Front: Amsterdam's Ed Charlton celebrates a home run earlier this season at Shuttleworth Park. Above: Ed Charlton after hitting one of Amsterdam's five home runs in a win at Cooperstown. Photos courtesy Amsterdam Mohawks/Jon Sargelis
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce the winners of the final Player and Pitcher of the Week awards for the 2013 season. The awards were chosen based on statistics accrued in regularly-scheduled games played between July 22 and July 28.
Josh Gardiner (Radford) and Ed Charlton (NJIT) of the Amsterdam Mohawks were chosen as the co-Players of the Week. The duo helped slug Amsterdam to the top of the standings in the PGCBL East. Amsterdam’s Rich Vrana (Marist) and Cooperstown’s Colton Kibler (Garden City C.C.) were named co-Pitchers of the Week. Both were nearly unhittable in wins for the Mohawks and Hawkeyes respectively.
Josh Gardiner (Radford) is the starting second baseman for the first-place Amsterdam Mohawks. Gardiner’s red-hot bat helped power the Mohawks to an undefeated week. He batted .667 (12-for-18) over five games for the Tribe with nine runs scored, seven RBI, three doubles, three stolen bases and a home run. The rising junior from Radford amassed a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .739 on-base percentage. Gardiner recorded at least one hit and scored one run in all five of Amsterdam’s regularly-scheduled games. He had four multi-hit, two multi-run and two multi-RBI games. The Culpepper, Va., native is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. Over his last eight games, Josh has posted a .679 batting average, 19 hits, 16 runs, 13 RBI and five doubles. His current hit streak coincides with Amsterdam’s eight-game winning streak.
Gardiner began last week with his second-straight four-RBI performance. He went 4-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored in a come-from-behind win over Albany on Monday night at Shuttleworth Park. His three-run home run in the fourth inning capped off an Amsterdam comeback from down 7-0 and tied the game, 9-9. The day after the All-Star Game, Josh smashed three hits against the Elmira Pioneers and scored three runs in a 10-1 victory. He registered his sixth-straight multi-hit game at home on Friday night in a regularly-scheduled contest with the Utica Brewers. His two-run single in the first inning propelled Amsterdam on to a 5-0 win. He finished with two hits and one run scored. Saturday night, Gardiner helped the Mohawks to a doubleheader sweep of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles at East Field. He singled twice in the opener and scored one run and then extended his hitting streak to eight games with a double and a run scored in the night cap.
Ed Charlton (NJIT), a 2012 first team All-PGCBL outfielder, is the starting center fielder for the Amsterdam Mohawks. He is in his second PGCBL season with Amsterdam. The rising junior outfielder from NJIT helped the Mohawks to an undefeated week. Charlton batted .500 (9-for-18) with two home runs, 10 RBI, seven runs scored, two doubles and two stolen bases in five games. He led all PGCBL batters with a 1.059 slugging percentage. He had at least one hit in four of Amsterdam’s five regularly-scheduled games and put together three multi-RBI and two multi-run games. Charlton’s two home runs pushed him into sole possession of first place on the PGCBL’s all-time home run list. In two PGCBL seasons, the NJIT product has slammed 13 home runs.
The Egg Harbor Township, N.J., native drove in two Amsterdam runs last Monday night in a comeback win over Albany without recording a hit. He notched an RBI ground out in the third inning and then broke a 9-9 tie in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to center field. One night after the PGCBL All-Star Game, the Amsterdam slugger belted a three-run home run in a 10-1 win at Elmira. Friday, Charlton helped the Mohawks win both ends of a non-traditional doubleheader against Utica. In the opening game, which didn’t count towards his weekly stats, Charlton went 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored. His bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning forced a 2-2 tie and sparked the Tribe on a go-ahead five-run surge. In the regularly-scheduled night cap, the 2012 PGCBL all-star doubled, tripled, scored twice and socked three total hits in a 5-0 win. The rising junior from NJIT posted his best offensive performance of the season on Saturday night against Glens Falls. In the second game of a doubleheader, Charlton went 4-for-5 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored. He recorded all four of his RBI in a 12-run sixth inning. Charlton swatted an RBI single in his first at-bat and then bashed a three-run home run later in the inning.
Rich Vrana (Marist) is a part-time starting pitcher for the first-place Amsterdam Mohawks. Vrana pitched the Mohawks to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Utica Brewers on Friday night at Shuttleworth Park in front of a Fireworks Night crowd of 1,487. The southpaw from Lindenhurst, N.Y., was nearly perfect through six shutout innings. Vrana retired 17 of the 19 batters he faced and conceded just two singles. He walked none and struck out six. The rising junior seated the first nine Utica batters of the game. Vrana yielded Utica’s only two base runners in the fourth inning on a K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) double and a Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) single. Following Pierson’s single, Vrana used a pick-off move to erase Pierson from the bases and then retired seven men in a row to end his appearance. Heading into the final three days of the regular season, Vrana is tied for the league lead in wins. He is 6-0 with a 1.34 earned run average and 32 strikeouts in 13 appearances. Four of his six victories have come over the last two weeks.
Colton Kibler (Garden City C.C.) is a relief pitcher and spot starter for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. Saturday evening, Kibler started for the Hawkeyes against the Adirondack Trail Blazers at the hitter-friendly Smith Sports Complex in the second game of a doubleheader. The Trail Blazers entered the day averaging 6.4 runs per game at home. The Arkansas State-bound twirler tossed a complete game two-hit shutout in a 6-0 Cooperstown triumph. Kibler struck out a season-high nine and conceded two singles. He walked one and the Hawkeyes allowed two other base runners on fielding errors. The Jonesboro, Ark., native mowed through nine of Adirondack’s first 10 batters before allowing a two-out single in the third. After conceding Adirondack’s second hit of the game in the fourth inning, Kibler induced a line-out double play and he went on to seat 10 of Adirondack’s final 11 batters. The honorable mention All-Jayhawk West selection recorded 19 of his 21 outs via strikeout (nine) and fly out (10). Kibler leads all Hawkeye hurlers with a 0.65 earned run average through 13 appearances.