 (.333) with two doubles, a home run, and three runs batted in through the midway point of the month. He hit .388 in the back half, which included a three-hit night with a home run in the Stallions 3-2 win June 29th at Mohawk Valley.
Once the calendar turned to July, Amato wasted no time. He had four two-hit games in the first seven days, including a 2-for-3 game with a pair of doubles July 1st at Oneonta and a 2-for-4 night with a three-run home run July 5th in Amsterdam. But then he really turned it on.
In what was the league’s single greatest performance of the season, Amato went 4-for-5 with two home runs, six runs batted in, two runs, and a double July 8th in Albany. His second home run in three innings was a game-tying, seventh inning three-run bomb that allowed the Stallions to pick up the extra innings victory.
Three nights later, Amato put together his second multi-home run game in four days, blasting a pair of jacks as part of a 3-for-4 performance in a 7-2 win over Mohawk Valley that showed his other hit as a triple, three runs batted in, and three runs scored himself.
Starting July 15th, Amato rode his two massive performances in the past week to kick off a blazing end of his summer. He went 2-for-4 with three runs driven in off his seventh home run in the month of July alone in Saugerties’ 8-4 win over Glens Falls, before hitting July home runs eight and nine two nights later in the first two innings of the Stallions win over Oneonta, in which he drove in five of the six Saugerties runs. Two nights after that, he registered his third consecutive multi-hit game.
After not picking up a hit- but drawing a pair of walks- in game one of the Stallions July 20th doubleheader at Glens Falls, Amato would kick off his season-ending eight game hit streak in game two. The lefty-swinging power blasted his fourth two home run game of the month to account for his four runs driven in while adding a walk and another run. He drove in two more while scoring three times the next night in Oneonta before going 3-for-4 with three more runs, a double, a run, and four stolen bases on the 22nd against Glens Falls.
Amato would pick up hits in his final three regular season games before continuing his success in the playoffs. He would register what would turn out to be the game-winning hit, a two-run sixth inning single, of Saugerties’ first round win over Albany, before homering on the first pitch of the East Division semifinals the next night in Amsterdam in the eventual season-ending loss.
The PGCBL would like to congratulate Andrew Amato (Saugerties Stallions/University of Delaware) on his selection as the PGCBL Player of the Year. The league will be announcing their All-League teams next week.