PGCBL Sets Record - Twelve Take Home Weekly Awards

USF's Jimmy Herget (Glens Falls 2013) was the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week. Photo courtesy USF athletics

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League set a league record this week as 12 former and future PGCBL players earned weekly accolades from their respective conferences. The awards were handed out for games played between April 1 and April 7. Eight of the 12 award winners have previously played in the PGCBL and the four others have signed with teams for the upcoming 2013 season. The 12 award winners represent six different PGCBL teams – Amsterdam, Glens Falls, Mohawk Valley, Newark, Utica and Watertown. Watertown led all league teams with four players earning weekly accolades. Most impressively, two former Watertown players hit for the cycle on the same day.

America East – Player of the Week
Josh Nethaway (Amsterdam 2011-2012), UAlbany

University at Albany redshirt junior Josh Nethaway (Amsterdam 2011-2012) was instrumental in a three-game home sweep of 2012 College World Series participant Stony Brook. Nethaway, UAlbany’s starting right fielder, batted .455 (5-for-11) with four runs scored and three RBI. He recorded at least one hit and scored one run in all three UAlbany wins. Nethaway began the series with a bang on April 5 as he belted a two-run home run to cap off a four-run seventh inning that forced a 4-4 tie. The Fonda, N.Y., native then singled and scored twice in the first three innings of the second game to help Albany build up a 6-0 lead en route to a 9-6 winning decision. In the series’ finale, Nethaway was the catalyst for a decisive four-run rally in the fourth inning in a 4-3 win. He smashed an RBI single and then later came around to score. The former Mohawk currently leads the Great Danes with 30 hits and a .313 batting average.

Atlantic-10 – Rookie of the Week
Braxton Martinez (Glens Falls 2013), Saint Louis

Saint Louis University freshman Braxton Martinez (Glens Falls 2013) earned his first career conference accolade after helping the Billikens to an undefeated week away from home. Martinez is SLU’s starting third baseman and clean-up hitter. The Saint Louis, Mo., native batted .500 (8-for-16) with four runs batted in, four runs scored, two doubles, two walks and one home run. He mashed multiple hits in three of four games and recorded two multi-run and multi-RBI efforts. The SLU frosh reached base three times in a 14-4 rout of SIU Edwardsville. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored, one walk, one double and one sacrifice fly. Next, Martinez singled three times in a Friday afternoon win at Butler. His best performance came in the second game of the Butler series. The freshman went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in a 10-5 victory. Overall this season, Martinez is batting .357 with four home runs and 18 RBI. The Billikens are 23-10 and 8-1 in the Atlantic-10.

BIG EAST – Pitcher of the Week
Jimmy Herget (Glens Falls 2013), South Florida

University of South Florida freshman Jimmy Herget (Glens Falls 2013) served up a complete game shutout to blank nationally-ranked Pittsburgh, 1-0, on April 5 at USF Baseball Stadium. Herget held the Panthers to three hits, walked one and struck out four in his first career complete game. The USF freshman carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and retired 15 of the first 18 batters he faced. Pitt threatened with a runner on second in the eighth but Herget induced an inning-ending twin killing. The Tampa, Fla., native forced a second double play in the ninth. Entering the coming weekend, Herget is 3-1 overall with a 1.14 earned run average. He is USF’s Friday night conference starter. The future Golden Eagle has not been charged with an earned run in three BIG EAST appearances (21.0 innings).

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference – Player of the Week
Sal Ciccone (Watertown 2012), Fairfield

Fairfield University sophomore Sal Ciccone (Watertown 2012) turned in an all-around effort to capture his first MAAC Player of the Week award. Offensively, Ciccone batted .643 (9-for-14) with six runs scored and three runs batted in. The Fairfield sophomore had at least one hit and scored one run in four games. He recorded multiple hits in three of his four games played and scored multiple runs in a single game twice. Defensively, the Fairfield shortstop totaled eight putouts and 14 assists in 23 total chances. Ciccone began the week with eight hits in his first 10 at-bats. He banged out three hits apiece in back-to-back games to start the week against NJIT (Apr. 3) and Saint Peter’s (Apr. 5). In the Saint Peter’s game, Ciccone finished 3-for-3 with two RBI, one run scored and one sacrifice hit. He was flawless in eight defensive chances as well with three putouts and five assists. The sophomore scored twice in each of the last two games of the SPC series and concluded the three-game set with an unblemished 1.000 fielding percentage in 20 total chances.

Mid-American Conference – East Division Pitcher of the Week
Anthony Magovney (Watertown 2012-13), Buffalo

University at Buffalo sophomore Anthony Magovney (Watertown 2012-13) pitched a complete game five-hitter in a 3-1 victory over MAC East opponent Toledo on April 6 in Rochester, N.Y. Magovney scattered five hits, walked none and struck out six in a 90-pitch masterpiece. He retired the side in order three times, faced just three batters in an inning five times and overall opposed three batters over the minimum. The UB sophomore held the visiting Rockets scoreless through the first eight innings while the game was either scoreless or the Bulls led by one run. The Watertown, N.Y., native recorded his first career complete game and earned his fourth win of the season. Magovney is currently tied for first on the Bulls in victories and is second in innings pitched (50.0).

Patriot League – Player of the Week
Patrick Puentes (Watertown 2011), Holy Cross

College of the Holy Cross senior Patrick Puentes (Watertown 2011) paced the Crusaders to four victories in six overall games last week. The Holy Cross left fielder batted .455 (10-for-22) with two home runs, 11 RBI, seven runs scored, two doubles and one triple. He recorded at least one hit and scored at least one run in five of six games overall and drove in at least one run four times. The senior saved his best performance of the weekend for last in a Sunday twin bill at conference opponent Lafayette. In the opener, Puentes belted a three-run home run and logged two hits in an 11-5 victory. The night cap saw Puentes blast two home runs, drive in a career high six runs, score four runs and hit for the cycle in a 23-4 rout. He finished the Sunday twin bill 7-for-8 with three home runs, nine RBI and five runs scored. Puentes was also named the ECAC Division I Player of the Week and he earned Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week accolades for his performance.

Southland Conference – Hitter of the Week
Brad Picha (Amsterdam 2011), Lamar

Lamar University senior Brad Picha (Amsterdam 2011) batted .462 (6-for-13) with six RBI, five runs scored and three doubles in a three-game Southland series at Southeastern Louisiana. Picha tallied at least one hit and scored at least one run in all three games and logged two multi-hit, two multi-run and two multi-RBI games. The Lamar starting first baseman and clean-up swinger scored twice in the series’ opener but did his most damage during the weekend. Picha knocked in three runs on Saturday and finished the second game of the set 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. The senior was one of the top Cardinal hitters in an 18-1 rout to close the series on Sunday. He doubled twice, drove in three runs, scored twice and finished 3-for-5. Picha is currently batting .306 with 23 RBI. The Lamar Cardinals are 24-10 overall. 

Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Pitcher of the Week
Carson Beauchaine (Newark 2011), Saginaw Valley State

Saginaw Valley State University senior Carson Beauchaine (Newark 2011) pitched the Cardinals to two victories in less than a week. Beauchaine made two starts for SVSU and went 2-0 with a 0.69 earned run average in 13.0 innings pitched. He walked three, struck out 10 and allowed just seven hits in back-to-back starts. The Fraser, Mich., native twirled a two-hit shutout for seven innings and fanned six in a 4-1 win over Findlay on April 2. He limited Findlay to one hit through the first six innings and retired 10 Oilers in a row between the second and fifth frames. Beauchaine returned to the mound against Lake Erie on April 7 and fired a five-hitter for six innings in an SVSU victory. He allowed one run on five hits, walked none and struck out four. The senior seated 13 of the first 14 Lake Erie batters and opposed just five swingers over the minimum.

Peach Belt Conference – Rookie of the Week

Jordan Brooks (Utica 2013), Georgia College

Georgia College and State University freshman Jordan Brooks (Utica 2013) pitched the Bobcats to three victories last week including two over nationally-ranked Lander. Brooks, a freshman reliever, did not allow an earned run in three appearances. He finished the week 1-0 with one save and a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 innings pitched. Brooks struck out four and walked two. The GCSU rookie earned his second collegiate victory with two scoreless innings in a triumph over Toccoa Falls on April 3. Brooks pitched in a pressure-packed relief situation against Lander three days later. He seated back-to-back batters to strand two Lander runners on base in the top of the eighth inning with GCSU ahead 5-3. The next afternoon, the Macon, Ga., native closed out an 8-7 win over Lander with two innings of relief. Brooks yielded an unearned run in the eighth inning but stranded the potential tying run on base to end the threat. He retired the side in order in the ninth to convert his second collegiate save. 

Empire 8 – Pitcher of the Week

Justin D’Amato (Newark 2011), St. John Fisher

St. John Fisher College junior Justin D’Amato (Newark 2011) picked up his second Empire 8 Pitcher of the Week award for 2013. The two-time Empire 8 Pitcher of the Year struck out 11 in a complete game three-hitter to help the Cardinals best conference opponent Utica College on Apr. 7. D’Amato yielded a single score on a solo home run in the first and then blanked the Pioneers for the remainder of the seven-inning contest. He seated 21 of 26 Utica swingers and never faced more than four batters in a single frame. The former PGCBL all-star has 43 strikeouts and three complete games through six starts this spring. He is 4-0 with a 1.77 earned run average and has earned 15 victories over the last two seasons.

Little East Conference – Rookie of the Week
Sam Dexter (Mohawk Valley 2013), Southern Maine

University of Southern Maine freshman Sam Dexter (Mohawk Valley 2013) took home his first career collegiate accolade when he was named Rookie of the Week by the Little East Conference. Dexter batted .417 (10-for-24) with two home runs, five RBI, five doubles and seven runs scored as the Huskies went undefeated in six games. The USM frosh racked up three multi-hit and multi-run games. Dexter clubbed his first two collegiate home runs in back-to-back at-bats at Endicott on April 2. Two days later, he doubled twice, scored twice, drove in two runs and finished 3-for-4 in a 22-run explosion versus LEC opponent Salem State. The Oakland, Maine, native turned in his best performance against regional powerhouse Eastern Connecticut State on April 6. In the second game of a double dip, Dexter drilled three doubles, scored three times and bashed out four hits in a 14-4 rout of the Warriors. Currently, the Huskies have won 11 games in a row and Dexter is batting .345 with two home runs and 16 RBI.

NJCAA Region III – Player of the Week
Tyler Decker (Watertown 2011), Jefferson C.C.

Jefferson Community College sophomore Tyler Decker (Watertown 2011) turned in an impressive performance against NJCAA Division II powerhouse Monroe Community College to win the NJCAA Region III’s Player of the Week award. Decker, a sophomore first baseman, hit for the cycle and drove in six runs to power JCC to a 10-8 victory at MCC on April 7. In three games last week, Decker batted .417 (5-for-12) with one home run and eight RBI. This spring, Tyler is batting .411 with a team high 24 RBI for the NJCAA Division III Cannoneers.

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