In this week's edition of the PGCBL Alumni Spotlight, players from professional, Division I, Division II, and Division III programs put up record-setting numbers as teams continue their marches towards postseason success.
Rollie Lacy, Chicago Cubs organization (Adirondack 2014)- Lacy has gotten off to an excellent start in his second professional season, becoming one of the top relief pitchers for the South Bend Cubs of the Midwest League. In two appearances last week, Lacy worked 7.1 innings with only one hit and one run allowed. The righthander has pitched 14.1 innings on the season, and has struck out 16 hitters with only five hits surrendered. He boasts a 1.26 ERA, and has held opposing hitters to a .109 batting average against.
Joe Gunkel, Miami Marlins organization (Oneonta 2011)- The former West Chester Golden Ram and Oneonta Outlaw posted a stellar start for the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes on Thursday, tossing five shutout innings against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Gunkel struck out eight hitters, and allowed only two hits. In four appearances this season, Gunkel has posted a 1.13 ERA, allowing only two earned runs in 16 innings of work. He has not allowed an earned run in his last ten innings on the mound.
Griffin Roberts, Wake Forest (Amsterdam 2016)- Despite taking a no decision in Wake Forest's 7-5 loss to Clemson on Friday, Roberts became one of only two pitchers in the nation with 100 strikeouts on the season. In seven innings against the Tigers, Roberts struck out ten hitters to give him an even 100 on the campaign. On the season, the junior is 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA. Before the start of the weekend series, Roberts was named to the National Pitcher of the Year Award watch list by the College Baseball Foundation.
John Valente, St. John's (Amsterdam 2017)- St. John's won their 12th consecutive game this weekend, propelling the Red Storm to a 9-0 record in Big East play. Valente has been the offensive leader for the Storm, hitting .386 with 28 runs batted in. The leadoff hitter hit safely in each game of St. John's' sweep of Georgetown, including three hits in the series finale. The former Mohawk ranks among the hardest players in the nation to strike out, having been set down on strikes just six times in 145 at bats.
Jordan Bishop, Siena (Elmira 2015)- Bishop became the 14th Siena baseball player to amass 200 hits in a career on Saturday, amassing three hits in a Saint split with defending conference champion Fairfield. The senior helped Siena to a series victory over the Stags, which moved the team back above .500 in conference play. Bishop is currently third on the Siena roster with nine extra-base hits, and has driven in 13 runs.
Randy Norris, Winston-Salem State (Jamestown 2018)- An incoming member of the Jammers' roster, Norris has been the unquestioned offensive leader at Division II Winston-Salem State. Norris came into the weekend third in the nation in batting average, posting .449 mark this season. In a weekend series against North Georgia this past weekend, Norris hit .500 with six hits, including two home runs. He is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, and has recorded at least two hits in seven consecutive games.
Chase Allen, Limestone (Albany 2017)- Allen, who became Limestone's all-time home run king this month, added to his homer total on Friday against Mount Olive, belting his 23rd home run of the season to tie the single-season school record set over two decades ago. Entering the weekend, Allen ranked second in the nation in home runs and third in the nation in runs batted in. Through 47 games, Allen has driven in 59 runs for the Saints, and has posted a .326 batting average with 30 extra-base hits.
Mikey Arman, Kenyon (Geneva 2017)- At the Division III level, Arman has been one of the best hitters in the nation. The outfielder has posted a .442 batting average with 20 runs scored and 15 extra-base hits (nine doubles, three triples, and three home runs), all team-highs. He is also one of only three Kenyon players to start every game. The former Red Wing had multiple hits in six consecutive games before Sunday, and has reached base in seven straight games. Arman's .442 batting average is good for third in the North Coast Athletic Conference.
James Varela, LIU Post (Glens Falls 2017-18)- Varela continued his nearly perfect season with his ninth straight win on Friday against Mercy College. The returning Glens Falls Dragon struck out six hitters over six innings, and moved his record to 9-0 on the season. LIU Post has not lost with Varela on the mound since February 16, in a game where he was not involved in the decision. Varela is currently in the top ten in the nation at the Division II level in both wins and complete games.
Ryan Altenberger, Xavier (Saugerties 2017-18)- The returning Stallion infielder recorded five hits in a conference series against Creighton, and led the Muskateers to a victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday. Altenberger went 3-for-3 in the series finale, scoring three runs and driving in another in a 12-8 win. On the season, Altenberger leads Xavier with 13 doubles, and has played in every game in his first season on campus.
If you know of a great performance by a former or future PGCBL player in college or professional baseball, please let us know! To see your favorite PGCBL player spotlighted on PGCBL.com, tweet us @PGCBLBaseball.
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