Filed by the Cooperstown Hawkeyes...
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - The Cooperstown Hawkeyes and the Amsterdam Mohawks played to a 4-4 deadlock through nine innings on Wednesday evening at Doubleday Field. The game, the last of the regular season for each team, was suspended after nine innings due to darkness. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with an 18-25 record while the nationally-ranked Mohawks completed their regular season with a 31-16 mark.
Cooperstown scored all four of its runs off Amsterdam reliever Jeremy Soule (Fairfield) in the bottom of the fourth inning. Brendan O'Reilly (New Haven) ripped a lead-off double into center field and then raced home on a Nate Lotze (Kenyon) RBI single to spot the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead. A walk to Cameron Day (Norfolk State) and an Austin March (UC Davis) single loaded the bases for Cooperstown with no outs. Soule struck out Joshua Wyant (LeMoyne-Owen) for the first out of the inning however a passed ball on catcher Keith Skinner (Fairfield) brought in Lotze with the Hawkeyes' second run. A wild pitch to Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) during the same at-bat scored Cameron Day from third. Donovan capped off the Cooperstown scoring in the inning with an RBI double into left field that drove in Austin March.
Amsterdam managed just three hits over the first five innings against Cooperstown's Jack Stover (Saint Joseph's, Pa.). Stover held the Mohawks scoreless. He walked four and struck out seven.
However, Amsterdam scored a run in each of the last four innings to tie the game. Josh Gardiner (Radford) greeted Cooperstown reliever Dean White (Post) in the sixth inning with a lead-off single. A wild pitch moved Gardiner to second and then he advanced to third on a Keith Skinner ground out. A two-out single by Kevin Guthrie (Brown) plated Gardiner from third with Amsterdam's first run.
The Mohawks loaded the bases in the seventh inning against another Hawkeye reliever, Luke Mould (UAH). Mould recorded two-straight outs with the bases loaded and then was replaced by Mike Jeffers (Kenyon). Jeffers hit Amsterdam's Keith Skinner to force home a run. Cooper Jones (Norfolk State) quickly relieved Jeffers and got out of the inning, forcing Amsterdam to leave the bases loaded. The Mohawks stranded 16 runners on base in the three-hour game.
Amsterdam pulled within one in the eighth inning. Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) drew a one-out walk from Cooperstown's Anthony Naso (Slippery Rock). He stole second and then scored on a single to center field by Ed Charlton (NJIT). The Mohawks completed their comeback from down 4-0 in the ninth when John Sansone (Florida State) belted a solo home run into the center field seats. Back-to-back errors by Cooperstown with two outs gave Amsterdam a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth but Travis Tarleton (Point) was able to get out of the jam and sent the game into the bottom of the ninth tied, 4-4. Amsterdam's Zach Breen (Schenectady County C.C.) retired the side in order in the ninth just before play was halted.
Fourteen total pitchers were used in the game. Amsterdam relievers Thomas Young (Western Carolina), Christian Bartholomew (Wake Forest), Taylor Butler (LSU) Alex Gagne (Maine) and Zach Breen each threw one scoreless inning. Young, Breen, Butler and Bartholomew all retired the side in order. Amsterdam starter Dylan Dwyer (Kentucky) struck out five batters over the first three innings and allowed one hit.
Ed Charlton and John Nogowski (Florida State) each had two hits for the Mohawks.
Nate Lotze and Ben Hall (Central Alabama) both recorded two hits for the Hawkeyes. Lotze scored one run and drove in another during the fourth inning.
The Amsterdam Mohawks will continue on to the league playoffs. Amsterdam has a bye in the opening round of the playoffs on Thursday night and then will host Game 1 in the best-of-three East Division finals on Friday night at Shuttleworth Park against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs or the Albany Dutchmen.