Former Pilot All-Star Begins Next Phase of Baseball Career

D'Amato (Photo courtesy: Newark Pilots/Steve Plopper)

NEWARK, N.Y. – Former Newark Pilot and two-time Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) All-Star Justin D’Amato has begun the next phase of his baseball career.

D’Amato, a standout pitcher during his four years at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., has been named an assistant pitching coach at Finger Lakes Community College and the greater Rochester area regional director for Prep Baseball Report.

According to D’Amato, who had hopes of playing professionally after graduation, accepting his first coaching job was bittersweet.

“I definitely miss playing but coaching keeps me in the game,” he said. “Sharing my knowledge with the players and relating to them is why I enjoy it.”

Prep Baseball Report, or PBR, is an independent scouting service. According to its website, PBR’s mission is to “promote high school baseball and, ultimately, help prep athletes achieve their dreams of playing baseball at the next level.” As a regional director, D’Amato helps organize various combines, clinics, showcases and tournaments throughout the greater Rochester area.

The Pilots will host a portion of PBR’s New York Games at Colburn Park in July of 2015.

“I wanted to get back into high school baseball for a couple of reasons,” D’Amato said. “It helps me for recruiting at FLCC and because I never had anything like this to help me when I was in high school. It allows me to give back to Rochester area players by getting them noticed.”

The southpaw hurler graduated as one of the best pitchers in NCAA Division III history. His 36 wins are tied for the ninth most all-time in and his 329 strikeouts allowed him to pass seven-time MLB All-Star Billy Wagner for 19th all-time. D’Amato earned All-American honors three times, American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-American Second Team honors in 2012, and was named to the 2013 Preseason All-America First Team. He is the all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched (276.2), ERA (2.11) and games started (46) at St. John Fisher.

D’Amato was named a PGCBL All-Star in both of his seasons in Newark (2011, 2013). In 2011, he finished fourth in the league in strikeouts (52) and was named to the All-PGCBL Second Team and Rising Stars Team while helping the Pilots secure the inaugural league championship. He went 4-3 with a 2.74 ERA in two seasons and is the franchise’s all-time leader in strikeouts (85), innings pitched (75.2) and starts (12). He went 1-0 in the postseason with 15 strikeouts in 8.2 innings and earned the save in Game 3 of the 2011 PGCBL Championship Series.

“Playing in Newark allowed me to elevate my game by playing against Division I players and in my first year I developed a changeup that I was able to use when I got back to St. John Fisher that fall,” D’Amato said. “I tell a lot of people that particular summer in Newark was one of the best baseball summers of my life, if not the best. Winning the championship was one of the greatest baseball accomplishments I’ve ever had because it was the first true championship I’d ever been a part of.”

The Newark Pilots begin their fifth season of play at Colburn Park in June of 2015. For more information and to purchase season tickets for the 2015 season, contact Pilots president Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or visit Fans can like the Pilots on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter @NewarkPilots for the latest information. 

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