Barone Receives Top Honor
Jamestown Native Named PGCBL Coach Of Year
The Jamestown Jammers’ season didn’t end like Anthony Barone would have liked, but he still is the recipient of a significant consolation prize — Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Coach of the Year.
The announcement was made Friday, just days after the Jammers fell to Mohawk Valley in the PGCBL Championship Series, 2 games to 1.
“I would have rather won a championship, but there’s a silver lining at the end,” said Barone, who earned the honor following a vote of his peers.
Barone, who has been at the helm of Jamestown in its three years as a summer collegiate team, helped the Jammers reach new heights this summer. The team won a franchise-record 34 games in 2017 and finished as the No. 1 seed in the West Division with a 34-15 overall record. After solidifying the top seed in the regular season, the Jammers swept their way to the PGCBL Championship Series, their first-ever title appearance, where they pushed Mohawk Valley to the brink in the best-of-three series.
“Coach Barone did an outstanding job leading his team to the West Division Championship,” said PGCBL President Jeff Kunion in a statement released by the league.
He added: “He really works hard at developing his players and has a great rapport with his young men; just look at how many returned this year to Jamestown. He truly exemplifies what the PGCBL wants in its coaches.”
Added Dan Kuenzi, president of ROC Ventures, the organization that owns and operates the Jammers: “I couldn’t be happier for Anthony. He guided the Jammers to the final game of the championship series in just our second season in the PGCBL. A good percentage of our guys were on the Jamestown roster last summer as well and it is a testament to how much these kids love playing for him.”
Under Barone’s tutelage, the Jammers ended the summer ranked near the top of most statistical categories, and boasted the league’s lowest team ERA (3.29) and best fielding percentage (.964). At the plate, Jamestown was second out of the 13-team league in on-base percentage (.407), and third in batting average (.286), runs scored (343) and hits (471). Perhaps most impressive, the Jammers were the only team in the PGCBL to register more walks (312) than strikeouts (310).
“It was, overall, an outstanding season, with a lot to be proud of,” Barone told The Post-Journal on Friday afternoon. “… My players are all part of this award, too … and I’d really like to thank my assistant coach, Hayden Carter, as well. Anytime you win an award, it’s a team effort.”
The numbers affirm that statement.
Christ Conley (Canisius) led all qualified batters with a .610 slugging percentage and a .582 on-base percentage, while finishing second with a .382 batting average, and Ben Brookover (UTSA) and Skyler Valentine (Texas State) ranked first and third in hits with 64 and 58, respectively. On the mound, southpaw starter David Lyskawa (Niagara County Community College) finished second in the league with 53 strikeouts in just 38.0 innings of work. Furthermore, Jamestown sent more players to the 2017 PGCBL All-Star Game than any other team in the league with nine representatives.
“I think it’s one of my greatest accomplishments, just from the standpoint of the kind of season we’ve had and the amount of work we’ve put into the organization the last three seasons,” Barone said. “We really had to pull this community together after we lost professional baseball (at the end of the 2014 New York-Penn League season) to let everybody know it was going to be OK.
Barone will spend part of his weekend at the PGCBL meetings in Syracuse. More year-end league awards will be announced soon.