The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) has released the first of its year-end awards for the 2017 season and is pleased to announce that Jamestown Jammers head coach Anthony Barone was voted the Coach of the Year by his peers.
Barone, who has been at the helm of Jamestown in its three years as a summer collegiate team, helped the Jammers reach new heights this summer. The team won a franchise-record 34 games in 2017 and finished as the No. 1 seed in the West Division with a 34-15 overall record. After solidifying the top seed in the regular season, the Jammers swept their way to the PGCBL Championship Series, their first-ever title appearance, where they pushed Mohawk Valley to the brink in the best-of-three series.
"Coach Barone did an outstanding job leading his team to the West Division Championship,” said PGCBL President Jeff Kunion. “He really works hard at developing his players and has a great rapport with his young men; just look at how many returned this year to Jamestown. He truly exemplifies what the PGCBL wants in its coaches."
“I couldn't be happier for Anthony,” exclaimed Dan Kuenzi, President of ROC Ventures, the organization that owns and operates the Jamestown Jammers. “He guided the Jammers to the final game of the championship series in just our second season in the PGCBL. A good percentage of our guys were on the Jamestown roster last summer as well and it is a testament to how much these kids love playing for him.”
Under Barone’s tutelage, the Jammers ended the summer ranked near the top of most statistical categories, and boasted the league’s lowest team ERA (3.29) and best fielding percentage (.964). At the plate, Jamestown was second out of the 13-team league in on-base percentage (.407), and third in batting average (.286), runs scored (343) and hits (471). Perhaps most impressive, the Jammers were the only team in the PGCBL to register more walks (312) than strikeouts (310).
A multitude of Jamestown players also achieved success on an individual level with Barone’s guidance. Christ Conley (Canisius) led all qualified batters with a .610 slugging percentage and a .582 on-base percentage, while finishing second with a .382 batting average, and Ben Brookover (UTSA) and Skyler Valentine (UTSA) ranked first and third in hits with 64 and 58, respectively. On the mound, southpaw starter David Lyskawa (Niagara County C.C.) finished second in the league with 53 strikeouts in just 38.0 innings of work.
As a result, Jamestown sent more players to the 2017 PGCBL All-Star Game than any other team in the league with nine representatives.
“I want to thank the players and assistant coach Hayden Carter for a tremendous season, and ROC Ventures owner Mike Zimmerman and President Dan Kuenzi for their tremendous support,” Barone said. “I wish we could have brought back the championship, but it was overall an excellent season. We were ranked as high as No. 4 in the country, won the West Division regular-season title, and won the West in the postseason as well."
“It is a great honor to win this award, as there are some outstanding coaches in the PGCBL," he added.
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