In the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, it is often the players that are not in the lineup on Opening Day that make big impacts down the stretch of the season.
Justin Brock (Franklin Pierce) has filled that role for the Albany Dutchmen.
In his first six games in an Albany uniform, Brock has a .333 average, three runs batted in, and three runs scored. He also provided a walk-off single in the Dutchmen’s extra-inning victory over the Utica Brewers. His five stolen bases are already tied for the team lead, as well.
For his start, Brock has been named as the team’s Spotlight Player of the Week for the past seven days. He becomes the first infielder to win the award for the 2014 season.
Brock’s breakout game came on June 30 against Utica. He went 4-for-6 on the game, scored a run, and drove in two. His biggest play of the game, however, came in the bottom of the eleventh inning. With the game tied at five, Brock roped a single into left field that allowed Nick Morton (Washington and Jefferson) to score and win the game.
Brock said he anticipated the first pitch from the Utica pitcher, who had gotten hit with a come backer on the previous play.
“I knew he was coming with the fastball,” Brock said, “and I was able to get the barrel going early and get the ball into the outfield to score the runner.”
Prior to joining the Dutchmen, Brock was playing for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League, where he recorded two hits in 12 at-bats.
Brock is one of two Dutchmen — Chris Amorosi (Siena) the other — that hails from the Capital Region. Brock is from Latham, NY, and played his high school ball at Albany Academy. Brock was a four-sport athlete over his high school career, earning letters in baseball, football, golf and hockey. He was an All-State selection in baseball, as well.
Collegiately, Brock was an everyday starter for Franklin Pierce, a top Division II program. He hit .245 with three home runs and 16 RBIs for the Ravens, scoring 33 runs and stealing 17 bases.
Along with Ernie Clement (Virginia) has helped to provide a spark for the Dutchmen as they enter the second half of the PGCBL regular season.
Brock has proven he will be a crucial part to Albany’s efforts at a second consecutive berth in the PGCBL Playoffs.