SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Keegan Long’s impressive summer mound performance has earned the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawg a spot on the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s Rising Stars Team.
The 30-player squad recognizes PGCBL players who have completed no more than their sophomore year of college and have two to four years of remaining NCAA eligibility.
Twenty-two of the 30 players honored this year played for Albany, Amsterdam, Elmira and Watertown, the league’s playoff Final Four. Long was the lone DiamondDawg picked for the squad as Mohawk Valley, Newark and Utica were the only team’s with a single selection.
Long, who will be a sophomore this fall at Indiana’s Division II St. Joseph’s College, ranked third in the PGCBL with 51 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings and fourth with a 2.78 ERA. He also led the DiamondDawgs with four victories among his five decisions — he won four consecutive starts in one stretch — and a .234 opponent batting average.
The high point of Long’s summer season came June 20 when the Edon, Ohio, native earned his first win in a 2-0 victory over the Utica Brewers in the second game of a doubleheader at Veterans Memorial Park. Brewer Eric Brothers pitched the second no-hitter in the brief history of the third-year league but Long countered six scoreless innings of one-hit ball that included nine strikeouts. Tyler Bray struck out the side in the top of the seventh to save the victory for the DiamondDawgs and Long wound up sharing the league’s Pitcher of the Week award with Brothers.
Albany was represented on the team by a league-high 10 players, including Coastal Carolina’s Zach Remillard, a Cohoes native who starred at Troy’s La Salle Academy in Section II, who became the first two-time honoree.
Amsterdam and placed six players on the team, Watertown five and Elmira and Adirondack each had three selections.
The DiamondDawgs placed three players on the 2011 Rising Stars Team and three more in 2012. University of Arkansas-bound Michael Gunn was picked in 2011 along with pitchers Tyler Kane from the University of Washington and Alex Lester from the University of Kentucky. Pitchers John Means, who transferred from Fort Scott Community College to the University of West Virginia, Aaron Casper from Duanesburg and Canisius College and Taylor Wright from Brown University were chosen last year.