On Tuesday night from Shuttleworth Park, the Mohawks (36-6-1) and Stallions (25-18-2) battled for the ninth and final time in the regular season. In a clash of the top two teams in the East Division, Amsterdam got the better of Saugerties, 5-4. With the win, the Mohawks are now 8-0-1 against the Stallions this year.
Hagan Banks (Alabama) made his first start, and the top of Stallions order pounced on the freshman in the top of the first. Max Cotier (West Virginia) and Evan Goforth (Indiana) both notched singles before Banks recorded an out. With runners on the corners, cleanup batter Garrison Berkley (TCU) ripped a single of his own which brought home Cotier to give Saugerties a 1-0 lead. Facing starter Bryan Boully (Florida Atlantic) in the bottom of the inning, Amsterdam responded instantly. Gage Miller (Bishop State CC) wasted no time with a leadoff double, his 14th double on the year. Miller advanced to third on a groundout from Cam Love (Rutgers) and ended up scoring on an RBI groundout from Brett Coker (Middle Tennessee State) that tied the game.
After a scoreless second frame, the top of Saugerties lineup did damage once again in the third. The Stallions made two quick outs but responded with three consecutive hits. A two-run double from Berkley scored both Goforth and Brandon Fish (UMass-Lowell) to make it 3-1 Saugerties. Banks was done after three innings, allowing three runs off six hits with two strikeouts and no walks. The Mohawks stayed silent in the bottom of the frame, while Saugerties was also quiet in the top of the fourth against All-Star reliever Luis Misla (Hudson Valley CC). In three innings on the bump, Boully gave up one run off four hits with two strikeouts and no walks. His replacement, Jake Kolkhorst (Blinn CC), didn’t allow a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Misla stayed perfect in the top of the fifth, finishing with four strikeouts and a walk. With Kolkhorst still on the mound, Amsterdam woke up in the bottom of the frame. Miller led off and was hit by a pitch. Then, Love reached on a walk, which prompted Stallions head coach Collin Martin to call for the bullpen. Off Richie Cimpric’s (Seton Hall) first pitch, Coker crushed a ball off the leftfield wall for an RBI double that scored Miller. On the very next pitch, Zach Gardiner (Marshall) secured his 36th RBI as he grounded out to second and Love touched home plate. The ensuing pitch also lead to a score, as Cade Bush (Florida State) grounded out to second as well and Coker came home to give the Mohawks a 4-3 advantage. Kolkhorst pitched one inning and coughed-up two runs off three walks and a hit by pitch.
Arlon Butts (Arkansas State) chucked a scoreless top of the sixth thanks in part to a double play turned by Love at short. Cimpric kept it a one-run affair in the bottom of the frame and finished the game with two innings pitched and one run allowed off two hits with a strikeout. The game continued to move quickly in the top of the seventh when Butts retired the side with a pair of flyouts and a punchout. Across two innings, the sophomore recorded two strikeouts and allowed one hit. Saugerties’ next bullpen option, Praxie Vigil (Webber), hurled a 1-2-3 frame of his own in the bottom of the seventh.
Nolan Lamere (George Mason) toed the rubber for Amsterdam in the bottom of the eighth and ran into some issues. Singles from Cotier and Berkley put runners on first and second with two outs. Up next was the five-hitter, Garrett Michel (Virginia Tech), who clanked a double off the top of the wall in leftfield. Cotier scored with ease to tie the game at 4-4, but Berkley also got the green light in an attempt to take the lead. A strong throw from left-fielder Ian Petrutz (Maryland) eliminated any chance of Berkley being safe, as catcher Mark Black (Gardiner-Webb) tagged him out at the plate.
Another pitcher out of Webber, TJ Lopez, took over in the bottom of the eighth. Bush worked a five-pitch leadoff walk to put the go-ahead run on first. Jake Hand (WPI) was inserted as a pinch-runner, which proved to be a wise move, as the All-Star swiped second base. Soon after, a groundout from Petrutz let Hand move up to third. Lopez then faced Black, and before the latter even swung the bat, a wild pitch gave Hand all the time he needed to make it 5-4 Amsterdam. In one inning of work, Lopez was handed the loss, gave up a run, and added both a punchout and a walk. On the other hand, Lamere returned in the top of the ninth, retired the side, and received the win. The senior tossed two innings and gave up one run off three hits.
Coker was the star of the night, going 2-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. The Mohawks travel to the Dutchmen tonight for their final regular season contest against Albany and longtime Dutch head coach Nick Davey. First pitch is at 6:35 pm from Keenholts Park, so make sure to listen to the radio broadcast on the Amsterdam Mohawks’ Facebook page through Facebook Live. The Stallions are off today but return to action at home tomorrow in a doubleheader against the Dragons at 5:00 pm.