AMSTERDAM, NY - Your Golden Eagles headed to Amsterdam, New York today to face off against Eastern Conference rival, the Amsterdam Mohawks at Shuttleworth Park. Since Glens Falls dropped the first game of the Eastern Division Championship Series back on Friday (8/5/11) at East Field in Glens Falls, your Golden Eagles found themselves in a do-or-die situation needing a win to extend this best of three series and head back to East Field for game three.
For those who saw the game, they can agree when I say, it was everything you could of asked for out of these two teams in such a pressure packed evening. Coach John Mayotte and Pitching Coach Sean Cashman called on St. Louis freshman Derek Mazzio, who would walk to the mound Sunday night after a 2-1 regular season, and a 1.99 earned run average over a span of 54.1 innings pitched. Starting for the Amsterdam Mohawks would be Wake Forest’s Jack Fischer who excelled in the regular season with a final record of 3-0 with a 2.45 earned run average over thirty three innings.
Drawing first blood would be the Amsterdam Mohawks who scored the games first run in their half of the first off of a wild pitch from Mazzio which would allow Marist’s shortstop Zach Shank enough time to score.
The Golden Eagles would tie the game in the fourth inning as right fielder, Ricky Claudio, led off the inning with a ground rule double that ended up bouncing under a sign in left center field. With Claudio on second, second basemen, Kyle Ruchim moved him to third on a ground out to the shortstop. Claudio would score in Anderson’s at bat which followed Ruchim as he would also ground out, Josh though to the third basemen, allowing Claudio enough time to score and tie the game at one apiece.
The Golden Eagles would not stay tied for long, as in the bottom half of the fourth inning featured seven Mohawk hitters, and two runs. One run came off the bat of Bard Picha (Paris JUCO) who took Mazzio’s three, two offering yard to give the Mohawks a 2-1 lead. Mazzio would allow another run to cross in the frame extending the Mohawk’s lead by two at 3-1 as a double by Josh Alexander (Utah), would be followed by a single off of Mazzio’s foot from Demarcus Henderson (Miss. St.) and then a RBI double by Andrew Green which would put the Mohawks up 3-1.
Kyle Ruchim brought the Golden Eagles one run closer in the top of the sixth inning as he hit an RBI single off of Mohawk’s relief pitcher, Will Kendall from Auburn University. The single would score shortstop Anthony Pisani (Southern Maine) who reached base on a hit by pitch to lead off the sixth. A bunt single would catch the Mohawk’s defense off guard and allow leadoff hitter Clayton Brown (Tacoma CC) to reach safely, bringing to the plate Ricky Claudio.
Ricky Claudio would also bunt, but back to the pitcher sacrificing himself and allowing Brown and Pisani to advance to second and third. Kyle Ruchim would step up next, and single scoring Pisani with ease. Trying to score from second was Clayton Brown, who would crash into Mohawk’s catcher, Luke Maile (Kentucky). This caused the benches to clear.
After a three or four minute scuffle between teams, the game was restored back to normal and the inning would end on a Josh Anderson fly out to right field, ending the top of the sixth with the score leaving the Golden Eagles trailing three to two.
Action would cease until the ninth inning when things would intensify greatly. Ricky Claudio would lead off the inning for the Golden Eagles with a infield single, ending his night with a three for four performance. Josh Anderson would follow Claudio with one out and hit a towering home run to left field over Shuttleworth triple high fence, giving the Golden Eagles a four to three advantage, three outs away from sending the Championship series back to Glens Falls tomorrow night, Monday at East Field.
Running high on emotion, the Golden Eagles staff would send Golden Eagles closer, Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern), to the mound to close out yet another game on the season. Kyle excelled in the closer role this season as he finished with a 2.05 earned run average, and a three and zero win, loss record along with nine saves. Ruchim was also dominant on the mound with two to one strikeout to innings pitched ratio.
Kyle would walk to the mound Sunday night with a tough test ahead, as the Mohawks would send to the plate the strongest part of their order. A walk to Zach Shank followed by a fielding error by second basemen PJ Leto and a single by Mohawk’s catcher Luke Maile (Kentucky) would load the bases with no outs. Up to the plate would be Kody Ortman (Northwest Shoals CC) who singled scoring Shank to tie the game. Matt Mack would follow Ortman to score Maile, the winning run, and give the Amsterdam Mohawks the five-four win.
The Amsterdam Mohawks would score five runs on fourteen hits, whereas the Glens Falls Golden Eagles would score four runs on eight hits on the night, sending the Amsterdam Mohawks to the PGCBL finals against the Newark Pilots.
In conclusion, as the 2011 season comes to a close, I would like to thank those who day after day would read my articles as well as those who made this summer a memorable one here in Glens Falls. Thank you!
For the final time…. GO GOLDEN EAGLES!