By JON RATHBUN
Senior Sports Editor
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — Joe DeSarro tied the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s record for victories this summer and the former Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knight and Herkimer General has been rewarded with a share of the league’s Pitcher of the Year award.
The depth of the league pitching was reflected in DeSarro’s omission from the East Division’s roster for the PGCBL All-Star Game July 20 in Albany.
Unbeaten in six decisions as a sophomore at Herkimer College this spring and uncommitted on a destination for the fall, DeSarro was a workhorse for the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs in their defense of the PGCBL championship they won in 2015. DeSarro was on the mound for Mohawk Valley’s opening game at Veterans Memorial Park and led the league with 61 innings pitched, the second-highest total in six years since the PGCBL split from the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
DeSarro posted a 2.80 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP while limiting opponents to a .231 batting average. His 46 strikeouts were tied for fourth in the league with three other pitchers, including Mohawk Valley teammates David Palmer from the University of New Haven and Jonathan McKinney from Georgia College. He won his last seven decisions, settling for a no-decision only in a two-inning tune-up before the all-star break.
The PGCBL-leader in strikeouts early in the season, DeSarro became a more efficient pitcher as the season wore on, pitching to contact and lowering his pitch counts. He walked five batters and struck out 22 in 17 innings in his first three starts then went 30 innings without issuing a walk in his next four starts, all wins.
DeSarro started the season with a loss and a no-decision in his first two starts then won five in a row, pitching at least seven innings each time out with a nine-inning complete game June 22 against Oneonta. He never allowed more than two earned runs in his final eight starts and posted a 2.08 ERA in that stretch.
He had been 6-0 with a save and a 3.89 ERA at Herkimer, striking out 51 batters in 44 innings.
“We are so thrilled to hear that Joe is PGCBL Pitcher of the year,” DiamondDawgs owner Travis Heiser said in the league’s release. “… Joe led by example this year, setting the bar high for our other pitchers and did it with ease going 7-1 on the year.
“What makes this even sweeter is that Joe is a local kid who played high school ball down the road in Frankfort and is playing collegiate ball just a stone throws away at Herkimer. To have him suit up here in Little Falls as a DiamondDawg is important to us as we want to showcase our local talent and it’s always nice to have friends and family cheer him on. His performance this year is no surprise to us as we knew what Joe was capable of and are happy for him to get the recognition he deserves.”