Amsterdam sweeps Mohawk Valley, advances to Championship Series

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Amsterdam sweeps Mohawk Valley, advances to Championship Series

T.S. Eliot once said in his eclectic poem, The Hollow Men, “This is the way the world ends/not with a bang but with a whimper.”

Unfortunately, that’s how the season ended for the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs, as they could only muster six hits in getting swept by the Amsterdam Mohawks, 7-1.

The Mohawks would draw first blood in the top of the third inning, as a tough fly ball by Marcus Carson (London, Y/Kentucky) would score catcher Blake Logan (Muscle Shoals, AL/Auburn). They would extend the lead to two only two batters later, as a bad hop by Josh Gardiner (Culpepper, VA/Radford) would score Carson. That would be all Amsterdam would get, however, as starter Evan Kissinger (Baton Rouge, LA/LSU-Eunice) would get out of a second-and-third jam to end the inning.

Kissinger would get in another jam in the top of the fourth, as he would load the bases with Mohawks, before Logan would drive a single into the first-second gap, scoring Alex DeBellis (Ridgefield, CT/Lynn) and Brendan Tracy (Rumford, RI/Fairfield).

Amsterdam starter Connor Johnstone (Roswell, GA/Wake Forest) pitched a gem, getting 12 straight Diamond Dawgs out, following a Colin Hawk (Beech Grove, IN/Cincinnati) double two batters into the game. That streak ended in the bottom of the fifth, as Jayson Sullivan (Charlton, NY/Sacred Heart) hit a fireball past Johnstone’s ear for a single. Also, Johnstone did not allow a runner past second base for the first five innings.

A scary moment happened in the sixth inning. As Tracy swung at a pitch, he let go of the bat, nearly hitting Mohawk Valley owner Travis Heiser, who was sitting in the skybox above the home dugout with his family. Fortunately, everyone in the Heiser family was okay, Tracy got a new bat, and play was allowed to continue.

The Diamond Dawgs finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, as Hawk laced one into the second-third gap, scoring Eric Strano (Robbinsville, NJ/Rider). That would be all Mohawk Valley would get, as Johnstone would get the next two batters out to get out of a second-third jam and end the inning. He would not allow another run, as he was pulled in the eighth for Kevin Guthrie (Sarasota, FL/Brown).

Kissinger would live dangerously all night, getting into jam after jam and striking out only one. He would allow four runs (all of them earned) before being pulled in the seventh for Bryan Greig (New City, NY/Mercy).

Pinch hitter Ryan Clark (Johnson City, NY/UNC Greensboro) would get the lead back to four in the seventh, as he looped a ball into center field, scoring Carson. DeBellis, the hero of Game One, would slam one into left field one batter later, scoring JaVon Shelby (Lexington, KY/Kentucky) and Gardiner to extend the lead to six. That would end Greig’s night, as he would be pulled after the inning for Matt Pidich (Aberdeen, NJ/Pittsburgh). Pidich would pitch 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball before being pulled for Enzo Esposito (Lawrenceville, NJ/Millersville) in the top of the ninth. Esposito would put himself in a first-and-second jam before striking out Jonathan Pryor (Atlanta, GA/Wake Forest) to end the inning.

Guthrie would allow Zach Collett (Westbrook, ME/New Haven) to get to second after lacing a single into right and Sullivan to reach on an error before getting out the next two batters to slam the door.

Johnstone would get the win in the clinching game for Amsterdam. Kissinger would get the last loss for the Diamond Dawgs this season.

With the win, Amsterdam gets a few days of rest before heading off to the PGCBL Championship, seeking their third straight title against either the Newark Pilots or the Elmira Pioneers.

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