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PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 3, 2012

Photo courtesy Ziptivity.com

For all of the latest news stories on the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and television game highlights, go to our "Press" page here.

Note: Individual game box scores can be found linked on the scoreboard page which is part of the Statistics drop down menu on the main web site navigation bar.

Last Night's Scores

Amsterdam 7 Albany 2
Watertown 20 Oneonta 6
Elmira 11 Newark 7
Mohawk Valley 18 Cooperstown 9 (7) - Suspended due to darkness

Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Elmira at Watertown, 7:00 p.m.
Carson Bryant (Chattanooga State) 0-2, 4.58 ERA vs. Rene Solis (St. Mary's, Texas) 2-1, 1.61 ERA

Albany at Mohawk Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Matt Snyder (Va. Tech) 0-2, 4.50 ERA vs. Evan Davis (Marist) 0-1, 4.72 ERA

Cooperstown at Amsterdam, 7:05 p.m.
Andrew Grann (New Paltz) 1-2, 4.19 ERA vs. Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) 1-1, 1.84 ERA

Oneonta at Newark, 7:05 p.m.
Sheldon Lee (U. San Francisco) 3-0, 2.35 ERA vs. Austin McAuliffe (NJIT) 1-0, 2.25 ERA

Notebook
*Amsterdam has moved up to sixth in the Perfect Game Summer Top 30 poll. We'll have more on this later today . Quickly, the number-six ranking is the highest for any team in league history and the highest in the over 30-year history of fhe the Mohawks. Amsterdam is the first PGCBL team to break into the Top 10 nationally. Amsterdam's 20 overall wins and .864 winning percentage are among the best in the country though the number of games played so far in each league differs greatly. For example, the Mankato MoonDogs of the Northwoods League have 25 victories but have played 32 games, more than double the number of games played by the top-ranked Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League.

*The PGCBL is represented in the top five by several former players currently competing for other teams. Cody Kulp (Shippensburg) and Kyle Hunter (Dartmouth) of the second-ranked Orleans Firebirds both won a summer baseball championship with the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2010. Kulp is batting .293 with two home runs and 11 RBI. Pitcher Tyler Kane (Washington), the closer for the third-ranked Wenatchee Apple Sox, played for the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs last summer and was named to the All-PGCBL second team. Kane currently has six saves in eight games and a 1.35 ERA. The fifth-ranked Keene Swamp Bats boast pitchers Rob Rogers (Keystone) and Artie Lewicki (Virginia) and outfielder J.P. Sportsman (Central Conn. State). Rogers pitched for the Watertown Wizards last summer. Sportman split time last summer between the Oneonta Outlaws and Cooperstown Hawkeyes while Lewicki was a starting pitcher for the Oneonta Outlaws. Sportman leads the Swamp Bats with 23 RBI.

*The Mohawks won their league leading 20th game on Monday night with a 7-2 decision at Albany. The Mohawks did not pick up their 20th win last season until July 13 when they clobbered the Elmira Pioneers, 8-0, in a rain-shortened game at Shuttleworth Park. Current Mohawk Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) earned the mound victory. At the time, the win improved Amsterdam's record to 20-12. In case you missed it on Monday, the Mohawks are now 43-10 in the regular season over the last calendar year dating back to July 2, 2011.

*Closely looking at Amsterdam's current nine game winning streak, the Tribe has outscored opponents 70-28. However, the streak hasn't been about complete domination. In four of its nine wins, Amsterdam has had to come from behind. On June 23, Amsterdam trailed Cooperstown 1-0 and used a three-run double by Nathan Gomez (Marshall) to eventually win 3-1. The Mohawks were on the short end of a 3-1 deficit at Albany on June 27 before scoring eight unanswered runs to earn a 9-3 triumph. Sunday night in Little Falls, Mohawk Valley used a three-run fourth inning to take a brief 3-1 lead on its Mohawk River rivals. Amsterdam scored nine runs late to pull away with a 12-4 decision. And on Monday night in Albany, the Rug City nine got behind 2-0 and then ripped off seven-unanswered runs for a 7-2 win. It should be noted that all four deficits came in road games. A 10-4 road win at Watertown was the only away game in which Amsterdam did not trail.

*Amsterdam's offense has been nearly unstoppable in the late innings in the nine-game win streak. Of the 70 runs overall that Amsterdam has scored, 43 have been in the final four innings - between the sixth and ninth innings. The biggest outbursts came against Albany last Monday (10), at Albany on Wednesday (8), at Watertown on Thursday (8) and at Mohawk Valley on Sunday (9). Last night, the Mohawks scored three times in the final four frames at Albany.

*Monday's suspsended game between Mohawk Valley and Cooperstown at Doubleday Field marked the second time this season that a Hawkeyes game has been suspended due to darkness. Doubleday Field, a brisk walk from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, does not have lights. Overall, the Hawkeyes have been suspended three times - twice to darkness and once due to a pop-up rain shower. The other darkness game was on June 6 against the Amsterdam Mohawks and that was suspended after 12 innings. Cooperstown ended up winning the contest 5-4 in 14 innings on a walk-off home run by Coleman Barron (Davidson).

*Just a reminder, the statistics for the Mohawk Valley at Cooperstown game will not be official until the game is completed. It is slated to be picked up in the top of the eighth inning on July 15 prior to the regularly-scheduled game between the DiamondDawgs and Hawkeyes at Doubleday Field. A time has not yet been set.

*Monday marked the first time since June 12 that the full daily schedule for the league has not been completed. On that night, all four league games were rained out. The suspension for darkness in Cooperstown ended a streak of 18 days (three weeks) without a rain out or suspended game.

*When the Cooperstown-Mohawk Valley game is resumed, it will be one run away from tying a league single-game record for combined runs scored. The current record is 28 set last season when Elmira drubbed Watertown, 21-7, at Dunn Field on June 24. The Hawkeyes and DiamondDawgs have already accounted for 27 runs in just seven innings which is a record in itself. Seven, or one-third, of Elmira's 21 runs crossed the plate in the eighth inning. At the end of seven, the Pioneers had a 14-7 advantage.

*Speaking of offense, Mohawk Valley and Cooperstown weren't the only teams scoring early and often on Monday in Otsego County. Because it seems this year when one thing happens to one of the two Otsego teams (Cooperstown/Oneonta), it also happens to the other - witness extra-inning games and other various situations. While the DiamondDawgs and Hawkeyes engaged in a shootout at Doubleday Field, the Watertown Wizards were in the process of putting together a franchise single-game record 20 runs in a rout of Oneonta at Damaschke Field. Unofficially at the end of the day - Visitors 38 Otsego County 15.

*Watertown's 20 runs are the most by any PGCBL team this season and the most in the 13-year history of the franchise. The previous high for the league this season was 19 set by Newark on June 16 in a 19-6 home victory over Mohawk Valley. The league record is 21 set in the aforementioned 21-7 Elmira win over Watertown on June 24 last season. Watertown's previous record for runs in a game was 17 and that came last year at East Field in a 17-6 drubbing of Glens Falls.

*Breaking down Watertown's 20-run explosion. The Wizards scored 20 runs on 16 hits and took advantage of nine walks and three hit batsmen. When the seventh-inning stretch began at Damaschke Field, the Wiz Kids had already reached the 20-run plateau. Watertown scored a single run in the first and added four in the second inning without the benefit of a hit. The first Watertown hit did not come until the third inning and it was a single by Chris Glynn (UW Parkside). The Wizards tacked on three runs in the fourth, four in the sixth and then exploded for eight in the seventh. At the seventh-inning stretch, the score read Watertown 20 Oneonta 1. Watertown had eight of nine starters with at least one hit and five Wizards scored multiple runs. Looking at Watertown's 16 hits - 10 were singles and six went for doubles. Five different Wizards doubled led by two from Donald Walter (Cal Poly Pomona).

*The top three batters in Watertown head coach Nathan Kafka's line-up decimated the Outlaws. Lead-off batter Donald Walter (Cal Poly Pomona) reached base safely five times on three hits and two HBP. He went 3-for-3 with two doubles and one RBI. His five runs are the most by any PGCBL player ever in a single game. Two-hitter Derek Hagy (UTPA)  was 3-for-4 with three RBI, three runs scored , two walks and one double. Brandon Cipolla (Holy Cross), the number three batter, recorded only one hit, a double, but scored three times, drove in three runs and walked thrice. On the base paths, Walter and Hagy combined for five stolen bases - Walter swiped two bags and Hagy nabbed three.

*Lost in the cornucopia of offense in Oneonta on Monday was a strong start from Watertown's Matt McClain (St. Mary's, Texas). McClain, a lefty from San Antonio, Texas, pitched six strong innings and allowed just one run in his second victory. The game could have turned in differently had McClain not been able to pitch out of several jams. Oneonta loaded the bases with two outs in the third and McClain induced an inning-ending ground out. In the fifth, Oneonta filled the bases again and brought in one run. For the second time in three frames, the southpaw forced an Oneonta hitter to ground out to end the threat.

*Overall last season, the Elmira Pioneers totaled 35,453 fans for an average of 1,477 per game. That doesn't include the 2011 PGCBL All-Star Game which was held at Dunn Field. The Pioneers are on pace to smash that record this season. With one month and 13 scheduled home games remaining, the Pioneers have already brought in 32,656 fans for an average of almost 3,000 per night. Last year's record will likely fall this weekend when the Pioneers enjoy a three-game homestand over the post-holiday weekend with home tilts against Newark (Thursday), Oneonta (Friday) and nationally-ranked Amsterdam (Saturday).

*No news to report on the Glens Falls Golden Eagles other than that the Green and Gold is enjoying a two-day break in the schedule. The Golden Eagles are one of four teams in the league with back-to-back scheduled days off. Cooperstown and Newark had back back-to-back off days last month though Newark did choose to play on an exhibition game on one of those days against the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League. Watertown will have kind of have two days off in a row; the Wizards are off the day after the All-Star Game.

*One scheduling tidbit to pass along, Wednesday's game between Oneonta and Glens Falls at Damaschke Field will begin at 6:00 p.m. and not 7:00 p.m. as originally listed.

*There has been a slight shift in philosophy for head coaches Keith Griffin and John Mayotte of Amsterdam and Glens Falls respectively. Last year, Amsterdam stole 39 bases in 47 regular season games which comes out to less than one base per game. Glens Falls had even fewer swipes with only 24. Glens Falls also had 29 runners thrown out attempting to steal. Glens Falls won the PGCBL East and Amsterdam finished a half-game back of Glens Falls. This season, the numbers are very different. Heading into the midway point of the season, the nationally-ranked Mohawks have stolen 49 bases. Evan Stephens (Wake Forest) leads the team with 14 thefts. It's an even greater difference for Glens Falls with 42 stolen bases in 23 games. Ross Kivett (Kansas State), the league leader with 20 stolen bases, needs just four more steals to tie last year's total team output.

*Also as the curtain rises on July, two relievers - Mohawk Valley's Aaron Casper (Canisius) and Albany's Trevor Lacosse (Bryant) have not allowed an earned run. Casper has recorded 18.0 innings over 10 appearances. He has a 1-1 record and 19 strikeouts. The Duanesburg, N.Y., native has yielded just one unearned run on nine hits. Meanwhile, Lacosse has three wins and three saves in eight appearances totaling 11.0 innings. The Albany closer has let up just one unearned run on four hits.. He has not allowed an extra-base hit and has struck out 18.

Looking Ahead
*Today will be the last day until Friday with at least eight teams in action. There are only two games on Wednesday due to the Fourth of July holiday and then only three on Thursday.

*Both Watertown and Elmira have designs on moving out of the bottom of the league standings and contesting for one of the final playoff spots. The good news at just about the midway point of the summer, the gap between fourth place and ninth place is just 3.5 games. The Wizards and Pioneers have four games remaining against one another and three of those contests will come at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in Watertown with one being tonight. The Purple and Gold are 3-1 versus the Pios however neither team has won at home in the series. As has been documented here, the Wizards are much better on the road than at home with just a 2-11 mark at the "Duffy Dome." This will be Watertown's second-to-last home game prior to the 2012 Jefferson County Fair which will keep the team on the road for a week. In wins on Monday, the Wizards and Pioneers combined for 31 runs. Watertown ripped off 12 at Elmira in front of 3,800+ in a 12-2 beatdown of the Pioneers on June 27. Elmira scored 12 times in a win at Watertown earlier this season.

*It's not quite the stretch run yet but Albany and Mohawk Valley find themselves nearly neck-and-neck in the league standings chasing fourth place and the Oneonta Outlaws. Due to Oneonta's recent struggles, the Dutchmen are just one game out of the the fourth and final playoff spot and the DiamondDawgs are just a half-game back of Albany. Mohawk Valley leads the season series, 2-0, based on back-to-back wins over Albany at Vet's Park in mid-June. But, it has been almost three weeks since the Dutchmen and DiamondDawgs have been on the same field. Historically speaking, Mohawk Valley is 9-1 against Albany over the last two seasons; the Dawgs are unbeaten at Bob Bellizzi Field and have won five in a row over their foes from the Capital District. In general, the Dutch and head coach Nick Davey are in need of a strong overall pitching staff performance - Albany has allowed at least six runs in eight-straight games since a 3-2 win over Glens Falls. The Dutch are 2-6 in those games and needed almost two touchdowns per win in slugfests.Meanwhile, Mohawk Valley slugged out 18 runs in seven innings Monday at Cooperstown.

*Cooperstown is just one of two teams this season to defeat the nationally-ranked Amsterdam Mohawks. The other is the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. The Hawkeyes used a walk-off home run to hand the Mohawks their first loss of the season. That loss was part of a 1-2 start for the Tribe. Since then, well, Amsterdam has gone 19-1 with winning streaks of 10 and nine games. The Mohawks lead the season series with Cooperstown 2-1 and all three games were played at Cooperstown's Doubleday Field. This month, the Hawkeyes will visit the Mohawks three times at Shuttleworth Park. Cooperstown has not won at Shuttleworth Park since a shocking doubleheader sweep of the Mohawks on July 10, 2010 in which the Otsegans won back-to-back games by identical 2-1 scores. Cooperstown pitchers have held Amsterdam bats in check somewhat this season; in two of the three games at Doubleday, the Mohawks recorded just three runs - one of those games lasted 14 innings. Now, in the other game Amsterdam struck for nine. Cooperstown's offense has unofficially accounted for 26 runs over its last three contests though all three were at Doubleday Field. The Hawkeyes did win their last road game with an 8-6 duke at Elmira's Dunn Field in front of almost 4,000 fans.

*Two of the top four teams in the PGCBL go head-to-head on Tuesday night when the Newark Pilots and Oneonta Outlaws meet for just the third-time ever. So far, the Pilots and Outlaws have split (1-1) in the season series with each team winning on the road. Oneonta topped Newark at Colburn Park in its first-ever PGCBL game and then Newark returned the favor three weeks later at Damaschke Field. It's a big two-day stretch for the Outlaws with two games against teams ahead of them in the standings - Newark and Glens Falls. The Orange and Black are in the midst of a five-game slide which has been their longest of the season. The good news for the Outlaws; they'll be on the road on Tuesday and outside of Otsego County. The Orange and Black are 2-0 in their last two games outside of the county with a pair of wins at Watertown. In the current five-game slide, all five defeats have been within the county lines. Newark, currently tied with Glens Falls for second place, has cooled off lately with three losses in its last five games. The Pilots will have a good taste of home cooking coming - they've played just eight home dates in 23 games. Newark's 15 road games leads the league by far. Newark has more road wins than several teams have overall wins. The Pilots are 4-4 in home games.



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