Freshmen Justin D’Amato and Luke Swenson recognized by league
Two of the Newark Pilots top young players were named to the 2011 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Rising Stars Team. Pitcher Justin D’Amato and outfielder Luke Swenson were selected to the “all-star” team made up of college freshmen, redshirt freshmen and high school seniors.
D’Amato was one of the league’s top strikeout throwers all summer. The southpaw from St. John Fisher College was fourth in the league with 52 strikeouts in 42.2 innings. The Canandaigua, N.Y. native finished the regular season 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA. D’Amato earned the win in Game 2 of the West Division Championship Series against the Cooperstown Hawkeyes while fanning eight. Then in Game 3 of the PGCBL Championship Series against Amsterdam, he struck out six of the nine batters he faced in three scoreless relief innings.
Swenson finished as one of Newark’s top batters and was the regular lead-off batter throughout the second half of the season. The University of California, Santa Barbara outfielder was third on the team with a .325 batting average. He led Newark with 19 multi-hit games and a .411 on-base percentage, and was second with 33 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. Showing some patience at the plate, he also led the Pilots with 19 walks. In Game 2 of the PGCBL Championship Series, Swenson hit a key two-run single as the Pilots went on to win 4-3.
For the full 2011 PGCBL Rising Stars Team roster, visit www.pgcbl.com.