The Amsterdam Mohawks take Game 1 of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) Championship Series 5-2 over the Newark Pilots at Colburn Park on Wednesday night.
Mark Leiter, Jr. (NJIT) earned the win for the Mohawks in his first postseason start. Although effective, Leiter, Jr. hit five Newark batters through his five and two-third innings of work. He struck out a game-high eight while surrendering two unearned runs.
The Pilots struck first by scoring their only two runs in the bottom of the second. Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta) led off the inning with a double. He scored when Amsterdam’s Matt Mack (Radford) overthrew first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Sean Osterman (St. John Fisher).
Adam Grace (Genesee C.C.) was the first batter Leiter, Jr. hit, loading the bases for the Pilots with two outs in the second. Luke Swenson (UC Santa Barbara) drove in Osterman with an infield single. Ray Delvalle (Kentucky Wesleyan) ended the threat with a force out at third.
Amsterdam tied the game 2-2 in the top of the third. Zach Shank (Marist) reached on a fielding error. Then with a 0-2 count, Luke Maile (Kentucky) found a pitch hanging over the plate and crushed it to centerfield for the game-tying two-run homer.
Two straight walks from Newark starter Mike Saunders (Saginaw Valley State) loaded the bases for Mohawks in the fifth. A wild pitch from Saunders then allowed the go-ahead run to score.
The Mohawks put the game well out of reach in the eighth with two more runs. Brad Picha (Paris J.C.) doubled to deep center field to start off the frame. Mack was hit by a pitch and both runners were moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Josh Alexander (Utah) cleared the bases with a two-run triple in the gap in left center.
Abram Williams (Radford) earned his second save of the playoffs with two strikeouts in the ninth for the Mohawks. Alexander finished 2-for-4 with two RBI’s and a stolen base.
Swenson led the Pilots with two hits and their only RBI. Villa and Osterman each went 1-for-3 with one run scored. Saunders is tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on three hits in five innings while fanning seven.
With the 1-0 series lead, the Amsterdam Mohawks return to Shuttleworth Park to host the Newark Pilots for Games 2 & 3 of the PGCBL Championship Series on Thursday. The double header starts at 5:30 p.m.
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