Mohawks’ Smith earns PGCBL honors

Dylan Smith

During each week of the 2019 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season, the league office will recognize one position player and one pitcher as the League’s Player and Pitcher of the Week. The final weekly awards are given to two players from the East Division who had their best performances of the season.

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce the selection of Oneonta’s Ben Bianco (Louisville) as the PGCBL Player of the Week, and Amsterdam’s Dylan Smith (Alabama) as the PGCBL Pitcher of the Week.

Smith pitched twice on the week for the Amsterdam Mohawks, totaling seven innings against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs and the Saugerties Stallions. On July 24, the Stafford, Texas native worked five shutout innings with nine strikeouts against Saugerties, leading Amsterdam to an 8-0 victory. He then came out of the bullpen on Saturday against Mohawk Valley, striking out three of the seven hitters he faced in a 13-2 victory. With the two victories by the Mohawks, Amsterdam’s record when Smith appears on the mound is now 12-0.

In his first season with the Crimson Tide, Smith was a valued asset out of the bullpen, making 13 appearances for a total of 16.2 innings. Five of those 13 appearances came against SEC opponents. The freshman struck out 12 hitters for Alabama, and posted a 1.64 ERA in non-conference action.

Oneonta is honored in the weekly awards for the first time since 2017, when Jake Hershman (Wofford) was named Pitcher of the Week. Bianco is Oneonta’s first Player of the Week since 2012, when former Baylor outfielder Logan Brown was recognized. Smith is the fourth Amsterdam Mohawk to win a weekly award this season, joining Max Costes (Maryland), Dale Stanavich (Herkimer) and Matt Padre (Manhattan).

Bianco was an offensive stalwart for the Outlaws this week, helping Oneonta to four wins in his six appearances. The infielder hit safely in all six games, and posted four multi-hit performances. He drove in a run in five of the six games, including three runs batted in on Sunday in a 14-1 victory over the Elmira Pioneers. On the week, Bianco went 11-for-23 with nine runs batted in, and recorded a .536 on base percentage.

One of the 11 hits was his first home run of the season, a solo shot against the Glens Falls Dragons on July 24.

During the 2018 season at Louisville, Bianco went 7-for-19 with three runs batted in, including a home run against Morehead State. This summer, Bianco has driven in 22 runs for the Outlaws, and has posted a .271 batting average in 25 games. The Oxford, Mississippi native has reached base in 17 of the last 18 games for Oneonta.

The league will continue to honor the best performances in the PGCBL throughout the summer with the remaining nightly awards, as well as divisional and PGCBL Championship Series MVP awards.

By Paul Wager

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