All posts by Pilots Media Consultant

PGCBL Well Represented in MLB

 

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, in its eight seasons of play, has become one of the premiere destinations for players with professional aspirations. In addition to the dozens of players in Minor League Baseball, the PGCBL was well represented in Major League Baseball. This season, ten former PGCBL players appeared in at least one Major League game, while another eight with a connection to a PGCBL franchise logged time in the Majors.

PGCBL Alumni-
Ramon Laureano, Oakland A’s (2013 Glens Falls Golden Eagles)- A major part of Oakland’s run to the MLB postseason, the former Glens Falls Golden Eagle assumed the role of the A’s’ starting centerfielder in the final two months of the season. Laureano hit .288 and scored 27 runs for the A’s, and made one of the best defensive plays of the season early in his tenure with the club.

Mark Leiter, Jr., Toronto Blue Jays (2011-12 Amsterdam Mohawks)- Leiter made 20 appearances during the 2018 season, totalling 23.1 innings of work. After starting the season with the Philadelphia Phillies, Leiter moved to the Toronto Blue Jays in early September. In his Blue Jay debut, Leiter tossed a scoreless inning with former Amsterdam teammate Luke Maile as his catcher.

Tim Locastro, Los Angeles Dodgers (2013 Newark Pilots)- After making his Major League debut during the 2017 season, Locastro appeared in 18 games this season for the NL West Champions. The outfielder recorded his first Major League hit, a double, in a victory over the San Diego Padres on May 4. In the final month of the season, he was used as a pinch runner for the Dodgers, scoring six runs in ten appearances.

Luke Maile, Toronto Blue Jays (2010-11 Amsterdam Mohawks)- The fourth Major League season for Maile saw the catcher appear in 68 games for the Toronto Blue Jays, scoring 22 runs and driving in 27. The former Mohawk recorded the best game of his career on May 11, when he belted two home runs and went 3-for-4 in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

John Means, Baltimore Orioles (2012 Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs)- Means got the call to the Major Leagues in September, and made his MLB debut for the Orioles on September 26 at Fenway Park. The former West Virginia Mountaineer pitched 3.1 innings against the AL East champion Red Sox, and struck out four hitters in his lone appearance of the season.

Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles (2014 Utica Brewers)- The Major League career of Cedric Mullins got off to a fast start, as the outfielder became the first player in Oriole history to record three hits in his MLB debut. On August 10 against the Boston Red Sox, Mullins went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Through the first ten games of his career, the former Utica Brewer was hittting .343 with four multi-hit games.

James Norwood, Chicago Cubs (2012 Cooperstown Hawkeyes)- Norwood made his Major League debut for the Cubs on July 11, and made eleven appearances for Chicago throughout the season. The former Cooperstown Hawkeye earned two holds in Cub wins over the San Diego Padres on July 14 and 15, and finished his season with 1.2 scoreless innings and three strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 25.

Nick Pivetta, Philadelphia Phillies (2012 Glens Falls Golden Eagles)- In his second season as a Major Leaguer, Pivetta was again part of the Phillies’ starting rotation for the entire season. The 2013 fourth round pick earned seven victories and struck out 188 hitters in 164 innings, and was in the top ten in the National League in strikeouts, as well as strikeout to walk ratio.

Trey Wingenter, San Diego Padres (2013 Amsterdam Mohawks)- After being called up to the Major Leagues in early August, Wingenter made 22 appearances for the Padres in the final two months of the season. The Auburn product did not allow a hit or a run in his first three appearances, which included a scoreless inning in his MLB debut against the Milwaukee Brewers, and ended the season with a 3.79 ERA.

Jimmy Yacabonis, Baltimore Orioles (2012 Elmira Pioneers)- The former Elmira Pioneer logged time with the Orioles for the second season in a row, starting seven games and coming out of the bullpen in five more. The righthander had his best start of the season to close the campaign, throwing four scoreless innings with just one hit allowed in a victory over the Houston Astros at Camden Yards on September 30.

PGCBL Releases 2018 Schedule

On Monday, December 11, the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL), New York’s premier wooden-bat summer league, officially released the schedule for 2018, its eighth season of competition.

Play is scheduled to begin on Friday, June 1.

View Entire 2018 Schedule

This offseason, the PGCBL announced that it would be moving to a three-division alignment, introducing a Central Division that consists of the Adirondack Trail Blazers, Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, Utica Blue Sox, and the league’s newest franchise, the Watertown Rapids.

The East Division includes the Albany Dutchmen, Amsterdam Mohawks, Glens Falls Dragons, Oneonta Outlaws and Saugerties Stallions. The West is comprised of the Elmira Pioneers, Geneva Red Wings, Jamestown Jammers and Newark Pilots.

Each of the PGCBL’s 13 franchises will play 48 games in 2018 – 24 at home and 24 on the road – with the regular season ending on July 31. The postseason dates and a playoff format will be announced by the league in the near future, as will the location of the 2018 PGCBL All-Star Game that will take place on Wednesday, July 18.

Since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL has expanded its footprint across the state of New York, growing from eight to 13 franchises, many of which play in former minor league markets. In this past year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, 40 PGCBL alumni were chosen and four alums – Nick Pivetta (Glens Falls/Philadelphia), Mark Leiter, Jr. (Amsterdam/Philadelphia), Jimmy Yacabonis (Elmira/Baltimore) and Tim Locastro (Newark/Los Angeles (NL)) – made their MLB debuts during the 2017 season. PGCBL teams not only bring competitive collegiate baseball to their individual markets, but also provide much needed, affordable family fun and entertainment.

Be sure to follow the PGCBL on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to keep up with the latest news and information on the league and its teams.

About the PGCBL
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a 13-team summer collegiate baseball league in Upstate New York. Since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL – which annually draws talent from some of the best NCAA, NAIA, and junior college programs – has quickly evolved into the premier wooden-bat league in the state of New York, while becoming one of the most widely respected summer leagues in the country. The PGCBL is affiliated with Perfect Game, the nation’s largest independent amateur scouting bureau. Last year, there were more than 1,500 players in the pros who either wore the uniform of a PGCBL team or participated in a Perfect Game event. For more information, please visit www.pgcbl.com.

Sen. Mike Nozzolio Secures Funding for Colburn Park

Sen. Mike Nozzolio & Newark Pilot Derick Fera
Sen. Mike Nozzolio presents Newark Pilot Derick Fera with a special New York State Resolution congratulating him upon setting a Section V pitching record for career wins at Lyons High School in 2012.

NEWARK, N.Y. – To say that Colburn Park is a busy place for baseball games would be an understatement.

The field on East Union Street, which the village owns, is home to the Newark Pilots of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. However, team owner Bob Ohmann pointed out the Pilots played only 30 of the 120 games staged at the park in 2016.

“That’s a lot of games,” Ohmann stated.

Newark Mayor Jonathan Taylor agreed. In addition to the Pilots, Taylor noted that Newark High School plays there, and the facility plays host to numerous sectional and college games each year.

The field served as the home of the now-defunct Newark Co-Pilots of the New York-Penn League from 1968-79, and has always been a treat for high school players because of its well-maintained field and professional stadium-feel.

Ohmann credits the village for its dedication to the upkeep of the facility, which opened in 1930.

Still, improvements are always needed, Ohmann continued. And while other baseball facilities in the region have sought state funds for capital improvements, Newark never did, he said.

To read the entire article from the Finger Lakes Times, please click HERE.

PGCBL, NECU Announce Three-Year Deal

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League has reached a three-year agreement with the New England Collegiate Umpires (NECU) to provide umpires for league games, beginning in the 2017 summer season.

“We had used some NECU umpires last year and thought they did an outstanding job,” PGCBL President Jeff Kunion said.  “When we had an opportunity to lock them up for the next three years, the league jumped on the idea.”

NECU is one of the premier umpire associations in the country. They currently provide umpires for several major NCAA conferences, including the Atlantic Coast, Atlantic 10, Ohio Valley, Sunbelt and Big South, as well as the USCAA Small College World Series. The NECU also provides umpires for other NCAA-sanctioned summer collegiate leagues, and trains umpires with a variety of clinics and sessions out of their home New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass.

“We are elated to have the PGCBL under our assigning umbrella,” NECU President Rob Healey said. “When the PGCBL contacted us, there was no doubt of our excitement to have them join us for the next three seasons. We can’t wait for the summer to begin and our relationship to grow from today and the next three years.”

For more information on NECU and its programs, visit their website at www.northeastumpires.com.

About the PGCBL
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a 14-team summer collegiate baseball league in Upstate New York. Since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL – which annually draws talent from some of the best NCAA, NAIA, and junior college programs – has quickly evolved into the premier wood bat league in the state of New York, while becoming one of the most widely respected summer leagues in the country. The PGCBL is affiliated with Perfect Game, the nation’s largest independent amateur scouting bureau. Last year, there were more than 1,500 players in the pros who either wore the uniform of a PGCBL team or participated in a Perfect Game event.

Newark Pilots Name JC Calderon Head Coach

JC Calderon

NEWARK, N.Y. – Newark Pilots owner Bob Ohmann is pleased to announce the hiring of Juan Carlos “JC” Calderon as the team’s next head coach.

“We are very pleased to welcome JC to Newark as our head coach for the 2017 season,” Ohmann said. “He came to us highly recommended and has a proven background of coaching success. JC fully understands the expectations of the PGCBL and our organization, and because of that, I’m confident that he’ll be an outstanding mentor and leader for our team.”

“I am really excited to start this new journey in my baseball career,” Calderon exclaimed. “I’m honored to be a part of the Pilots family and the PGCBL. I am pretty excited to compete and bring the championship back to Newark.”

In quoting former professional tennis great Jimmy Connors, Calderon added, “I hate to lose more than I love to win. I’m going to bring that winning mentality to the Pilots.”

Calderon comes to Newark having spent the past six years as an assistant coach at the junior college and summer levels. His coaching career began in the PGCBL, first in 2011 as an assistant with the Amsterdam Mohawks, who reached the PGCBL Championship Series, and then with the Cooperstown Hawkeyes in 2012.

“I’m delighted for JC and the Newark Pilots,” Amsterdam head coach Keith Griffin said. “He’s very knowledgeable and has a great work ethic. I look forward to having him in our league once again.”

Said Calderon about his return to the PGCBL, “I’m excited to come back to where everything started. It’s a great league. The PGCBL was pretty young when I started my coaching career, but now it has more teams, which tells you how much the league has grown.”

From 2013-14, he served as an assistant with the La Crosse Loggers in the esteemed Northwoods League. His 2013 Loggers established new franchise records for hits (651) and RBIs (366) in a season, while leading the Northwoods League with 62 home runs.

Most recently, Calderon spent two summers as a hitting coach for the Terre Haute Rex in the Prospect League. Terre Haute led the league with a 43-17 overall record and 521 hits in the 2015 regular season before sweeping its way to the 2015 Prospect League Championship. His work with T.J. Collett helped the catcher from the University of Kentucky earn Baseball America’s honor as the league’s top prospect this past summer.

In his time as a summer collegiate assistant coach, Calderon has seen 41 former players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

At the junior college level, the Caracas, Venezuela, native spent three seasons as the top assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College from 2011-13, where he aided in recruiting and hitting instruction while coaching third base. During the 2014 college season, he served as the assistant head coach at the College of The Albemarle. The Dolphins recorded a .321 batting average under Calderon’s tutelage that spring.

As a student-athlete, Calderon played two seasons at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, before transferring to Oakland City University, an NCAA Division II institution in Oakland City, Indiana. With the Mighty Oaks, he compiled a career batting average of .345 and an on-base percentage of .480.

Calderon received a B.S. in Business Administration from Oakland City in 2010 before earning a master’s in education from Iowa State University in 2013. He is currently pursuing a master’s in Teaching with a concentration in Spanish at Northern Arizona University in his current residence of Flagstaff, Arizona.

In addition to bringing the PGCBL Championship back to Newark, Calderon stated that his main goals were to help the players “get better so they have better opportunities when they go back to their respective schools,” and to “teach them the right way to play the game of baseball.”

“If they listen and play the right way, I think we are going to have a successful summer,” he stated. “Like I said, I hate to lose, so I’m going to do the most that I can to win a championship.”

Bates, Reynolds Named to PGCBL Top-25 Prospect List

Bates_Reynolds
Solomon Bates (USC) & Luke Reynolds (Southern Miss.) named to PGCBL Top-25 Prospects List.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Perfect Game USA named two members of the 2016 Newark Pilots to its annual list of the top prospects in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, as announced by the organization on Friday.

Right-handed pitcher Solomon Bates and third baseman Luke Reynolds were named the PGCBL’s fifth- and 13th-best professional prospects, respectively.

A rising sophomore for the Trojans of the University of Southern California, Bates was crowned the league’s No. 5-ranked prospect. The hard-throwing righty accumulated a 3.98 ERA in five outings on the mound. After joining the team midway through the summer season, the Victorville, Calif., native made four starts and hurled 20.1 innings with 16 strikeouts. He earned his only victory of the summer with 6.0 innings and seven strikeouts, both season highs, in a 3-1 win over the Utica Blue Sox on July 19.

Reynolds was a mainstay in the Newark lineup throughout the month of June, but had to return home to attend summer classes and was forced to miss the second half of the season. The Forest, Miss., native displayed tremendous pop in his bat, as he finished tied for the team lead in home runs (3) despite appearing in only 21 games.  Reynolds registered 17 hits, 13 runs scored and 12 RBIs in 69 at-bats. Additionally, he showed outstanding patience at the plate, recording more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) and a .373 on-base percentage. After attending Mississippi State University over the past two years, Reynolds, a redshirt junior, is transferring and will attend Southern Mississippi this fall.

Season tickets for the 2017 PGCBL season at historic Colburn Park are on sale now. For more information, please contact team president Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or newarkpilots@gmail.com. Fans can also like the Newark Pilots on Facebook, and follow @NewarkPilots on Twitter and Instagram for the latest team news.

A Pair Of Pilots Picked For 2016 All-PGCBL Teams

Cullen, Fragale All-PGCBL
Same Fragale (left) & Greg Cullen (right) were honored as All-PGCBL Second Teamers.

2016 All-PGCBL Teams

Newark, N.Y. – The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) honored two members of the Newark Pilots on Monday, as shortstop Greg Cullen and third baseman Sam Fragale were named to the 2016 All-PGCBL Second Team.

It marks the second time this season that Cullen and Fragale have been awarded for their efforts on the field, as both Pilots were also selected to represent the West Division in the 2016 PGCBL All-Star Game.

Cullen, a local product from nearby Penfield, N.Y., had his tremendous summer campaign cut short due to injury. In his time in the lineup, however, the rising sophomore from Niagara University was a major run producer. He led all 2016 Pilots with a .359 batting average and a .431 on-base percentage, while scoring 17 runs in just 18 games. Cullen’s 10-game hit streak from June 16 to July 3 was the third-longest registered by a Pilot this season, and he was one of just two players to post a team-high four hits in a game in 2016.

Coming off of a redshirt-sophomore season where he led Virginia Tech in home runs, Fragale’s powerful bat energized the Newark nine when he joined the club midway through the regular season. The Pittsburgh, Pa., product had a hit in 19 of his 21 starts en route to a .341 batting average, tied for the second-highest on the team. He pieced together an impressive 13-game hit streak from July 3-19, the longest of any Pilot this season. Fragale raked opposing pitchers for 28 hits, including five doubles and one homer, to go along with 12 RBIs and nine runs scored. He was also reliable in the hot corner with a .975 fielding percentage.

The All-Star and All-League duo played a critical role in Newark’s 29-21 campaign, helping the Pilots qualify for postseason for the fifth time in their six seasons of PGCBL competition. Additionally, the 29 wins they helped accumulate mark a new franchise single-season record.

Season tickets for the 2017 PGCBL season at historic Colburn Park are on sale now. For more information, please contact General Manager Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or newarkpilots@gmail.com. Fans can also like the Newark Pilots on Facebook, and follow @NewarkPilots on Twitter and Instagram for the latest team news.

 

Pilots Take Care of Utica in Regular Season Finale

The Newark Pilots (29-21) finished the regular season on a high note with a 9-5 victory over the Utica Blue Sox on Sunday night at Colburn Park. With the victory the Pilots split the season series with Utica 2-2.

Utica scratched across a run with a sacrifice fly from Taylor Olmstead (Southern New Hampshire) in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. However, it would be all Pilots after that point, as they put four runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Julian Gallup (Niagara) knotted the score with an RBI single. Bo-Hao Huang (Fu Jen Catholic) would follow with a two-run double to give Newark a 3-1 lead and Chase Cockrell (Ole Miss) would drive the fourth run in with an RBI triple, his second against Utica on the season.

The Pilots would add on in the second with an RBI groundout from Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech) and then Gallup would score on wild pitch later in the inning to make it 6-1. Jordan Swiss would add an RBI groundout in the third to make it 7-1.

Sam Harrington (Itawamba C.C.) made his final start of the regular season and pitched well enough to earn his third win. Harrington wasn’t overpowering with only one strikeout, but he took advantage of the spacious Colburn Park, inducing 11 flyball outs over six innings of two-run ball.

“It was huge,” Harrington said of the win. “It gave us momentum going into the playoffs, which we really needed going in to Elmira tomorrow.”

In the seventh, Gallup would triple and then come around to score on a wild pitch to make it 8-2. Gallup reached four times to extend his on-base streak to 14 games and also scored three runs in the victory.

“I was telling [Coach Edmondson] today, ‘I love how we’re playing right now’,” Gallup said after the win. “I love the vibes, the pitching and how we’re handling ourselves. In all honesty I don’t feel like we’re going to go home tomorrow.”

Utica mounted a small comeback attempt in the ninth with a three-run triple from Olmstead, but Max Ludka (Saginaw Valley State) closed the door with a three-inning save, his third of the year.

“We’re on a little bit of a roll right now,” Asst. coach Cooper Belyea said of the second consecutive win against a playoff team. There’s just a one-game series in the playoffs so hopefully we keep it going. You don’t want to play the Pilots in August.”

The Pilots will begin postseason play with a one-game playoff against the No. 1 seed Elmira Pioneers on Monday at Dunn Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and a broadcast of the game can be heard here.