Any late arriving fans barely had time to get their seats warm. The Amsterdam Mohawks recorded an early run against the Albany Dutchmen on Monday night via a second-inning home-run by Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland). It turns out that would be all Mohawks' right-hander Taylor Martin would need in a speedy 1-0 triumph at Shuttleworth Park that took only one hour and 51 minutes to play.
The great pitchers' duel between Amsterdam's Taylor Martin (Kentucky) and Albany left-hander David Stagg (Heartland CC) was the first 1-0 final in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this season and just third in league history.
Both starters went seven brilliant innings. Each allowed just three hits.
Taylor Martin improved to 3-2 with a six strikeout effort with no walks. He retired 15 consecutively at one stretch from the second through the seventh innings.
David Stagg was also terrific in keeping his Dutchmen in the ballgame. He made one mistake on a 2-2 pitch in the second inning that Limbaugh launched over the fence in left-center. Aside from that. He struck out nine and walked only one while also giving up just a couple of other singles.
The game concluded at 8:59 p.m. in just one hour and 51 minutes for the fastest nine-inning game in the PGCBL this year. This was in sharp contrast to the last time Amsterdam played at home which was their longest single outing of baseball this year. The doubleheader marathon on Friday night against Glens Falls fell just short of six hours including an opening game that went 11 innings.
Taylor Martin notched his second shutout performance of the season. He also threw seven innings of three-hit ball without allowing a run on June 17 at the Watertown Wizards in his first Amsterdam win. Two of his three wins have come via the shutout.
It is Amsterdam's league-leading fifth shutout of the season and the third time they have turned the trick against the Dutchmen. Their most recent shutout was on July 19 at Mohawk Valley when Chandler Shephard fell just a bunt-single shy of a no-hitter against the DiamondDawgs.
It was only Amsterdam's second shutout at home. Coincidentally, both of their home shutouts have come on Mondays. The Mohawks also beat Albany 2-0 on June 18 when Chandler Shephard allowed just two hits in eight innings to out-duel Albany's Matt Snyder.
Amsterdam's win is their sixth in a row and improves the #3 ranked nationally Mohawks to 35-10 overall. Every win is a new record as they have won the most games in a single-season in Amsterdam Mohawks history. The Mohawks have clinched the top-seed for the upcoming playoffs which begin Friday and have just two games remaining in the regular season.
Albany fell just shy of their playoff goal as the loss officially eliminated them from post-season contention despite having a team-record 20 wins this year.
Kevin Archbold (U. Albany) fired a perfect eighth in relief and Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) put them away in order in the ninth to record his third save of the season.
Limbaugh homered in his second consecutive game and picked up his third overall of the season. The future Wright State University Raider (transferring from Parkland next season) has hit all three of his home-runs for game-winners although nobody had any inclination at the time of his long-ball in this one that it would hold up as the only run of the night.
Zak Colby went 0-for-3 in the game and remains one hit shy of the all-time Amsterdam Mohawks' record for hits in a season of 58 established by Zach Shank last year. Colby has two more games to try to tie and break the team's record. he has already shattered the team record for doubles with 19 this season. The old record was 13 by Austin Sheffield in 2009 and Kyle Koeneman in 2010.
Amsterdam also defeated Albany in the first ever 1-0 game in league history last year on June 12 at Bob Bellizzi Field in a combined four-hit effort. The only other 1-0 final in the league was a rain-shortened five inning game with Albany prevailing at Cooperstown last year on July 8. The Dutchmen have been involved in all three 1-0 finals in the two-year history of the PGCBL.
Amsterdam plays their last home game of the regular season on Tuesday night against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs who are in a battle for the last playoff spot in the PGCBL with the Oneonta Outlaws which will likely come with the privilege of tangling with Amsterdam in the opening round of the playoffs.
Albany has a pair of games at home against Cooperstown on Tuesday beginning at 6:05. The first game is the completion of a suspended game from a few weeks ago in which the Dutchmen trail 15-11 in the 8th inning. A full nine-inning game at 7:05 will follow the conclusion of the suspended game.
The Mohawks conclude the regular season on Wednesday night at the Albany Dutchmen. And then Amsterdam will host game 1 of the playoffs on Friday, will travel for game two on Saturday, and then if game 3 is necessary in the best-of-three series, Amsterdam will host again on Sunday night.
The most likely opponent for the first round of the playoffs are Oneonta or Mohawk Valley.