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Staff

League President - Brian Spagnola

Brian Spagnola is the Owner/President/GM of the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Summer Baseball League.  The Mohawks are traditionally one of the top places for summer baseball in America, ranking in the top 10 nationally and winning many league championships.  The Mohawks draw players mostly from SEC, ACC, Big 10 schools, etc and average almost 1500 fans per night.  Hunter Pence is the team's most famous alum.  

Spagnola also is President of the Capital District Interstate Collegiate League in upstate NY, the Empire State Prospect Games and the NorthEast Recruiting Showcase, two events that have become popular among both players and coaches.

He resides in Amsterdam, NY with his wife Jill and their 5 children.

 

League Commissioner - Karl Bithorn

Director of Corporate Development - David Dittmann

League Director of Operations  - Shaun McKenna 

Recruiting Director - Karl Bithorn

Finance/Player Payments - Jill Spagnola

 

2018 Coaches (see bios below):

Fightin Crabs - Nick Giaquinto (Sacred Heart)

Bluefish - Jeremiah Knackstedt (Back2Back Training)

SeaMonsters - Jack Moore (Bryant and Stratton)

Pelicans -  Brian Beard (Christopher Newport)

Seagulls -  John Torres (Monroe CC)  

Suns - Karl Bithorn (VBCBL) 

Waves -  Shaun McKenna 

Rays -  Billy Gaskins (Southeastern CC)

Dolphins -  Dylan Wolchik (Limestone College) 

Sharks -  Michael Breen (San Jose State)

Whalers -  Ryan Smoyer (Ohio U)  

Flying Fish -  Ryan Verlihay (Washington and Jefferson) 

 

 

2017 Coaches Bios

Fightin Crabs - Nick Giaquinto (Sacred Heart)


Nick is entering his 29th year as Head Coach of northeast power Division I Sacred Heart University.  The Pioneers have reached the Northeast Conference championship game 7 years in a row and have won their conference title 4 times and advanced to the NCAA Division I regionals.  Giaquinto has garnered many coaching accolades during his tenure at Sacred Heart including Coach of the Year Honors multiple times.  He has had numerous Sacred Heart players drafted into professional baseball during his coaching career as well.  As a player, Nick actually played in the NFL for four years from 1980-83 for the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins and won a Super Bowl with the Redskins in 1983. 

 

Bluefish - Jeremiah Knackstedt (Back2Back Training)

 

 

 

 

 

SeaMonsters - Jack Moore (Bryant & Stratton Assistant Coach)

  

 

 

  

Pelicans -  Vic Diaz (Old Dominion)


Vic Diaz is currently the Pitching Coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Prior to arriving at Kentucky Wesleyan, Diaz was an assistant coach for the Elmira Pioneers in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Elmira was ranked as high as #15 in the nation in the summer of 2016.  He started his playing career at Mississippi State in 2010-11, transferred to State College of Florida at Manatee for 2011-12, from there transferring to Old Dominion University. Over the course of his playing career at Old Dominion he held 15-7 record with 49 appearance inclduing 25 starts.  His 3.58 ERA finished the 2016 season 13th overall in Conference USA, while he finished in the Top 10 in C-USA in wins his final two years. In the 2014 C-USA tournament, he won the decisive game that propelled Monarchs to an NCAA regional tournament bid.  Diaz has strong ties to the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area which will be beneficial for his VBCBL coaching.

 

 

 

Seagulls - TJ Wharton (Eckerd)

  

Born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Tampa, Florida, TJ Wharton enters his first year as a head coach in the VBCBL after finishing his second year of coaching at Catawba College. Previous to his college-coaching career, he had a successful collegiate and professional playing career. In his collegiate playing career, he was a second team all region 10 at GTCC as a catcher. He then moved on to Catawba College where he was back to back 1st team all SAC DH and 2nd team All Southeast Region DH. His summer collegiate baseball career was highlighted with a championship win with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League in 2014. This past summer, he wrapped up his playing career playing professional baseball for the White Sands Pup Fish of the Pecos League, where he was an all-star, and the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League. He and his fiancé now reside in Concord, North Carolina where she also coaches at Catawba College. 

 

Suns - Karl Bithorn (The Baseball Project) 

  

Karl "Coach K" Bithorn returns to the Virginia Beach Collegiate Baseball League for his second season as the Suns Manager. Coach K also serves as the VBCBL Director of Recruiting. Coach K is no stranger to Summer collegiate baseball after three successful seasons in the highly touted Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) 2013-2015.  Coach Bithorn, well acquainted with the PGCBL served as bench coach for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes (2013) and the Glens Falls Golden Eagles (2014) respectively. In 2013 he helped guide Eann Cox (Black Hawk CC) to the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year Award. In 2015 he served as pitching coach for the Nationally Ranked Amsterdam Mohawks under legendary coach Keith Griffin where he assisted in the development of many high profile pitchers including 2015 Pitcher of the Year Zach Logue (Kentucky) and #1 rated pro prospect Kyle Smith (NC State). In addition to that the Amsterdam Mohawks set the league record for wins (42) and finished the summer 42-10 and a top 10 national ranking. Prior to the PGCBL, Coach K spent two seasons as pitching coach for NCAA Division II Dominican College (NY) as well as an assistant coach at St. Thomas University(FL) for the 2009-2010 season and helped guide them to the opening round of the NAIA National Championships.  Bithorn was born and raised in Miami, FL and graduated from American High School in 2005. He has been director of several baseball camps and community service projects in South Florida and now resides in Branson, Missouri.

Karl is the Great Nephew of legendary Puerto Rican baseball player Hiram Bithorn, who was the first Puerto Rican to play in Major League Baseball in 1943 for the Chicago Cubs.

 

 

Waves -  Shaun McKenna