By: James Boss, Staff Writer
UTICA, N.Y. — The Utica Blue Sox are bringing in a lot of new faces to their pitching staff this season as they expect to have one of the best stables of arms in the PGCBL.
The senior right-handed pitcher from Limestone University, Alex Canino, represents one of the two returning pitchers for the Blue Sox this summer. Canino in his last season with the Blue Sox was dominant, registering a 1.32 ERA over 40.2 innings. His success earned himself a first team PGCBL All-Star nod.
Ryan Cook, a Whitesboro native, is the other returning pitcher for the Blue Sox. After working with the East Coast Lumberjacks, he was able to get himself a spot on the roster at Central Connecticut State University. Now with a season of college under his belt, Cook is looking to blossom into a big role for Utica this summer.
Derek Sotolongo is a new face in this Utica pitching staff. He appeared in ten games for the St. Louis Community College Archers and recorded 18 strikeouts. After starting as a third baseman, he transitioned to fully being a pitcher. He has a four pitch mix including a fastball, curveball, slider and change-up.
Ryan Dieguez, a senior reliever from Mercy College, took a massive jump forward this year with the Mavericks. He tossed a career high 22.2 innings in relief with a solid 4.37 ERA in a very hitter friendly East Coast conference. This will be his first time pitching for the Utica Blue Sox after an injury shut him down for the 2022 summer season.
Jason Rivera is another one of the new members for the Utica Blue Sox this summer. Rivera is coming off his first season at Mount Saint Mary’s and looking to develop as a pitcher after transitioning from the outfield to the mound. He tossed 30.1 innings for the Dansville Gliders in the NYCBL last summer and earned himself a pitcher of the night honor after tossing a seven inning, one run gem.
Utica will be getting a second Knight from Mount Saint Mary’s in Kris Giangreco. Giangreco just wrapped up his first collegiate season, and while he did not receive any action, he looks to be a fun player to look out for here in Utica. Entering college he had a fastball in the upper 80s, so look for him to be a fireballer for the Blue Sox this summer.
Sophomore starting pitcher Bill Rozakis is an incoming member of this Utica Blue Sox pitching staff that looks to have a massive impact on the squad. As a sophomore at Siena College he was third on the team in innings pitched with 58.2. After a strong summer in the Valley and Cape Cod leagues a year ago, Blue Sox GM, Juliano Macera, says “he will be one of the best pitchers in the PGCBL this summer.”
Andrew Goldan is an incoming freshman pitcher from Rutgers. He may not have had much time on the mound in his first collegiate season, but he still made his mark in the time he had, notching seven strikeouts in five innings. Prior to going to Rutgers though, Goldan pitched for Team USA in the LABC Tournament in 2019 and was named the most valuable pitcher. He was also a 2021 Perfect Game Preseason All American and was named the GMC Cy Young in high school.
Adam Guazzo is a freshman pitcher from Valparaiso who is taking the trip to Utica this summer. In high school, Guazzo was a dual sport athlete, playing both baseball and basketball. He was a star in both sports, as he set a program record for rebounds in a season and he also earned all-conference honors in baseball as well. With a fastball that runs into the high 80s, he looks to be another strong addition to the staff.
The Blue Sox continue to get members of the Valparaiso Beacons with Cole Syverson coming to town. Syverson saw limited action with The Beacons in his freshman year, but with a plus fastball and slider, he looks to develop into a much stronger pitcher with Utica this summer.
Daniel Jirgal is making the trip from Hamilton College to Utica to join the bullpen. In his first year with the Continentals, he was one of their most utilized relievers. He tossed 16 innings for the team, and notched 20 strikeouts over that span. He will be looking to become another valuable bullpen piece this summer.
Carlos Castillo is another member of the Hamilton Continentals who will be making the short journey to Utica. Castillo is looking to build off a solid freshman season where he allowed opposing hitters to bat just .227 against him.
Greg Levin is on his way to Utica after finishing up his freshman year at Colby College. In his first year with The Mules, Levin displayed elite strikeout stuff. Using a fastball that reaches the low 90s, he was able to rack up 15 strikeouts in just 9.1 innings. He also had a 3.72 ERA and allowed just a .229 batting average to opposing hitters.
Joe Sylvester is the second pitcher from Colby College joining the staff. Sylvester was downright disgusting in his time on the mound. In just his freshman year, he started 7 games and put up a 2.62 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He also allowed just a miniscule .179 batting average. With these elite numbers, he’s looking to make his name known in the PGCBL this summer.
Brandon Scott, a sophomore reliever from Hillsdale College, is joining the Blue Sox bullpen this summer. The lefty from Adrian, Michigan is looking to build off his spring season where he piled up nine strikeouts in 11.1 innings.
Daly Skees is another pitcher from Hillsdale that will be joining the staff. Daly saw his role with the Chargers grow in his junior season totalling a career high 47.1 innings. He put together a solid campaign over that span registering a 4.56 ERA over seven starts and 11 total appearances.
Ty Harris, lefty reliever from Brown University is joining the Blue Sox this summer after wrapping up his freshman year. Harris earned all-district honors in high school on the field, and excelled in the classroom as well, graduating magna cum laude from the Woodlands High School in Texas.
Chris Killian is a reliever from Monmouth University that will be joining a loaded Blue Sox bullpen. Killian dominated in his freshman year, registering the best ERA and WHIP for The Hawks at 2.70 and 0.90 respectively. After earning multiple MVPs in Perfect Game tournaments, Killian is looking to continue his success into the summer.
Tom Roefaro is a junior at SUNY Oneonta and Utica native who will be joining the squad this summer. Last season, he led the pitching staff in appearances with 18 and held opposing batters to just a .225 average.
Holden de Jong is yet another pitcher joining the staff this season. In just his first year with NJIT, he became one of their most reliable arms, appearing in 20 games, good for the third most on the team. De Jong showcased his incredible potential at Perfect Game camps as well, coming in 7th in 2021 with a fastball that reached 87 miles per hour. He also threw a no hitter in high school for St. Augustine, one of the top baseball programs in New Jersey.
As a freshman from Roanoke College, Mason Roy made waves on the mound. He appeared in 7 games and recorded a 1.69 ERA for one of the top teams in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
Colin Skermont is another local kid joining the Blue Sox this summer. At Herkimer College, he logged 37.2 innings and totaled a whopping 58 strikeouts. On top of that he also recorded an impressive 2.15 ERA, which lowered to a 1.29 in conference games. After such a strong rookie year he will be looking to keep the good times rolling in Utica.
Trey Sejnoha is another pitcher joining the Blue Sox this summer. Sejnoha is a freshman at St. Thomas University. The South Dakota native has some impressive stuff with a fastball that runs up to 92 miles per hour and a strong slider.
Marcus Kruzan is another pitcher from St. Thomas who will be joining the staff this year. Just like his teammate Sejnoha, Kruzan’s fastball also has a whole lot of life. His heater reaches up to 93 miles per hour and he has a solid curveball and slider to go along with it.
Freshman Harry Williams from Florida A&M is another right-handed pitcher that will be joining the staff. Williams transitioned to being a full time pitcher in his first collegiate season after entering as an outfielder. Williams will look to become more fluent on the mound as he has a cannon from the field recording a throw from the outfield at 80 miles per hour.
Brandon Millan is a pitcher out of the University of Fort Lauderdale who will be pitching for the Blue Sox this summer. Millan had his first go around in the PGCBL last summer with the Boonville Lumberjacks where he tossed 31.1 innings with them over 15 appearances.
The Blue Sox are receiving another member of the Felician Golden Flyers after having two a year ago. This time it is Jordan Savinon. Savinon hurled 28.2 innings in his rookie year at Felician and looks to continue to develop as a ball player here in Utica this summer.
Avery Cook is a local Whitesboro product who will be pitching for the Blue Sox this summer. Cook wrapped up his junior year at Purdue and is coming back to the Blue Sox after pitching for the team in 2019. At Whitesboro High School he set a school record for strikeouts in his senior year and was also named the Central New York Player of the Year.
The final pitcher joining the staff this summer is Wyatt Palmer from SUNY Cobleskill. Palmer just wrapped up his senior year with a mic drop. He led the team in innings pitched with 56.1 and finished second on the team with a 3.20 ERA. After his success with the Fighting Tigers, Palmer will look to continue his dominance on the mound in Utica.
For fans wanting to see the Utica Blue Sox pitchers in action, opening day is Thursday June 1st against Mohawk Valley with the home opener on Saturday, June 3rd against Oneonta.
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