McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State University Athletic Conference Released its annual yearly awards on Monday and five Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball Players were honored for their hard work this season. Adam Jacko (North Versailles, PA./East Allegheny) and Josh Arroyo (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico/Levittown Baptist Academy) were each named First-Team All-Conference while Caleb Smith (Irwin, PA./Norwin HS), Zack Pollack (Cecil, Pa./Cannon-McMillan), and Dylan Ernst (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) each received PSUAC Honorable Mention.
It was another successful year for the PSUGA Baseball Team as they made the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs for the fifth time in the last eight seasons entering as the number two seed after finishing the regular season 14-13 and 11-3 in conference play. There were some great individual performances from all five of the award recipients and they each were able to help PSUGA achieve their success.
Smith had a great freshman year with PSUGA finishing the year hitting .307 with 13 RBI while walking 11 times and collecting 23 hits in 75 at-bats. He quickly developed into the number one catcher for PSUGA finishing with a .969 fielding percentage between catcher and third base only committing two errors and allowing four passed ball all season.
After a slow start to the season that saw him hitting just .115 through his first 11 games, Smith had a late season surge and ended the regular season on a five-game hitting streak where he batted .400 (8-20) with seven RBI helping propel his team into the playoffs.
Another big producer in the middle of the lineup was Ernst who finished second on the team with 23 RBI while hitting .315 and hitting one home run in his 27 games played. Ernst got off to a fast start to the year driving in nine RBI through the first seven games of the season. During the stretch run towards the playoffs, Ernst had a team high eight game hitting streak helping PSUGA go 6-2 over that eight-game stretch.
Ernst also started every game in centerfield for PSUGA committing only two errors in 27 games played for a fielding percentage of .951. Ernst helped patrol the outfield helping the other outfielders know where to go to get the ball and set up for the best possible throw to the plate.
Pollack was the vocal leader for PSUGA throughout the season and was the most consistent hitter on the PSUGA team. He finished the year hitting a career high .387 with 17 RBI while reaching base at a .468 clip throughout his 27 games played. In those 27 games played, Pollack was able to reach base in 24 of those games and set himself up to score for the middle of the order.
Pollack not only led at the plate but on the field as well. He finished with a .910 fielding percentage at short stop and started every game for PSUGA at the position. He was the vocal leader on the field and was determined to help PSUGA become a winner again and he succeeded in doing just that.
His middle infield partner Jacko, who received 1st-team all-conference honors, also provided a steady glove up the middle. Jacko was the team leader in fielding percentage at .990 committing just one error in 98 total chances from the second base position, where he started all of his 27 games.
Jacko had a good year at the plate as well finishing with a .273 average and 16 RBI from the leadoff spot. He finished fourth in all of the PSUAC with his 20 walks while only striking out 10 times in 88 at bats. Jacko reached a collegiate milestone this season when he collected his 100th career hit and finished his PSUGA career with 103 hits and a career .299 average.
Arroyo rounds out the award recipients finishing as the top producer for PSUGA hitting in the clean-up spot in the lineup. He finished with a team leading two home runs and 26 RBI while finishing second on the team hitting .360. Arroyo’s 26 RBI would be good for eighth in all of the PSUAC while his .360 average was good for 23rd.
Arroyo collected his career milestone on April 15th against Penn State Fayette when he drove in his 100th career collegiate RBI. He was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and brought home Jacko. Arroyo finished that game driving in four RBI and helping his team pick up a 16-1 victory that clinched them a playoff spot.
To see the list of all the PSUAC All-Conference Award Winners Click Here.