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PGCBL Dugout Chatter, Week 4

Photo courtesy Leader-Herald/Erich Neuhaus
07/11/2011 4:31 PM - Photo: Elmira's Sal Pezzino (High Point) holds Amsterdam's Josh Nethaway (Albany) on first base during a game between the Pioneers and the Mohawks at Shuttleworth Park on Fri., July 8. Photo taken by Erich Neuhaus/Leader-Herald.

Albany Dutchmen
Overall: 10-14 (.417), Third PGCBL East…Week 4: 4-3 (.571)
A wild rollercoaster week for the Dutchmen featured many ups and downs and ended on a high note with back-to-back wins and pitcher Steven Poche (SE Louisiana) being named Co-Pitcher of the Week in the PGCBL…The 4-3 mark for the week is Albany’s best of the season…One night after Albany allowed 13 runs, Steven Poche tossed a four-hit shutout in a rain-shortened win at Elmira…Two nights later, Mike Hughes (HVCC) hurled a two-hit shutout in a five-inning game at home against Cooperstown that was cut short by rain…The shutouts are Albany’s first since June 11, 2009 when Ben Klimesh threw a four-hit shutout at Bleecker Stadium against Amsterdam in a seven-inning game; the Dutch did not have a shutout last season…Reliever Preston Hill (Chandler-Gilbert CC) made his starting debut Saturday night at Mohawk Valley. He racked up a 10-strikeout complete game to help the Dutch earn a twin bill split…Twice last week, the Capital District Dutchmen scored 10 runs and lost – however at Mohawk Valley, Albany used a six-run top of the seventh to force a 10-10 tie…Steven Poche is the first Albany player or pitcher to win a league weekly award from either the NYCBL or the PGCBL…Manager Nick Davey’s club is 6-4 in July; the team has not lost back-to-back games dating back to the end of June…Dain McNabb (MTSU) leads the PGCBL with a .383 batting average and 16 bases on balls. McNabb also tops the Dutch with eight multi-hit games…Talk about strong openings, Albany is outscoring opponents by a margin of 23-5 in the first inning…In two-run or less games, the Dutch are 3-9…Andrew Deeds (Morehead State) has made 18 starts in center field, that’s more than anyone else on the team at any other position…Brandon Trinkwon (UCSB) and Steve Anderson (Georgetown) have batted lead-off and clean-up respectively 17 times in 24 games…The team is six wins away from tying last year’s mark of 16…As a team, the Dutchmen are second in the league in stolen bases (48) and third in walks (92).

Amsterdam Mohawks
Overall: 16-12 (.571), Second PGCBL East…Week 4: 5-2 (.714)
Since the announcement of the return of catcher Luke Maile (Kentucky), the Mohawks are 9-2 with stand-alone losses to Watertown and Albany…The Tribe has not lost back-to-back games dating back to a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Glens Falls on June 24 at Shuttleworth Park…Amsterdam and Glens Falls were tied for first in the PGCBL East after the Amsterdam’s win over its’ longtime rival on Saturday night however a Tribe defeat in Albany on Sunday coupled with a Golden Eagles’ victory has the Mohawks one back with just under one month to play…No other team in the PGCBL has played as many games as Amsterdam – the Mohawks officially have just 20 regular season games remaining and an exhibition as well with the U.S. Military All-Stars…Amsterdam triumphed twice in a three-game set with rival Watertown (a rivalry dating back to 2000), the Tribe took the series’ opener in Watertown and then the finale two days later at Shuttleworth Park…The Mohawks also gained a measure of revenge over Elmira with a 5-3 win on July 8; Elmira had swept Amsterdam in their last two meetings in mid-June at Elmira’s Dunn Field…A victory over Glens Falls on July 9 was Amsterdam’s first of the season, the Mohawks were previously 0-4 against the Green and Gold…As a team, the Mohawks raised their batting average over 20 points last week…Tribe tossers top the loop in ERA (3.74) and strikeouts (231); Amsterdam is the only team in the circuit with a sub 4.00 team ERA and over 200 strikeouts…Closer Abram Williams (Radford) leads the league with seven saves…Jude Vidrine’s (Lamar) .360 batting average is fourth in the PGCBL; he is also fourth in total bases (51)…Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) earned his first Amsterdam win on Saturday and he currently leads the loop with 39 strikeouts in 32.0 innings pitched…Zach Shank (Marist) has a team-high 10 multi-hit games, Jude Vidrine is second with nine…In just over a week, Luke Maile has compiled a team-best three multi-hit games…Jude Vidrine has made 23 starts in left field for Amsterdam, the most for any player at any position…Seven different batters have hit in the clean-up spot for the Mohawks while nine have been placed in the five-hole…Assistant coach Juan Carlos Calderon, an assistant coach at Iowa Lakes C.C., was an intern for the team last season…The Mohawks have played in nine one-run games and are 5-4 in those contests.


Cooperstown Hawkeyes
Overall: 14-10 (.583), Second PGCBL West…Week 4: 4-3 (.571)
The Hawkeyes continue to hum along and remain among the top teams in the PGCBL West now with a 14-10 record, just a half-game behind division-leading Newark. Since the end of a six-game winning streak, the Cooperstown club has played .500 baseball with a 5-5 record in its’ last 10 games…The team was recently joined by local standouts James Fort (Niagara) from Cooperstown Central and Luke Burns (Hudson Valley CC) from Delaware Academy by way of Bovina…Last week was marked by a series of two-game sets with Mohawk Valley (doubleheader), Albany and Watertown (doubleheader) with also a single game against division-rival Elmira…A twin bill split with Watertown on Sunday handed the Otsegans just their third loss at Doubleday Field; Cooperstown is 10-3 at home…Three of Cooperstown’s four wins came at Doubleday and all three were of the come-from-behind variety. The Otsegans scored four times between the seventh and eighth innings to edge Albany on July 7 and then did the same to Elmira two days later; in this case however the Otsegans also had to hold off a ninth-inning charge from the Pios. Sunday, Cooperstown dismissed a 4-1 Watertown advantage with four runs in the last of the sixth to earn a doubleheader split…Danny Nelson (CSU Monterey Bay) leads the team with eight multi-hit efforts, Bryan Aanderud (Cypress) has seven…Coleman Barron (Davidson) has batted lead-off 18 times for the Hawkeyes and made 20 starts in center field. The league leader in stolen bases (14) also made two spot starts in twin bills last week…In the final three innings so far this season, the Otsegans have plated 45 runs – 24 of those have been registered in the seventh inning alone…Cooperstown has been as cool as the other side of the pillow in one-run games, the Hawkeyes are 8-1 in one-run contests and 10-2 in games decided by two runs or less…As a team, Cooperstown leads the league in stolen bases (49) and is second in home runs (17).

Elmira Pioneers
Overall: 13-13 (.500), Third PGCBL West…Week 4: 1-5 (.167)
The Pioneers were the hottest team in the league when the calendar turned from June to July however the current month has not been kind to the team from the Twin Tiers. The Pios began the week with a wild 13-10 thriller over Albany at home in which Sal Pezzino (High Point) slammed a walk-off home run. However after the win, Elmira skidded into a five-game losing streak with losses to five different teams. The slide also dropped the team from first to third in the PGCBL West with a .500 record…Elmira was listed in the “Also Under Consideration” category in the Summer Top 25 poll last week; it was the first time the Pioneers have been under Top 25 consideration…In the win over Albany, Elmira scored the final six runs of the game, three in the bottom of the eighth to tie and three in the 10th to win…Just past the midway mark of the season, Justin Lacy (Longwood) has driven in 30 runs; he leads the league in RBI and is on pace for over 50. Lacy, Aaron Hopper (Marietta) and David Bishop (Miss. State) have combined to drive in 71 runs for the Pios…Offensively last week, the Pioneers reeled of 36 runs in six games for an average of six per contest but allowed 53 scores (around nine runs per contest)…Relievers Wes McBride (UNC Greensboro) and Jimmy Reed (Skagit Valley) have been Elmira’s best; McBride is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in seven appearances with three saves and Reed has a 1.76 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15.1 innings over 11 outings…Elmira has used a total of 15 pitchers…The Pioneers boasted a league season-best .303 team batting average after the victory over Albany…Ryan Normoyle (Wash, Md.) has a team-best 11 multi-hit games while Justin Lacy and David Bishop both have seven multi-RBI performances…Ryan Normoyle has started 25 of Elmira’s 26 games at shortstop; he missed his first game of the season on Sunday night against Newark…Despite a recent skid, Elmira still leads the league in batting average (.286), runs scored (255), hits (176), extra-base hits (82), home runs (22) and walks (111).

Glens Falls Golden Eagles
Overall: 15-9 (.625), First PGCBL East…Week 4: 2-3 (.400)
The nationally-ranked Golden Eagles have found themselves in a sprint to the finish after a second-straight rocky week following a 10-2 start to the season. The Eagles remained in the Summer Top 25 at number 22 overall but may drop out after winning just twice in five games last week…However, with two wins, manager John Mayotte is just two victories away from 200 in his career with Glens Falls (regular season victories)…Recent additions to the team include Antwan Brown (Santa Fe), Kayvon Bahramzadeh (Kansas State) and Jordan Keysor (Skidmore)…Four of the teams’ five games last week came at East Field; the team has dropped to 9-4 at home after winning its’ first seven home games of the year…Glens Falls and Newark dueled on Fri., July 8, at Colburn Park. Derek Mazzio (Saint Louis) of the Golden Eagles went toe-to-toe with Newark’s Dominick Ruscitti (Kutztown) for seven innings; each allowed one run. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, Newark scored once in the ninth to win the game…The Golden Eagles are 8-4 in one-run games; those amount for half of their 24 contests this season…The Green and Gold are outscoring opponents, 17-7, in the eighth though have been outscored 14-3 in the ninth…Two-way threat Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) leads the Eagles with five saves and he recorded all six outs of a two-inning appearance on Sunday night via strikeout. Ruchim has 29 strikeouts in 13.0 innings and that is tied for fifth-most in the league…Ricky Claudio (St. Thomas, Fla.), Josh Anderson (Yavapai) and Kyle Ruchim each have eight multi-hit games…Anthony Pisani (So. Maine) and Zac Hawkins (LSU Eunice) have appeared in all 24 games for the Eagles this season; Hawkins has started all 24…Defensively, the Eagles are first in the league with a .973 fielding percentage and just 24 errors total…David Olson (Tacoma CC) is second in the PGCBL with a .377 batting average…Golden Eagle pitchers are second in the league with 227 total strikeouts; the Eagles are just one of two teams with over 200 pitcher strikeouts…The Eagles are in a stretch of 12 games in 12 days and do not have a scheduled day off until July 17.

Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs
Overall: 7-18 (.280), Fourth PGCBL East…Week 4: 2-6 (.250)
Things are looking up for the team that calls the ball yard at the corner of Burwell and Ray Streets in Little Falls home. The DiamondDawgs ended a 10-game losing streak with a twin bill split at home against Cooperstown on Tues, July 5 and then added a wild home victory over Albany on Saturday night in the first game of a doubleheader…An eight-game week after a pair of doubleheaders the first weekend of July has caught the Dawgs up to the rest of the teams in the PGCBL in terms of games played…Hassan Evans (Herkimer County CC) pulled off a rare feat on Wed., July 6, with four strikeouts in one inning at Newark. Evans recorded three outs via swinging strikeout and a fourth strikeout victim reached base on a wild pitch…A change of scenery helped backstop Bryan Bleakley (NJIT). Bleakley began the summer with Amsterdam and collected just four hits in 13 games. He was released by the Mohawks and immediately signed by Mohawk Valley. In eight games with the Dawgs, Bleakley slugged three home runs, picked up nine RBI and batted .276…The Dawgs also added local outfielder George Hajjar (Felician) from nearby Whitesboro, N.Y. He amassed a .444 average and eight hits in five games…Cullen Wacker (Auburn) was the hero in Saturday night’s 11-10 win over Albany. Wacker was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to force in the winning run. Wacker has started all 25 games for the Dawgs and is batting .326 with 12 RBI…Willie Gabay (Herkimer County CC), Tyler Dunaway (Kentucky) and Tyler Kane (Washington) combined for a four-hit shutout in Mohawk Valley’s win over Cooperstown. Gabay was a standout sprinter in high school and did not pitch for the varsity team…Tyler Townsend (Kentucky) has at least one hit in 22 of his 24 games played…Mohawk Valley is 4-7 in games decided by two runs or less.

Newark Pilots
Overall: 15-10 (.600), First PGCBL West…Week 4: 7-0 (1.000)
No other team in the PGCBL is hotter right now than the Newark Pilots…The Fly Boys from the Finger Lakes have won seven games in a row and outscored the opposition 60-29 in those games. Newark hit double digits in runs in four of the seven games and racked up a season-high 14 scores on Sunday night in a slugfest win over Elmira at Dunn Field…Included in last week’s seven victories was a walk-off win over Glens Falls. Adam Grace (Genesee CC) drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to win the game…The Pilots are averaging nearly six runs per night with 148 scores in 25 overall games (5.92)…Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge) batted .462 last week with 12 hits, five runs scored, one home run and nine RBI; Ray Delvalle (Ky. Wesleyan) rapped a team-best 13 hits, scored 10 runs and drove in eight while Luke Swenson (UCSB) scored 11 runs and socked 11 hits…As a team, Newark had four triples in seven games; Jacob Starnes (UT Dallas) had two of them and he batted .450 in five contests…The Pilots added 17 stolen bases and held opponents to just three…It wasn’t only offense for the Colburn Park club; PGCBL Pitcher of the Week Dom Ruscitti (Kutztown), Carson Beauchaine (Saginaw Valley State) and Shayne Herold (Ashland) all threw complete games. Ruscitti of course tossed a complete game four-hit shutout at home in a 2-1 win over Glens Falls. Beauchaine fanned 11 in a complete game seven-hitter at Mohawk Valley and then Herold fired a four-hit shutout in a seven-inning complete game at Watertown…Carson Beauchaine has struck out 11 batters in each of his last two starts…The Pilots have not lost since July 2 and have not dropped back-to-back games since June 24-June 25…Dom Ruscitti is first in the league with a 1.11 ERA…Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta) has started every game for the Pilots and he leads the team in batting average (.367), home runs (four) and RBI (22)…Talk about road warriors, the Pilots are 11-5 away from home with just eight road tilts left…Newark is 5-3 in one-run games.

Watertown Wizards
Overall: 11-15 (.423), Tied for second PGCBL West…Week 4: 3-5 (.375)
A three-game set with Amsterdam and back-to-back doubleheaders highlighted the week for the Purple and Gold. The Wiz Kids thrashed the Mohawks, 11-1, on Wed., July 6 but dropped two of three overall to the Tribe. After defeating Mohawk Valley by a touchdown on Friday night, the Wizards were swept at home on Saturday by white-hot Newark and then split a Sunday double dip at Cooperstown…Of 24 scheduled home games, the Wizards have played 14 already and will not be home again until July 19 because of the Jefferson County Fair. Watertown is 7-7 at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and 4-8 away from home…Rob Curran (URI), Rob Rogers (Keystone) and Scott Whitehead (Canisius) are the top three in the league in innings pitched – Curran 36.0, Rogers 34.2, Whitehead 33.2. No other Wizards hurler has more than 22 innings…Erick Gaylord (Campbell) is on pace to set franchise records in RBI and stolen bases. With 26 RBI, Gaylord has moved into the top four in franchise history and is 10 RBI away from tying Mike Lyon’s 2005 record of 35. Meanwhile, Gaylord has stolen 13 bases, nine fewer than the franchise mark of 22 set by Kosuke Hattori and Neiko Johnson in 2009…Alex Maldonado (Holy Cross) leads the Purple and Gold with 11 multi-hit games. He batted .560 (14-for-25) last week and was hitting nearly .800 prior to Sunday. Maldonado also went an unblemished 38-for-38 in defensive chances…Seven of Chris Gruarin’s (Canisius) nine hits last week went for extra bases…As a team, the Wizards are second in the league in batting average (.276), runs scored (156), hits (242), doubles (50) and extra-base hits (76)…Watertown batters have set a franchise record with 13 triples in just 26 games, that breaks the previous mark by three. The team is on pace to break numerous other offensive franchise records…Erick Gaylord and Chris Gruarin have played in each of Watertown’s 26 contests this season.


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