Eight Diamond Dawgs Headed To Albany For PGCBL All-Star Game

PGCBL All Star Game Logo 2016 cropped

LITTLE FALLS, NY– The Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs are proud to announce that eight members of the team have been chosen to represent the Diamond Dawgs at the 2016 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game.

Blake Nation, the third year manager for the Diamond Dawgs, will be the head coach for the Eastern Division this season. Nation led the Diamond Dawgs all the way to the PGCBL Championship last season, also setting a team record for wins in a season, with 32. He is also credited with the best month in PGCBL history, going 23-7 in July 2015. So far this season, Nation has kept Mohawk Valley squarely in the middle of the playoff hunt, going 16-14, good enough for third place in the Eastern Division.

David Palmer is in his second season with the Diamond Dawgs as a member of their starting pitching rotation. The University of New Haven Charger has consistently been among the league’s best pitchers this season, currently holding a 2.33 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings pitched, earning a 2-2 record. In Week Three of the 2016 season, Palmer was named the league’s Pitcher of the Week, in which he pitched a complete game and racked up 12 strikeouts in 12 innings of work without giving up an earned run. This season for the Chargers, Palmer had a 3-3 record in eight games. He racked up 42 strikeouts while holding opposing batters to a .243 batting average in 11 appearances for the Chargers.

Tanner Leenknecht currently sits behind the plate as the Mohawk Valley starting catcher. A native of Billings, Montana, the Treasure Valley Community College Chukar is hitting .295 in 25 appearances with the Diamond Dawgs. Leenknecht has also driven in 14 runs, along with five doubles, a home run and two stolen bases. Leenknecht is also currenly fifth on the team in assists, with 22, and second on the team in putouts, with 108. This season with the Chukars, of which Diamond Dawgs assistant coach Steve Luby is a coach, Leenknecht hit .293 in 14 games. Behind the plate, Leenknecht racked up 75 putouts in 87 2/3 innings of work for Treasure Valley.

Michael Ketchmark, who currently is the Diamond Dawgs’ first baseman, sits among the league leaders in home runs, with four. The Dallas, Texas native and Dartmouth product has hit .264 thus far in the season, driving in 12 runs for Mohawk Valley. This season for the Big Green, Ketchmark hit .255, leading the team in RBIs (28), home runs (5) and at-bats (98). Ketchmark has appeared in all but four games for the Diamond Dawgs this season, and has been a leader on and off the field for the Diamond Dawgs.

Andrew Turner is also in his second season with Mohawk Valley, both times coming in as the Diamond Dawgs’ third baseman. A native of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, the Long Island University-Brooklyn Blackbird also sits among the league leaders in home runs, racking up three in 27 games with Mohawk Valley this season. Turner has also leads the team in RBIs (17) while quietly building a .267 batting average. This season with LIU-Brooklyn, Turner hit .256 with 10 doubles and 9 RBIs.

Sean Mazzio has spent most of the 2016 season in Mohawk Valley as the Diamond Dawgs’ utility infielder, playing mostly second base but also filling in around the infield as needed. In 27 games with Mohawk Valley, the West Chester, Pennsylvania native has hit .287, driving in nine runs. Currently, Mazzio holds the team lead in doubles with seven and games played with 27. Mazzio also shares the team lead in hits with fellow All-Stars Drew Arciuolo and Mac Crispino, all of them earning 27 hits apiece. This season at Wagner College, Mazzio was the only Seahawk to play in all 52 games. He hit .271 for Wagner this season, driving in 14 runs and hitting for two doubles. Mazzio was also second on the team in assists, with 109 en route to a .920 fielding percentage.

Mac Crispino is the first of three members of Mohawk Valley’s “Fairfield Four” to be named to the All-Star Game. Crispino has been one of the mainstays of Diamond Dawgs’ outfield, playing left field for most of the 2016 season. Currently, Crispino is second on the team and sixth in the league in batting average, hitting .346 in 21 games for the Diamond Dawgs. The Avon, Connecticut native is also currently tied for the team lead in hits with 27 and second on the team in RBIs, driving in 16 of them this season. During the 2016 season, in which the Stags earned their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, Crispino hit .292 while only missing one game for Fairfield. He also drove in 35 runs, good enough for third on the team. In the field for Fairfield, Crispino led all fielders by a wide margin in putouts, racking up 515, over a third of the Stags’ putouts in the 2016 season. In that time, however, he only committed two errors, setting up an almost-perfect .996 fielding percentage.

Drew Arciuolo was named as an injury replacement to the Eastern Division All-Stars on June 13, and currently plays center field for the Diamond Dawgs. Another member of Mohawk Valley’s “Fairfield Four,” the Milford, Connecticut native currently leads the team and is fourth in the league in batting average, hitting .355 and driving in nine runs for the Diamond Dawgs in 20 games this season. Arciuolo either leads the Diamond Dawgs or shares the team lead in several categories, including triples (2), hits (27) and stolen bases (9). Arciuolo was also one of the mainstays for the Stags this season en route to the NCAA Tournament, being only one of three players to appear in all 58 games. In those games, Arciuolo hit .271 for Fairfield, driving in 22 runs, led the team in triples with four and stolen bases with 19. In the field, Arciuolo only committed one error for the Stags, placing third on the team in fielding percentage, with an almost-perfect .994.

Kevin Radziewicz was also named as an injury replacement to the Eastern Division All-Stars on June 13, and currently serves as a part time catcher/part-time designated hitter for Mohawk Valley. The third member of the Diamond Dawgs’ “Fairfield Four” to head to Albany for All-Star Game festivities, Radziewicz is currently fourth on the team in batting average, batting .291 in 22 games for Mohawk Valley. Radziewicz also drove in seven runs for the Diamond Dawgs this season, along with a double and a home run. Playing for Fairfield this season, Radziewicz was third on the team in batting average, hitting .330 for the Stags, racking up 11 doubles and a home run while driving in 37 runs. Those 37 RBIs were good enough for second on the team. In the field, Radziewicz was second only to Mac Crispino in putouts, getting an impressive 282 batters out for a fielding percentage of .991, good enough for fourth on the team.

The PGCBL All-Star Game will take place at Bob Bellizzi Field, home of the Albany Dutchmen, on Wednesday, July 20. Other events before the game will include a showcase in front of scouts from Major League Baseball Teams, as well as a home run derby featuring the league’s best power hitters and an autograph session with some of the players before the game. First pitch for the All-Star Game is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

The Diamond Dawgs congratulate all eight members of the team who were named to the All-Star Game, and wish them luck in Albany next Wednesday!