Mohawks Inch Closer To First Place

Brett Houseal (Marist) grinded through 6.1 innings and got his third win of the season as the Mohawks topped the Pioneers 5-3 on Friday night at Shuttleworth Park. 467 fans braved the rain and watched Amsterdam win its eighth game in nine tries, thanks in large part to another stellar performance from its bullpen.

Since the Hawks swept a double header from the DiamondDawgs last Saturday, Amsterdam has made a habit of jumping on opponents early. Friday was no different. The Mohawks grabbed three first inning runs off of Jordean Carter (St. Joe’s), two on a Parker Morin (Utah) single and another when Matt Mack (Radford) was hit with a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 3-0.

Houseal walked the leadoff batter in the second and then baffled the Elimira lineup as he retired eight Pioneers in a row – six strikeouts – until Logan Uxa (Arkansas State) came up in the fourth. The Missouri native turned on a 3-2 fastball and deposited his first homerun of the summer over the right field fence to make it 3-1.

Amsterdam answered right back in the home half of the fourth after Jack Fischer (Wake Forest) walked and Zach Shank (Marist) drove him in with a double – Shank picked up three hits for the second straight night.

Houseal was victimized by another long ball in the sixth when Justin Lamborn connected on a one-out blast to narrow the lead to two once more.

Sure enough, the Mohawks would answer in the bottom of the sixth when Shank doubled and later scored when Josh Netheway (Albany) doubled him in to make it 5-2.

Houseal started the seventh and got the first hitter to pop out, but after he walked the next two, Amsterdam coach Keith Griffin called on reliever Derrick Brewer (Radford) to stifle the threat. The righty struck out the first man he faced but allowed an inherited runner to score when Lamborn doubled off the left-field wall to make it 5-3. Brewer then got the Ryan Normoyle (Washington) to ground out, stranding the tying runs in scoring position.

Brewer struck out the side in the eighth and Abram Williams (Radford) did the same in the ninth to tally his seventh save in nine chances.

Houseal (3-0) gets the win after striking out a season-high nine over 6.1 innings while Carter (3-1) is tagged with the loss. The Mohawks left 12 men on base including the bases loaded in both the first and fourth innings. Jude Vidrine picked up two more hits and raised his average to .385. Because the Golden Eagles lost this evening, the Mohawks will travel to Glenns Falls on Saturday night with a chance to climb into a virtual tie for first in the East.

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