PGCBL Dugout Chatter, Week 5

Photo, right: Watertown's Alex Maldonado bats against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds on Watertown's Breast Cancer Awareness Night on July 8. Also pictured is Mohawk Valley catcher Zach Ciccotti (Mohawk Valley CC). Maldonado is hitting .529 over the last two weeks for the Wizards and he leads the league in batting average (.387).

Albany Dutchmen
Overall: 14-17 (.452), Third PGCBL East…Week 5: 4-3 (.571)
Dutchmen all-star selections included Brandon Trinkwon (UCSB), Steve Anderson (Georgetown), Dain McNabb (MTSU), Andrew Deeds (Morehead State), Anthony Turgeon (CCSU), Steven Poche (SE Louisiana) and Austin Chase (UAlbany). McNabb, Trinkwon, Anderson and Deeds were all ASG starters; Deeds and Anderson played the entire game. Anderson recorded 12 putouts at first base. Andrew Deeds was Albany’s choice for the Home Run Derby…The seven all-star selections are a franchise record for Dutchmen chosen to the all-star team…The Dutch continue to play well in July with a 10-7 mark for the month…Albany ended Newark’s seven-game winning streak with a doubleheader sweep at Colburn Park on July 12 and the Dutch went on to reel off five-straight wins before ending the week on a1-3 note…The Albany side played its’ annual “Pink Game” on Saturday night versus Cooperstown; players donned pink jersey’s in support of Breast Cancer awareness…Reliever C.J. Sohl (Siena) turned in a dominating outing against Elmira on July 13; he set down 10 batters in a row to finish the game, a 5-2 win, and retired 11 of the 12 men he faced…Andrew Deeds ended the week with a 10-game hitting streak, the second-longest current streak in the PGCBL…Brandon Trinkwon and Dain McNabb led the team with eight multi-hit games each…On the base paths, Albany was a band of thieves last week with 21 stolen bases in seven games. The Dutch swiped nine in a win over Elmira. Nikko Echevarria (Nova Southeastern) and Andrew Deeds each stole four bags…Albany’s 69 stolen bases leads the league and is 10 more than second-place Cooperstown (59)…Ryan Welke (NW Florida) had a breakout set of games for Albany; he batted .467 with one home run and six RBI. Welke belted an RBI double, Albany’s only hit against Newark’s Carson Beauchaine (SVSU) in a 3-2 victory over the Pilots on July 12.

Amsterdam Mohawks
Overall: 21-13 (.618), Tied for first PGCBL East…Week 5: 5-1 (.833)
All-star selections for the Mohawks included Zach Shank (Marist), Nick Polsinelli (Saint Rose), Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT), Derrick Brewer (Radford) and Abram Williams (Radford). Manager Keith Griffin was the head coach for the PGCBL East. Nick Polsinelli started for the East. Mark Leiter Jr., Derrick Brewer and Abram Williams each pitched one scoreless inning; Leiter worked the fastest inning of the night while Brewer and Williams each fanned two of three men faced. Williams earned the ASG save. Nick Polsinelli was Amsterdam’s choice for the Home Run Derby…The sizzling July for the Mohawks continued last week with a 5-1 mark in six contests. The Tribe is 14-3 since the calendar turned to the month of July…Amsterdam made its’ season debut in the Summer Top 25 last week at number 22 in the nation… Keith Griffin is about set to become the franchise’s all-time wins leader (regular season wins), surpassing the legendary Bob Bellizzi. Griffin has won 78 games as the Tribe dugout leader; Bellizzi won 79 over three seasons. Griffin surpassed the late Bellizzi last week in overall wins (regular season and playoffs)…The Mohawks held their annual “Parkfest” Festival over the weekend. Back-to-back crowds of over 2,000 saw the Tribe compete against the Cooperstown Hawkeyes and Watertown Wizards. Amsterdam leads the PGCBL with 1,399 fans per game…Jimmy Dykstra (LSU), Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) and Brett Houseal (Marist) took turns dominating on the mound last week; Dykstra pitched a two-hit shutout over seven innings against Cooperstown at hitter-friendly Doubleday Field, Leiter tossed a three-hit shutout for six innings and fanned nine at home against Elmira and Houseal fired a two-hit bid through seven to best Cooperstown at Shuttleworth…The Tribe leads the PGCBL in team ERA (3.54), strikeouts (283) and saves (13). Amsterdam is second in fewest walks allowed (98)…Offensively, Amsterdam turned in a record performance at Cooperstown on July 13. The Mohawks mashed a franchise single-game record six home runs in a 16-1 mashing of Cooperstown. Jude Vidrine (Lamar) belted two of the six blasts and Josh Nethaway (Albany) clubbed a grand slam…Josh Nethaway drove in 11 runs last week in six games…Amsterdam batted .329 as a team and scored 69 runs…Luke Maile (Kentucky) is currently on an eight-game hitting streak…Zach Shank (Marist) leads the team with 13 multi-hit games, Jude Vidrine has 11 and Andrew Green (ETSU) 10.

Cooperstown Hawkeyes
Overall: 17-13 (.567), Tied for first PGCBL West…Week 5: 3-3 (.500)
All-star selections for the Otsegans included Collin Blankenship (So. Alabama), Parker Ray (Texarkana), Coleman Barron (Davidson) and Danny Nelson (CSU Monterey Bay)…Nelson made the defensive play of the ASG as he took an outfield throw and won a foot race to second to tag out a runner attempting to turn  a single into a double. Nelson was also Cooperstown’s participant in the Home Run Derby…Cooperstown continues to be the best home team in the loop with a 12-4 record at historic Doubleday Field…The Hawkeyes were one of two PGCBL teams that was mentioned in the “Also Receiving Consideration” category in last week’s Summer Top 25. It is the first time the franchise has received national recognition…One day after losing to Amsterdam 16-1 at home, the Otsegans scored 15 times in a romp over visiting Albany on July 14. Cooperstown began last week with a 1-2 mark but finished strong with back-to-back wins over Albany and Watertown…Tynan Pedretti (Merced) clubbed a three-run home run in the 10th inning to lead the Hawkeyes past Albany on Saturday night at Bellizzi Field. Pedretti’s home run was his third of the season…Reliever Terrance Moore (Marshall) has emerged as a threat from the Cooperstown bullpen. Through seven outings, Moore is 1-0 with two saves and a 2.77 earned run average. He has 14 strikeouts in 13.0 innings pitched…With two and a half weeks remaining, Cooperstown needs just four wins to equal last year’s total of 21…The Hawkeyes had a franchise-record crowd of 1,037 fans for a game against Amsterdam on July 13…Cooperstown is 9-2 in one-run games and 2-1 in contests decided by two runs or less. Bryan Aanderud (Cypress) enters the final stretch of the season on an 11-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the PGCBL. He has 10 multi-hit games and leads the Otsegans with a .395 batting average.

Elmira Pioneers
Overall: 15-17 (.469), Third PGCBL West…Week 5: 2-4 (.333)
Ten Pioneers overall were chosen for the all-star team and those players selected included Justin Lacy (Longwood), Ryan Normoyle (Wash., Md.), David Bishop (Miss. State), Justin Lamborn (West Chester), Patrick Hyde (NKU), Jordan Carter (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.), Sal Pezzino (High Point), Aaron Hopper (Marietta), Wes McBride (UNC Greensboro) and Logan Uxa (Arkansas State)…Justin Lacy, David Bishop, Justin Lamborn and Logan Uxa all started for the PGCBL West. Lamborn went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored and David Bishop reached base on a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Ryan Normoyle had a pinch-hit RBI single. Justin Lacy represented Elmira in the Home Run Derby…Manager Dan Shwam is on a brief leave of absence from the team for a family matter; he should return towards the end of the month. Assistant coaches Larry Van Allen and Everett Saul are leading the Pioneers in the dugout…Elmira has played 17 home games of its’ 24 home PGCBL contests, the Pios are 11-6 at Dunn Field. Away from the Twin Tiers, Elmira is 4-11…The team is currently on a seven-game road trip and will not return home until July 21…The Elmira offense erupted for a pair of eight-run efforts last week against Glens Falls and Mohawk Valley in victories. In all other games, Elmira mustered nine combined runs…Pitcher Michael Mahaffey (Marietta) returned to the rotation for the first time since June 21, he pitched five innings at Mohawk Valley on July 15…Starter Mike Kazley (Cornell) pitched his best game of the season against MV on Saturday night. Kazley allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out seven over seven and two-thirds innings; he limited the Dawgs to one run over the first seven frames…Ryan Normoyle leads the Pioneers with 12 multi-hit games…Elmira leads the league in runs scored (201), doubles (24) and home runs (23). David Bishop is tied for second in the league in runs scored.

Glens Falls Golden Eagles
Overall: 19-11 (.633), Tied for first PGCBL East…Week 5: 4-2 (.667)
All-star selections for the Golden Eagles included David Olson (Tacoma CC), Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern), Ricky Claudio (St. Thomas, Fla.), Derek Mazzio (Saint Louis), Daniel Klein (Kansas State), Nick Gonzalez (South Florida) and Anthony Pisani (So. Maine). Glens Falls’ players were a big part of the East’s ASG comeback win. Dan Klein came on a as a defensive replacement and went 2-for-2 with two RBI, David Olson drove in two runs and pitched a scoreless inning (he earned the win), Josh Anderson (Yavapai) went 2-for-5 with one run and Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) singled and scored in the ninth. Josh Anderson was the runner-up in the Home Run Derby, he advanced to the best-of-five swings finals…A four-game win streak to close the “first half” by Glens Falls has pulled the Eagles even with Amsterdam for first place in the PGCBL East. The Green and Gold dumped Watertown in back-to-back games and then swept a two-game road set at Newark to end the week…Manager John Mayotte earned his 200th victory in a Glens Falls’ uniform when the team defeated Watertown, 10-0, on July 14 at East Field. Coach Mayotte won over 800 career games as a collegiate head coach at Eckerd (Fla.) and Troy State. He is the only head coach in Golden Eagles history…The Green and Gold scored 36 total runs in four victories and had just eight in back-to-back losses to begin the week. Glens Falls registered double digits three times though allowed double digits in return twice…Of 30 total games, the Eagles have played 12 one-run games and are 8-4 in those contests…Seventeen of 30 tilts have been decided by two runs or less…Reliever Kyle Ruchim has 33 strikeouts in 16.1 innings…Mike Kindel (Kansas State) drove in 12 runs over last week’s six games and socked seven hits…Neil Fryer (Siena) earned his first save of the season at Newark. The collegiate reliever began the summer as a starting pitcher…Glens Falls leads the league in fielding percentage (.968) and Golden Eagle catchers have thrown out 19 runners attempting to steal. The Eagles are tied with Amsterdam for the league lead in team batting average (.277)…David Olson’s .364 batting average is fourth in the league and his 11 doubles are the second-most among all PGCBL swingers…Derek Mazzio leads the PGCBL with a 1.50 ERA.

Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs
Overall: 10-21 (.323), Fourth PGCBL East…Week 5: 3-3 (.500)
Mohawk Valley’s all-star selections included Cullen Wacker (Auburn), Tyler Kane (Washington), Willie Gabay (HCCC), Selby Brummett (Paradise Valley) and Dave Soltis (Bryant)…Cullen Wacker was the biggest star of all the all-stars. He won the Home Run Derby and then went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI to lead the East to a 7-4 ASG win. Wacker’s three-run belt in the ninth broke a 4-4 tie. Kane, Gabay and Brummett each pitched one scoreless inning; Kane and Gabay each retired the side in order…The Dawgs put together a .500 week (3-3) heading into the All-Star break with wins over Watertown, Elmira and Albany…Dustin Stanton (So. Maine) earned two of the three wins and posted a 1.69 ERA in two starts. The second-year Dawg pitched a six-hitter through eight frames in the Watertown victory…Offensively, Mohawk Valley rang up 34 runs in six games and scored at least seven runs three times. The Dawgs offense has improved its’ batting average to .274…Since being signed by the Little Falls side, Bryan Bleakley (NJIT) is hitting .333 with four home runs and 14 RBI…D.J. Hoagboon (Albany) returned to the line-up after missing several weeks; he promptly went on a five-game hitting streak and finished the week with a 2-for-3, two-RBI performance at Albany…Cullen Wacker has started all 31 games for the Dawgs. He leads the team in almost every offensive category…Reliever Tyler Kane (Washington) has worked as a spot starter; he made his second start this past week against Elmira and rang up 11 strikeouts in six innings and yielded two runs on six hits. Kane has 26 strikeouts in 20 innings and a 1.35 ERA…The Dawgs are 7-10 at home but 3-11 away from Little Falls…MV pitchers lead the league in fewest walks allowed with 85…Mohawk Valley’s offense is outscoring opponents by a count of 13-2 in the ninth inning.

Newark Pilots
Overall: 18-14 (.563), Tied for first PGCBL West…Week 5: 3-4 (.429)
Eight Pilots were chosen as all-stars; Newark’s all-stars included Carson Beauchaine (Saginaw Valley State), Dominick Ruscitti (Kutztown), Justin D’Amato (St. John Fisher), Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta), Matt Vera (San Joaquin Delta), Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge), Michael Bolling (Lewis) and Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta). Dom Ruscitti was the starter for the PGCBL West and he pitched one scoreless inning as did Mark Scott. Randy Villa, Matt Vera and Kyle Attl were all infield starters for the game. Villa and Vera each played the entire game; Villa had nine putouts and three assists in 12 chances and Vera picked up four assists. Attl singled and scored a run. Shayne Herold (Ashland) represented Newark in the Home Run Derby…Following an abrupt end to a seven-game win streak, Newark closed last week with a 3-2 mark though the Pilots did go 3-4 overall; all four losses were by two runs or less, three of the four by one run…Of seven games last week, Newark played six at Colburn Park…The Pilots are only 6-9 in front of the home fans but 12-5 on the road…Carson Beauchaine is the second-straight Pilot to earn a Pitcher of the Week accolade from the PGCBL. He and Dom Ruscitti have combined for six victories, 12 starts and 79 strikeouts…Closer Mark Scott is second in the league with seven saves…Sunday’s 2-1 win over Elmira was among the fastest of the year for the Pilots, the tilt lasted two hours and 17 minutes; the fastest nine-inning game came two weeks ago (1:53) at home against Glens Falls…Randy Villa, Ray Delvalle (Ky. Wesleyan), Luke Swenson (UCSB) and Mike Bolling all have reached double-digits in multi-hit games; Villa and Delvalle have 12 each…Randy Villa, who has not missed a game this summer, has an eight-game hitting streak…In seven games last week, Mike Bolling batted .542 (13-for-24), drove in five runs and swiped three bases. Randy Villa and Ray Devalle each had 11 hits. Newark out-hit opponents 73-51…Villa leads the league in hits (44) and is second in batting average (.383) and  total bases (68) and third in RBI (26)…Dom Ruscitti and Carson Beauchaine are second and third in the league respectively in ERA.

Watertown Wizards
Overall: 12-20 (.375), Fourth, PGCBL West…Week 5: 1-5 (.167)
Watertown’s all-star selections included Erick Gaylord (Campbell), Larry Balkwill (Siena), Rob Curran (Rhode Island), Adam Krebs (Keystone) and Angel Rosa (Alcorn State). Gaylord and Balkwill were both named starters; Gaylord slammed a two-run home run to left-center field and scored two of the West’s four runs. Curran was the only ASG pitcher to work two innings and Krebs added another scoreless frame. Gaylord’s ASG blast gave him 10 home runs in the span of three days. Austin Southall (Chipola) represented Watertown in the Home Run Derby…Through just 32 games, Erick Gaylord has set franchise records in home runs (nine) and RBI (36). Both records were set in 2005 by Mike Lyon who hit seven home runs and drove in 35 – over 45 regular season games…Watertown’s five home runs at Amsterdam on Saturday night set a franchise single-game record. The team has already broken franchise marks for home runs (22), triples (15) and doubles (61)…Alex Maldonado (Holy Cross) is the hottest hitter in the PGCBL. Over the last two weeks or 14 games, Maldonado has accumulated a .529 batting average, 27 hits and 12 runs. He batted .500 last week and socked 13 hits. The Watertown shortstop leads the league with a .393 batting average and he has 16 multi-hit games…Watertown batters have accounted for three five-hit games this season, the only three in the league; Erick Gaylord has two five-hit games and Larry Balkwill (Siena) posted a five-hit effort when he batted for the cycle earlier in the season at Glens Falls…The Purple and Gold lead the league with 98 extra-base hits; 61 doubles, 15 triples and 22 home runs…Both Alex Maldonado and Erick Gaylord are on pace to break the franchise record for single-season hits held by Kosuke Hattori (57). Gaylord is also nine stolen bases away from the team record…Gaylord and Chris Gruarin (Canisius) have played in all 32 games for the Wizards…Shortstop Angel Rosa (Alcorn State) returned to the line-up after missing several weeks…Last week marked the annual Jefferson County Fair road trip as the Wizards took part in a nine-game swing that lasted from July 10 through July 17. The Wizards went just 2-7 in the stretch with wins at Amsterdam and Cooperstown. The nine-game trip is among the longest in team history.

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