December 8, 2021

Ludden, Martin head up best of Crush campaign

Cortland Crush manager Bill McConnell handed out the team awards for the recently completed summer campaign.

After capturing the Eastern Division regular season title, the Crush was ousted by the Syracuse Junior Chiefs in the New York Collegiate Baseball League playoffs on Thursday.

Paul Ludden from the College at Brockport was presented with the prestigious Greg Partigianoni Award, given to the player who exemplifies the leadership, selflessness and the love for baseball that the late Greg Partigianoni did during his lifetime.

Mainly the third baseman, Ludden played in 44 games hitting .257 with four doubles, 29 runs scored, 22 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

The Cortland Crush 2016 MVP was voted upon by teammates, and went to captain and right fielder Derek Martin from Southeastern University.

In 47 games, Martin hit .331 as he led the Crush in hits (60), RBIs (46), doubles (13) and home runs (7) and he shared the team lead in triples (3). He also scored 31 runs and stole seven bases. Martin pitched three and two-third innings, not allowing a run or hit with five walks and six strikeouts.

Martin also won the Silver Slugger Award as the top offensive player for the Crush in 2016. His hits, home runs, doubles and RBIs are single season bests, with the later two also career bests for the Crush.

The Crush Coaches Award selected by the coaches for a player who led by example on and off of the field and was instrumental in guiding the team throughout the season went to captain and shortstop David Murphy from UMass-Boston.

Murphy appeared in 44 games with a .323 batting average that included seven doubles, five home runs and team-leading 35 runs scored, 41 RBIs and four stolen bases. Those 35 runs scored are also high enough for him to be the single season record holder.

The Crush Pitcher of the Year was awarded to right-hander Stephan Witkowski from UMass-Boston.

Witkowski posted a 3-1 record with a 3.92 ERA in 39 innings. His lone loss came in the first playoff game and that also boosted his ERA, which was 2.37 in the regular season. Witkowski allowed 37 hits, 21 runs, 17 earned runs, 16 walks and30 strikeouts on the season.

The Crush Closer of the Year went to right-hander Matt McCuen from Niagara University.

McCuen went 3-0 with a team leading five saves in 2016. In 23 and two-third innings, McCuen posted a 3.42 ERA after 26 hits, 16 runs, nine earned runs, 13 walks and 28 strikeouts. He also led the team with six runners picked off base.

Extra Mile Award Winners for Pitchers as selected by the coaches for leadership and performance went to a pair of Legacy Players who were back for their second season in Cortland this year. Nate Verst from Kentucky Wesleyan College and Shae Edmonds from East Central University were those pitchers honored.

Verst was 1-1 on the season with a 3.14 ERA in 43 innings pitched. He allowed 48 hits, 19 runs, 15 earned runs, 19 strikeouts and struck out 32.

Edmonds went 4-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 41 an done-third innings. He gave up 53 hits, 23 runs, 17 earned runs, 11 walks and recorded a team-leading 33 strikeouts.

Edmonds went 7-4 over the past two seasons leading the team with seven wins and his 2.61 ERA in 89 and two-thirds innings is second on the career list. Edmonds holds the team single season strikeout record with 36 in 2015 and is the all-time strikeout king with 69.

Verst is second in all-time strikeouts with 56 and has the fourth best career ERA at 2.77.

Gold Glove Awards were presented to Murphy, Martin, Ludden, Legacy centerfielder Luke Gilbert from the College at Brockport and catcher Anthony Searles from UMass-Boston.

Gilbert is the Crush career leader in batting average (.289), hits (72) and runs scored (40).