Glens Falls, NY – While the Glens Falls Golden Eagles fell to the Amsterdam Mohawks in a heartbreaking bottom of the ninth loss to end the team’s run in the playoffs Sunday night, it was truly a special season overall for the green and gold. Let’s take a look back at highlights of the 2011 PGCBL Eastern Division winning Golden Eagles’ season.
Coach Mayotte Returns for Eighth Season Bringing Two Talented Assistant Coaches
As the only coach to ever lead the Golden Eagles, the team was fortunate to have Coach Mayotte return for his eighth season in 2011. With an impressive collegiate coaching career under his belt, Coach Mayotte assembled a talented roster of ballplayers from around the country as well as two well-regarded baseball coaches in Sean Cashman of Temple University and Jon Ubbenga of Missouri State University. Coach Cashman and Coach Ubbenga quickly became well-respected and loved within the Golden Eagles community and made their presence known helping to guide the green and gold to many victories.
Local Talent Highlights Team Roster
Adding a special touch to the Golden Eagles roster this summer were three local ballplayers in Neil Fryer (Siena – Greenwich), Pete Noordsy (Wofford – Glens Falls), and Mike Tirri (Albany – Lake George). Each player quickly became a crowd favorite drawing many cheers when up to bat or on the mound while experiencing great success on the diamond this summer.
Five Golden Eagles Drafted
Five former Golden Eagles alumni were drafted by Major League Baseball teams this past June in Jon Koscso (Southern Florida – Tampa Bay), Chris Lashmet (Northwestern –Pittsburgh), Jack Wagoner (Florida Gulf Coast University – Cleveland), Rodarrick Jones (Southern University – Pittsburgh), and Shane Davis (Canisius – Toronto).
Golden Eagles Players Visit Local Schools & Meet Jimmer
In mid June, a number of Glens Falls players visited local elementary schools to speak with the young students about the importance of education, reading, and other life lessons. While visiting Sanford Street Elementary School, which would close later that month, the team met college basketball star and NBA draft pick Jimmer Fredette. Fredette, a Glens Falls native, will be playing for the Sacramento Kings in the upcoming NBA season.
Golden Eagles Gain National Attention
With the first national rankings of the season compiled by Perfect Game USA, the Golden Eagles earned a national ranking at number 16 to begin the season. Following the 16th ranking, the team would progress to be ranked as high as number 12 while receiving consideration in the rankings at its lowest point of the season before ending the season ranked 30th.
Golden Eagles Announce New ColorTyme Lounge
In partnership with team sponsor ColorTyme, the Golden Eagles created a luxury box at East Field named the ColorTyme Lounge. Overlooking the field from directly behind home plate, the lounge features tables, couches, chairs, a minifridge, and a flat-screen television donated by ColorTyme. The room has already become a hit among fans who enter a drawing at each game to upgrade their seats to the air-conditioned lounge.
Team Alumni Succeeding in Professional Baseball
While the 2011 Golden Eagles players were experiencing success at East Field, many alumni of the team were also experiencing success in professional baseball. With over 25 former players in professional baseball ranging from Double A to Independent Baseball, Glens Falls has become regarded as a top summer destination for young collegiate talent to develop especially under Coach Mayotte.
PGCBL All Star Game Features the Green & Gold
Midway through the summer season, eight Golden Eagles players were selected to participate in the inaugural PGCBL All Star Game. Earning starting positions for the Eastern Division squad were shortstop Anthony Pisani (Southern Maine), third baseman Josh Anderson (Yavapai), outfielder Ricky Claudio (St. Thomas), and designated hitter David Olson (Tacoma CC). Catcher Dan Klein (Kansas St.) and outfielder Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) were selected as reserves. Taking the rubber for Glens Falls was Nick Gonzalez (Southern Florida) and Derek Mazzio (St. Louis). At the event, Olson homered and earned the win in relief while Ruchim scored a run and seven total hits were recorded just by the green and gold dignitaries as the East earned the win. Also of note is that Anderson finished in second place in the homerun derby demonstrating his impressive power.
Golden Eagles Earn Win #200 for Coach Mayotte
July 14th brought legendary skipper Coach John Mayotte his 200th career win with the Golden Eagles in his eight seasons with the team. Winning 10-0 over the visiting Watertown Wizards, Coach Mayotte was surrounded by his jubilant players following the win and was doused with a cooler of ice cold water by pitchers Pete Noordsy and Nick Gonzalez. The team then honored Coach Mayotte following the All Star break on the 22nd awarding him a custom-made baseball bat engraved with his accomplishment while performing a ceremony honoring him.
Eastern Division Clinched on Final Day of Games
While the Golden Eagles had safely clinched a playoff berth on July 27th, the Eastern Division title was not decided until the final game of the season as Glens Falls hosted the Albany Dutchmen for a doubleheader. Leading the Amsterdam Mohawks by a half game entering the final day of games, Amsterdam’s game at Mohawk Valley was rained out while Glens Falls dropped the first game of the doubleheader vs. Albany to leave the two teams tied for first place. With the division title on the line, the Golden Eagles pulled through in front of a record-breaking crowd shutting out the Dutchmen 7-0 to earn the top seed in the PGCBL East.
Players Break Individual Records
With a talented roster assembled by Coach Mayotte, a number of single season individual records were broken or tied by Golden Eagles players. Josh Anderson broke the records for batting average, homeruns, total bases, and slugging percentage. Breaking or tying the records for hits, doubles, total bases, and saves was Kyle Ruchim. Finally, tying the record for fielding percentage was outfielder Clayton Brown (Tacoma CC).
Front Office Led by Successful Interns
Working behind the scenes this summer were four special interns and one staff member who made a huge difference in the operation of the Golden Eagles baseball organization. A graduate student at Northern Illinois University, Gina Nassivera is pursuing her Master of Science in Sport Administration. An alum of Castleton State College, she interned with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL this past school year. Attending Temple University, Matthew Arietta will be a junior student this fall pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Sport & Recreation Management. Arietta, who interns with the Temple baseball team during the school year, plans to pursue graduate school to obtain a law degree and work in baseball. The starting shortstop on the Cazenovia College baseball team, Rich Battoglia is entering his senior year working towards a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Sport Management. Battoglia hopes to work within the baseball industry following his graduation. Beginning his senior year at Castleton State College this fall, Andrew Nadler will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration: Marketing degree with an additional major in Sports Administration. Nadler plans to attend graduate school next fall to pursue a Masters of Business Administration degree. A graduate of Western New England College and recent intern with the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL, Seth DeWitt currently serves as the successful Public Relations and Media Director for the Golden Eagles.
Golden Eagles Fight for the Division Title
Entering the playoffs as the PGCBL Eastern Division title winners, the Golden Eagles faced the Amsterdam Mohawks as the top seed in a best of three series. The Mohawks, who have won 14 straight playoff games entering the championship, swept the series winning by a single run in the ninth inning of both games. While the Golden Eagles may have fell to the Mohawks in the playoffs, the season was clearly one of success, growth, learning, and great times for all those involved with the baseball club. It will be a long winter before baseball resumes at East Field, but when it does; the Golden Eagles will be ready to battle once again. Will you?