The Amsterdam Mohawks scored seven unanswered runs to rally from a three-run deficit to defeat the Albany Dutchmen 8-4 in Game One of the PGCBL East Division Finals on Wednesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
Chris Givin (Xavier) led the charge offensively with a 3-for-4 night that included two singles, a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Tyler Frank (Florida Atlantic) added to the offense by reaching base four times in a 2-for-3 effort. Terrence Pinkston (Norfolk State) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Tristen Carranza (New Mexico State) drove in two runs.
Amsterdam scored a run on the first inning for the second straight game after Andruw Gazzola (Stony Brook) scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Gazzola, who finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and Givin led off with back-to-back singles before a Frank walk loaded the bases with no one out.
Albany answered in the second. Kyle Skeels (Coastal Carolina) and Mychael Goudreau (Azusa Pacific) led off with back-to-back singles before Brent Alford (Augusta University) sacrificed the runners to second and third. Two batters later, Jon Skidmore (Dallas Baptist) grounded out to short to bring home Skeels, tying the game at one.
In the fourth, the Dutchmen took advantage of the Mohawks miscues. Alford walked to lead off the game before an error by Carranza put runners on the corners. Cole Malloy (Butler) grounded out to second to drive in Alford to make it 2-1 Dutchmen. J.J. Shimko (USC Upstate) and Jack Gethings (Fairfield) followed with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 4-1 Albany.
Amsterdam chipped away in the bottom half of the inning. Teddy Cillis (Hofstra), Pinkston, and Marcus Still (New Mexico State) each singled to start the inning, with the latter featuring an error by Jon Novenche (Canisius) that allowed Cillis to score. Two batters later, Givin lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-3 before Still was thrown out at third trying to advance on the throw.
Amsterdam took the lead in the sixth using the same tactics as the night before. With two outs, Gazzola doubled to left and stole third. Givin singled to tie the game at four. Frank followed with a single to put runners at the corners. After Frank stole second, Joe Genord (South Florida) and Nick Patten (Delaware) worked walks to force in the go-ahead run.
Amsterdam added three more in the eighth. With one out, Givin doubled. Frank reached first after being hit by a pitch. With the count at 0-2, Patten struck out swinging, but the ball got away from the catcher, who couldn’t find it, allowing Patten to reach, Givin to score, while Frank to move to third. Carranza followed with a double to left that drove in both Frank and Patten and made it 8-4.
Neither starter factored in the decision. Evan Giles (Indiana State), who started for Albany, went 4.2 innings in which he allowed eight hits, three runs (two earned), walked four, and struck out five. Amsterdam starter Griffin Roberts (Wake Forest) went four innings, surrendered five hits, four runs (one earned), walked three, and struck out five.
Paul Milto (Indiana) made his first appearance out of the bullpen all season and pitched four scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out five in earning the win. The loss was charged to Jackson Bubala (Dartmouth), who gave up two runs on three hits, walked two, and struck out five in 2.1 innings of relief.
With the win, Amsterdam took a 1-0 lead on the Dutchmen in the best-of-three series. In two playoff games this year, the Mohawks have scored 11 of their 16 runs with two outs. The two teams will meet in Game Two on Thursday night at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany at 7:05 p.m.