SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League has selected Cooperstown Hawkeye Eann Cox as its 2013 Pitcher of the Year.
Cox, who is transferring from Black Hawk College, a Division II NJCAA school in Moline, Ill., to Division II Lewis University for the 2014 season, led the PGCBL with 64 strikeouts and tied for first with six victories. He made eight starts and one relief appearance during the summer and compiled a 6-0 record with a 2.11 ERA that ranked second in the league.
Cox accounted for one-third of Cooperstown’s 18 victories. He walked 19 batters and allowed just five extra-base hits in 55 1/3 innings innings. He averaged 10.41 strikeouts per nine innings and compiled three double-digit strikeout performances. Among qualifying pitchers, Cox held opponents to the lowest batting average (.204) league and right-handed batters logged just 22 hits and a .153 batting average against him. He allowed one earned run on three hits in seven innings in a 10-3 Cooperstown victory over the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs in Little Falls June 18; the win was his third in the Hawkeyes’ first eight games and the only victory for his team against the DiamondDawgs during the season.
The Erie, Ill., native pitched at least six innings in six of his eight starts and he averaged 6.15 innings per appearance. He threw at least nine innings twice and logged two complete games, one in a seven-inning contest. Cox struck out at least five batters in six of his starts and posted no fewer than four strikeouts in a single start. Three of his wins came at home at hitter-friendly Doubleday Field and three came on the road against Mohawk Valley, Glens Falls and PGCBL champion Adirondack.
A two-time All-Arrowhead Conference selection, Cox won his first four starts of the summer. He was Cooperstown’s opening day starter against Utica June 5 at Doubleday Field and threw the first pitch of the 2013 PGCBL season. Cox held Utica to one run over five innings and struck out five in a victorious season debut.
He returned to the Doubleday Field mound one week later against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles and struck out 10 batters over seven innings in a 6-3 win. Cox held the Eagles to two runs on five hits. He retired 11 of the final 13 men he faced. His next start was the win in Little Falls.
Cox’s most impressive performance came in the first four innings of a suspended June 30 game against the Albany Dutchmen. He struck out eight batters in a row between the first and fourth innings and totaled nine strikeouts before a passing rain shower stopped play in the bottom of the fourth. Play resumed on July 19 and Cox retired 14 of Albany’s final 19 batters, five via strikeout, to finish off a 14-strikeout performance which statistically counted as a complete game effort. Overall, he yielded two runs, one earned, on six hits.
Page 2 of 2 - The former Illinois all-state selection posted his best single-day performance against Newark July 6 at Doubleday Field. Cox struck out 12 Pilots through nine innings and allowed one unearned run on four hits in a no decision.
Previous PGCBL pitchers of the year were Newark’s Dominick Ruscitti in 2011 and Amsterdam’s Chandler Shepherd last summer