PGCBL Player and Pitcher of the Week, Week 1

PGCBL Pitcher of the Week (Week 1) Will Spitzfaden (SE Missouri State) pitches on Opening Night for Newark at Colburn Park. Photo courtesy Steve Plopper/Newark Pilots

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce its first weekly award winners of the 2013 season. The awards are based on statistics accrued in games played between June 5 and June 16.

Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) of the Utica Brewers has been selected as the PGCBL's Player of the Week. The Brewers are in their first season playing in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and Pierson is the first Brewer to earn league recognition. Will Spitzfaden (Southeast Missouri State) of the Newark Pilots was chosen as the PGCBL’s Pitcher of the Week. Spitzfaden is the fourth Newark pitcher in the last three seasons to be honored by the league office.

Michael Pierson is the starting second baseman and second-slot hitter for the Utica Brewers. Heading into the second full week of the season, Pierson leads the PGCBL in overall hits (19) and RBI (13). The Coral Springs, Fla., native batted .500 (19-for-38) with 13 RBI and seven runs scored in Utica’s first eight league games.   He amassed a 1.092 OPS rating with a .579 slugging percentage and a .513 on-base percentage. The rising junior from App. State had at least one hit in all eight games and recorded five multi-hit and three multi-RBI performances. Pierson has also driven in at least one run in seven of eight games. In addition, he struck out just three times in 39 plate appearances. Defensively, Pierson had 48 chances at second base for the Brewers and committed just one error.

Pierson debuted with a splash against the Cooperstown Hawkeyes at Doubleday Field on June 5. In Utica’s first-ever PGCBL game, Pierson went 4-for-5 with one double and one RBI. In the field, he was flawless in eight chances with one putout and seven assists. Three days later, Pierson dinged his second double, drove in three runs and finished with two hits in Utica’s home opener against Glens Falls. The 21-year-old turned in his top performance in a wild 18-15 score-fest against the Adirondack Trail Blazers on June 12. Pierson went 4-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored. He posted two of his four hits in a nine-run first and crossed the plate twice before the third out was recorded. This past Friday, Pierson scored two runs, drove in one and smacked out three singles in an 8-5 victory over Newark. Sunday night, the slick-hitting second baseman capped off the week with a 3-for-4, two-RBI performance in a 6-0 win versus Adirondack.

Will Spitzfaden
was a conference starter during the spring at Southeast Missouri State. He paced the Ohio Valley Conference’s Redhawks in victories (five), starts (16) and innings pitched (96.2). At the end of the first full week of the PGCBL regular season, Spitzfaden leads all Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League pitchers with 16.0 innings pitched. The rising junior logged eight innings apiece in each of his first two starts against the Elmira Pioneers and Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Spitzfaden went 1-0 with a 1.12 earned run average. He held the Pioneers and DiamondDawgs to three runs, two earned, on 10 hits, walked one and struck out five. Spitzfaden limited opponents to a .179 batting average and he amassed a 0.6875 WHIP.

The St. Louis, Mo., native was Newark’s starter on Opening Night against the Elmira Pioneers. Spitzfaden spun eight strong innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits. He struck out two and induced 12 ground outs. The 19-year-old southpaw limited the Pios to one hit over the first four frames and faced four batters over the minimum. He returned to the mound one week later on the road against a Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs team that had outscored opponents 14-3 in its previous three games, all wins. The Southeast Missouri State product conceded just one run on six hits over eight innings, walked one and struck out three in a 2-1 victory. He preserved a one run Newark lead by shutting out Mohawk Valley over his final five frames. Spitzfaden faced five batters over the minimum and just once saw more than four batters in a single frame.

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