Mohawks Win Thriller Over Golden Eagles to Move On

Photo, left: Amsterdam's Zach Shank (Marist) slides around Glens Falls' catcher Daniel Klein (Kansas State) to score a run during a game between the Mohawks and the Golden Eagles on Tues., Aug. 2. at Shuttleworth Park. Photo courtesy Erich Neuhaus/Leader-Herald
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – Matt Mack (Radford) capped off a wild ninth inning at Shuttleworth Park with a walk-off single that powered the Amsterdam Mohawks past the Glens Falls Golden Eagles, 5-4, in the second game of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s East Division playoffs. Amsterdam swept the best-of-three series, two games to none, to advance on to the PGCBL Championship Series against the Newark Pilots.

Amsterdam entered the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead. Glens Falls’ Ricky Claudio (St. Thomas, Fla.) started the ninth against Mohawks’ closer Abram Williams (Radford) with a base hit. A wild pitch moved Claudio to second with Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) at the plate. Williams struck out Ruchim looking for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Josh Anderson (Yavapai), smashed a two-run home run to give the Golden Eagles a 4-3 lead. Abram Williams set down the next two batters to end the inning.

Kyle Ruchim, the Glens Falls’ closer who began the game at second base, came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth with Glens Falls on top 4-3. Zach Shank (Marist) worked a lead-off walk. A ground ball hit by Jude Vidrine (Lamar) to second base was mishandled and both Shank and Vidrine were safe on the play. With runners on first and second, Luke Maile (Kentucky) cracked a hard ground ball to the left side that turned into an infield single and loaded the bases. The next batter, Kody Ortman (NW Shoals CC) blooped a single into center field that scored Shank with the game-tying run. Vidrine attempted to score from second but he was thrown out at home by Clayton Brown (Tacoma CC). Luke Maile, on second after Ortman’s base hit, came home to record the series-winning run on Matt Mack’s RBI single to left-center field. 

Amsterdam’s offense pounded out five runs on 14 hits though the Mohawks stranded 12 men on base. Brad Picha (Paris JC) went 3-for-4 with a home run to lead eight Mohawks with at least one hit. Josh Alexander (Utah), Demarcus Henderson (Miss. State) and Luke Maile all had two hits for the Tribe and Zach Shank scored two runs. Mohawks’ starter Jack Fischer (Wake Forest) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings in a no decision. Will Kendall (Auburn) and Derrick Brewer (Radford) each pitched one scoreless inning of relief.

The Golden Eagles were powered by Ricky Claudio and Josh Anderson. Claudio went 3-for-3 and scored twice while Anderson drove in three of Glens Falls’ four runs. Derek Mazzio (Saint Louis) started for the Eagles and lasted four innings. Mazzio yielded three runs on seven hits. Chris Myers (Ga. Southern) whirled three shutout innings of relief and P.J. Leto (LB Wallace CC) tossed a scoreless eighth.

The 11th all-time playoff meeting between the Golden Eagles and Mohawks started off in exciting fashion. Amsterdam’s Andrew Green (ETSU) threw out Kyle Ruchim who was attempting to move from first to third on a two-out single by Josh Anderson in the top of the first. Amsterdam opened the scoring in the home half of the frame. Zach Shank walked with one out, advanced to third on a Jude Vidrine single and then came galloping home to score on a wild pitch.

The Golden Eagles leveled the tilt at one in the fourth. Ricky Claudio ripped a lead-off double, went to third on a Kyle Ruchim ground out and then scored on a Josh Anderson ground out. Amsterdam came roaring back with two tallies in the home half of the inning. Brad Picha dinged a home run to center field to untie the game. Josh Alexander followed with a double and he went to third on a Demarcus Henderson single that was struck off the foot of pitcher Derek Mazzio. Andrew Green doubled home Josh Alexander to push Amsterdam’s lead to two at 3-1.

Glens Falls pulled to within a run in the sixth. Anthony Pisani (So. Maine) was hit by a pitch and then Clayton Brown connected on an infield single to start the inning. Ricky Claudio sacrificed the runners over to second and third with a bunt. Kyle Ruchim plated Pisani with an RBI single and Brown moved up to third. With one out, Josh Anderson hit a fly ball to right field that was caught by Amsterdam’s Josh Alexander. Brown attempted to score from third but was thrown out at the plate by Alexander to end the inning. The visitors threated again in the seventh but Amsterdam reliever Will Kendall quashed the Golden Eagles’ momentum when he picked Mike Kindel (Kansas State) off of second base.

Amsterdam almost added to its’ lead in the eighth inning. Matt Mack singled with one out and was doubled over to third by Brad Picha. Glens Falls’ reliever P.J. Leto struck out Josh Alexander for the second out but hit Demarcus Henderson to load the bases. Leto stifled the scoring chance for Amsterdam when he induced an inning-ending ground out by Andrew Green.

Notes: Amsterdam manager Keith Griffin improved his postseason record with the Mohawks to 14-0. Griffin has not lost a playoff game at the helm of the Tribe in three seasons…Amsterdam advanced its’ playoff record all-time against Glens Falls to 9-2…The Mohawks have swept the Golden Eagles in the playoffs in each of the last three seasons; two of the previous three series were contested in the NYCBL…The Mohawks will be playing for their third-straight summer championship and sixth overall when they compete in the PGCBL Championship Series…Glens Falls’ third baseman Josh Anderson finished his summer with 10 overall home runs between the regular season and the playoffs. Anderson slammed nine home runs during the regular season to finish second to league-leader Erick Gaylord (Watertown).

                         R   H   E
Glens Falls    4    8   1
Amsterdam    5   14  0

Derek Mazzio, Chris Myers (5), P.J. Leto (8), Kyle Ruchim (9, L 0-1) and Daniel Klein. Jack Fischer, Will Kendall (7), Derrick Brewer (8), Abram Williams (9, W 1-0) and Luke Maile.

Time – 2:40
Attendance - 702

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