When the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs hit thee road to open the 2012 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season Wednesday, they will take with them many names already known to area baseball fans.
Two DiamondDawgs have returned for a second time around in Little Falls and the newcomers count among them a handful players whose scholastic or collegiate careers have taken them across Herkimer County’s diamonds at some point.
While Bryant University pitcher Joe Michaud and Herkimer County Community College center fielder Hassan Evans have suited up for the DiamondDawgs in the past, neither will likely be the face most familiar to the hometown crowd. Evan Davis, a 2011 Little Falls High School graduate, returns home to the familiar footing of the Veterans Memorial Park mound following his freshman year at Division I Marist College. Davis made 16 appearances this spring and started one game for the Red Foxes. He finished 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA, allowing 18 hits and 16 walks in 20 2/3 innings while striking out 11 batters.
Michaud returns to Little Falls two years after pitching for the DiamondDawgs during their final season in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. he went 8-4 in 13 starts as a junior this spring, posting a 3.73 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 33 walks in 70 innings.
Evans was one of Herkimer’s five Mountain Valley Conference all-stars this spring and two of the others will join him in Little Falls. The Delaware State-bound outfielder hit .389 with 34 runs batted in for the Generals who spent most of the season ranked among the NJCAA’s top 10 Division III teams.
Infielder Tyler Hall and catcher Luke Nethaway, previously teammates with Fonda-Fultonville High School and St. Johnsville’s Morris J. Edwards Post 168 American Legion squad, joined Evans among Herkimer’s all-MVC honorees. Hall, heading to SUNY-Cortland in the fall, batted .376 with 37 runs batted in. Nethaway, a freshman who transferred from Division II Mount Olive College, hit .347 and drove in 33 runs as the Generals’ cleanup hitter.
A fourth General had been scheduled to be a third returning DiamondDawg but pitcher Willie Gabay instead has accepted an offer to pitch for the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League.
Elsewhere on the roster, the DiamondDawgs feature former Section III high school stars Tyler Heck, Mike Gaglianese and Joe Carcone and Section II product Aaron Casper. Oriskany’s Gaglianese, a graduate of Utica’s Notre Dame High School, just completed his freshman season at Purdue where the Boilermakers earned a top seed and hosted regional play in the NCAA tournament. Clinton’s Heck and New Hartford’s Carcone are infielders at Union and Bryant, respectively. casper, a Western Athletic Conference standout at Duanesburg, spent his freshman year at Canisius.
The DiamondDawgs’ season opens Wednesday in Glens Falls. Following a day off, their home opener is Friday against the Watertown Wizards. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Friday and the contest will be followed by fireworks.
Page 2 of 2 - Compiled From Times Staff Reports