Filed by the Amsterdam Mohawks...
The Glens Falls Golden Eagles had to scramble their way through one tricky situation after another. But in the end they were able to come up with enough clutch plays to hold-off the Amsterdam Mohawks in a 4-3 final on Wednesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
Fireworks Night presented by the Rotary featured a crowd of 2,063 cramming into the small ballpark in Amsterdam. The Mohawks will feature another Fireworks Night on Friday as well presented by the Wasserman Foundation.
Trailing 4-2 in the eighth, the Mohawks had the bases loaded with nobody out and were threatening to take the lead. Reliever Matt Eckleman (St. Louis) worked out of it allowing only one run and then pitched a perfect ninth to record the impressive save.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Amsterdam was inches away from the tying run on a close play at home. With the bases loaded, pinch-hitter Shane Zimmer (Canisius) hit a hot smash to third-baseman Josh Anderson (Florida International) who made an impressive pick on the short-hop and came up firing for the lead runner. The hard throw was off-line and pulled catcher Blake Sydeski (South Florida) to the fair territory side of the dish but the umpire ruled that Sydeski was barely able to keep his tippy-toe on the plate as he made the diving catch. The force-out at home of John Sansone (Florida State) was briefly disputed by head coach Keith Griffin to no avail and Glens Falls was able to preserve the lead and eventually hang on for the victory.
Nationally ranked Glens Falls at #22 in the country won their fifth in a row and improved to 15-8 overall, best record in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Amsterdam had their two-game win streak ended and now stand at 13-12 overall including only 1-4 against rival Glens Falls.
Queensubry native Ryan Davis (Lemoyne) improved to 2-2 as the left-hander lasted five strong innings allowing just three hits and one earned run in his starting performance.
Buddy Putnam (South Florida) was 2-for-4 for the Golden Eagles with a 2-RBI single in the first inning. Bryan Ramirez (Texas Pan-American) was 1-for-3 with a sac-fly RBI, a run scored and a walk.
John Sansone (Florida State) was 3-for-4 for the Mohawks with a double. Jordan Ebert (Auburn) had a single, stolen base, two walks and a run scored.
Amsterdam pulled out all the stops in their efforts to overcome a late 4-1 deficit on Keith Griffin Tribute Night in front of their largest crowd of the season awaiting the post-game fireworks. The Mohawks employed six pitchers in the game and even used three catchers including emergency backup catcher Kevin Guthrie (Brown) who is normally a relief pitcher.
The game also featured many defensive gems. Amsterdam pulled an impressive double-play in the fourth inning on a sacrifice-bunt attempt with first-baseman John Nogowski (Florida State) quickly gunning the ball all the way to second to start the twin-killing.
Glens Falls right-fielder Ramon Laureano (NE Okla A&M) got a great jump on a deep drive in the fourth inning by Devin Wenzel (Cincinnati) to race down the would-be double in the gap. He was then able to fire out runner Ed Charlton (NJIT) at first who was well past second when he realized the ball had actually been caught.
Glens Falls shortstop Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) made a sharp backhand pick in the hole and then gunned down batter Josh Gardiner (Radford) on a very strong play.
After a hit batter and walk from Amsterdam starter Matt Ternowchek (Notre Dame), Buddy Putnam delivered his two-run single to give the Golden Eagles the early lead.
Amsterdam trimmed the margin to 2-1 in the second inning on a sac-fly to center by Devin Wenzel (Cincinnati) that plated Ebert who had walked and then advanced on a double by Sansone.
Glens Falls led 3-1 in the third when Garrett Degallier (Tacoma C.C.) would lead off with a double and eventually come in to score on a bases-loaded hit batter to Braxton Martinez (St. Louis) by Mohawks reliever Jeremy Soule (Fairfield). He was the first of five relievers to come trotting from the active Amsterdam bullpen with both long-time veteran coaches, Keith Griffin and John Mayotte, engaged in their own little chess match.
The Golden Eagles tacked on another run in the sixth to make the score 4-1 on a sac-fly by Ramirez plating Spencer Ramirez (Missouri State) who started off the frame with a single.
The Mohawks trimmed the margin to 4-2 in the seventh and 4-3 in the eighth but could get no closer. The seventh inning run came via an error allowing Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) to reach, a wild pitch and then RBI single by Josh Gardiner (Radford). Dylan Smith (Auburn) singled to start the eighth inning rally and scored on a bases-loaded walk to Brian Ruby (Binghamton). But Glens Falls squeaked their way through their situation again.
Both teams have the day off for the Fourth of July. Amsterdam returns to Shuttleworth Park on Friday night against the Albany Dutchmen at 7:05 with post-game fireworks for the second time this week. ParkFest presented by the Wasserman Foundation begins at 4:00 and then Happy Hour starts at 5:30 with drink specials and live acoustic music.
6'7" righty Trey Wingenter (Auburn) will start the Friday game for Amsterdam.
Glens Falls travels to the Adirondack Trail Blazers in Boonville, N.Y. for a doubleheader Friday at 4:30. They return to East Field on Saturday night against the Utica Brewers.
- The previous night's game on Tuesday between Amsterdam and Glens Falls at East Field was rained out. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, July 27 at 5:00 in Glens Falls.
- The game marks the official beginning of the second-half of the season for Amsterdam. The Mohawks have played 25 games and now have 23 remaining.
- The game was the third of five schedule fireworks nights for the Amsterdam Mohawks this year.
- Glens Falls leads the season series against Amsterdam 4 games to 1. There are three games remaining between the two East Division rivals. The Golden Eagles return to Shuttleworth Park one more time this season on Wednesday, July 17.