Amsterdam Mohawk right-hander Chandler Shephard (Kentucky) gave up just a sixth-inning bunt single in his eight innings of brilliant ball in an 8-0 shutout victory on the road at the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs on Thursday night.
Shephard became the first pitcher in the PGCBL to record his sixth win of the season and was brilliant throughout his gem. Reigning PGCBL Player of the Week Chris Cruz stepped up with one out in the sixth and knocked a bunt into the air on the first base side that landed with lots of top-spin away from Shephard. He could have let it go to see if it would spin foul but Shephard opted to field the one-hopper and try to throw him out.
Shephard's throw appeared to beat Cruz first but he was ruled safe for what ended up as the only hit of the night for Mohawk Valley.
He struck out nine while walking two in his eight tremendous frames. Shephard retired the first 13 batters he faced before a one-out error in the fifth inning finally forced him to work from the stretch. Mohawk Valley loaded the bases after that with a pair of walk but he worked out of it and preserved the shutout and no-hit bid for another inning.
Amsterdam staked Shephard to an early 5-0 lead in the second inning that included a pair of two-run singles by Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) and Ed Charlton (NJIT). Limbaugh would get another RBI on a fielder's choice in the eighth inning for three driven in for the night in his first game back since an injury last Saturday at Oneonta.
Charlton's hit extended his league-record hitting streak to 20 games.
Josh Nethaway (U.Albany) had an RBI double to start the 5-run rally in the second for his team-leading 26th of the season and his fifth in the last three games.
Amsterdam has won back-to-back games in their showdown series with second-place Mohawk Valley as they improve to 6-1 this season against the DiamondDawgs.
The Mohawks have a 7.5 game lead in the PGCBL standings with just 11 games to go in the regular season as they close in on a regular-season title. The #3 ranked team in the country improved to 28-8.
Mohawk Valley was one-hit for the second game in a row as part of their three-game losing streak. They had scored over 100 runs in their 11 game win-streak before that but now their offense has fallen silent.
Mark Leiter, Jr. (NJIT) takes the mound for Amsterdam on Friday night at home against the Newark Pilots on Heroes Night presented by NBT Bank. Free admission for all police, firefighters, EMT's and military.