Amsterdam's Shuttleworth Park. Photo courtesy Jon Sargalis/Amsterdam Mohawks
The Amsterdam Mohawks were the best team in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League in 2012. The Mohawks set league records for victories (35) and winning percentage (.745) en route to the 2012 PGCBL championship. According to Allan Simpson and Perfect Game USA, the Mohawks were not only the best in the PGCBL but one of the best in the nation. Perfect Game released its final “Summer Top 30” poll of the 2012 season on Monday and the Amsterdam Mohawks were slotted at number three in the nation. The season-ending poll ranked 50 summer teams and also included the PGCBL’s Glens Falls Golden Eagles.
The New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Newport Gulls and the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League were the only two teams to finish ahead of Amsterdam.
To see the press released and the full rankings, compiled by PG’s Allan Simpson, click here
Overall, Keith Griffin’s Amsterdam Mohawks completed the summer with a 39-13 (.750) record. Amsterdam went 35-12 (.745) during the regular season and then won four playoff games in a row after dropping its postseason opener to rival Mohawk Valley. Head coach Keith Griffin earned the PGCBL Coach of the Year Award while starting hurler Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) was tapped as the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year. Shepherd went 7-0 with a 1.31 earned run average and 50 strikeouts in eight starts. He led the league in opponents’ batting average (.154) and tied for first in the loop in wins and earned run average.
Seven Mohawks were selected to the all-league squad and five of those seven were named to the All-PGCBL first team. Overall, 10 Mohawks were honored by the PGCBL either as members of the all-league team or the Rising Stars team. Amsterdam players that earned all-league accolades included Chandler Shepherd, Rocky McCord (Auburn), Zak Colby (Faulkner), Ed Charlton (NJIT), Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville), Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) and Evan Stephens (Wake Forest). Shepherd, McCord and Charlton were also tapped for the Rising Stars team. Amsterdam’s other Rising Stars selections were Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) and Chase Williamson (Auburn).
In 10 “Summer Top 30” polls that were released in 2012, Amsterdam was ranked no lower than 15. The Mohawks debuted at number 15 in the initial rankings unveiled on June 20. Amsterdam moved up to number 11 the following week and then broke into the top 10 on July 2. The Mohawks spent the rest of the season in the national top 10, a run of eight-straight weeks as one of the 10 best summer baseball teams in the country. Amsterdam spent six of those eight weeks ranked in the top five.
Since the Mohawks moved to Shuttleworth Park from Schenectady in 2003, the franchise has won five summer league championships (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2012). Current head coach Keith Griffin has led the Mohawks to three league titles and over 140 victories over the last four seasons.
For the second year in a row, the Glens Falls Golden Eagles finished the summer in Perfect Game’s national rankings. In an expanded Summer Top 30 poll, the Golden Eagles were ranked 45th.
Glens Falls finished the regular season in second place in the PGCBL with a 27-20 (.574) record. The Golden Eagles compiled a winning record (5-3) against nationally-ranked Amsterdam and boasted the PGCBL Player of the Year Ross Kivett (Kansas State). After edging out 2011 league champion Newark by a half-game for second place, the Golden Eagles swept the Pilots in the opening round of the league playoffs.
Six Golden Eagles earned all-league recognition and Ross Kivett became the first Golden Eagle to win a league Player of the Year award since Terry Blunt was the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s Player of the Year in 2004. Glens Falls players selected for the all-league team included Ross Kivett, Chase Griffin (Georgia Southern), Mike Vigliarolo (Saint Louis), Danny Brennan (Saint Louis), Alberto Morales (Clarendon) and Brandon Magallones (Northwestern). Griffin, Vigliarolo and Magallones were all named to the Rising Stars team along with Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) and Jared Cheek (Georgia Southern).