PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 19, 2012

Amsterdam's Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) pitching against Albany on Monday night at Shuttleworth Park. Photo courtesy Mike Zummo/Leader-Herald

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Last Night's Games
Elmira 3 Cooperstown 1 (10) - Resumed from June 7, 2012
Elmira 5 Cooperstown 3
Amsterdam 2 Albany 0
Oneonta 8 Glens Falls 4
Newark 3 Mohawk Valley 2

Today's Games and Pitching Probables

Oneonta at Cooperstown, 5:00 p.m.
Sheldon Lee (San Francisco) 1-0, 1.50 ERA  vs. James Norwood (Saint Louis) 1-1, 3.00 ERA

Newark at Glens Falls, 7:00 p.m.
Andrew Tidwell (Saginaw Valley State) 2-0, 1.29 ERA  vs. Ryan Peterson (Yavapai) 0-1, 12.46 ERA

Elmira at Watertown, 7:00 p.m.
Justin Bhatti (Norfolk State) 0-1, 10.34 ERA  vs. Matt McClain (St. Mary's, Texas) 1-0, 9.00 ERA

Amsterdam at Mohawk Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Rocky McCord (Auburn) 0-0, 2.86 ERA vs. Evan Wolf (UC Davis) 0-0, 0.00 ERA

*As the second full week of the 2012 PGCBL season gets underway, the last of the late arrivals are touching down in Upstate New York. Most notably among the newcomers are a plethora of players for several different PGCBL teams from the University of California Davis and the University of California Riverside. The majority of the newcomers will see their first action of the summer over the next few days.

*In terms of strong debuts, we look to Casey Rodrigue of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Rodrigue joins the Green and Gold after winning an NJCAA Division II national championship with the Bengals of LSU Eunice. One of his coaches at school is current Mohawk Valley skipper Roberto Vaz. Rodrigue was named to the NJCAA Division II World Series All-Tournament team. In his first appearance with Glens Falls on Monday night, Casey went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. In the field at shortstop, he was flawless in four chances.

*The first-place Amsterdam Mohawks are on quite the role. The 2011 PGCBL runners-up have won six games in a row including the last two via shutout against Watertown (7-0) and Albany (2-0). The Mohawks last recorded back-to-back shutouts in the 2010 NYCBL postseason; Amsterdam blanked Glens Falls, 6-0, in Game 2 of the divisional series and then white-washed Elmira, 17-0, in Game 1 of the Championship Series. However, during the regular season, the Mohawks have not won two-straight games via shutout in at least six years.

*Interestingly, both Amsterdam shutouts this season have been led by starting pitchers from the University of Kentucky. UK frosh Taylor Martin tossed a three-hit shutout over six innings at Watertown on Sunday and then classmate Chandler Shepherd twirled a two-hit bid through eight at home against Albany last night. The two Wildcats have a combined record of 3-0 with 20 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched.

*Amsterdam has not allowed an earned run or a run for that matter in 22-straight innings. Elmira was the last PGCBL team to score against Amsterdam in the fifth inning of Friday night's contest at Shuttleworth Park. Now, going back further, the Mohawks have let in just one run in their last 34 innings played dating back to the 15-inning game with Oneonta on June 13.

*While Amsterdam's pitching certainly grabs the headlines, Elmira has amassed a "three game" win streak. Technically speaking, it's just two because the resumed game won by Elmira on Monday in 10 innings was started on June 7; the final score goes back to that date. But, outside of the stats, Elmira swept a three-game series with former PGCBL West rival Cooperstown. The Pios edged the Hawkeyes at the Dunn on Sunday and then triumphed in both ends of a doubleheader at Doubleday on Monday.

*And what greets a newly-streaking Elmira squad? The back end of a four-game road trip that began on Monday in Cooperstown and will include stops at Watertown (June 19), Glens Falls (June 20) and Mohawk Valley (June 21).

*The 10-inning game in the opener of the Elmira-Cooperstown twin bill was the third extra-frame game Cooperstown has played in this season and the third at Doubleday Field. Now four of five extra-inning games in the PGCBL in 2012 have been at either Cooperstown or Oneonta. Four teams have played multiple extra-inning games - Amsterdam, Cooperstown, Elmira and Oneonta.

*Amsterdam's Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) may have stolen the Monday night headlines with a shutdown performance at Shuttleworth Park against Albany. However, Elmira's Lee Gilliam (UNC Greensboro) should not be overlooked. Gilliam started for Elmira in the resumed game which began in the bottom of the third inning tied at one. Gilliam spun a three-hit shutout over six innings, walked one and struck out five. He faced just two batters over the minimum and induced eight ground outs. Gilliam has not yielded a run, earned or unearned, in 10.2 innings this summer.

*Mohawk Valley and Newark combined to score 25 runs on Saturday night at Colburn Park. Monday night, it was much more of a defensive struggle. Cameron Sorgie (UAlbany), Joe Perrotta (Lynn) and Aaron Casper (Canisius) of the DiamondDawgs combined on a three-hitter but suffered a hard-luck loss in a 3-2 setback to Newark. Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph's, Pa.) and Chris Rogers (Okla. Baptist) of the Pilots countered with a seven-hitter but just allowed two runs, one of which was unearned. Mohawk Valley's Jack Morrow (Young Harris) was the only player with multiple hits in the game.

*Elmira reliever Jimmy Yacabonis (Saint Joseph's, Pa.) pulled double duty for the Pios on Monday pitching in both ends of the doubleheader in Cooperstown. Yacabonis tossed a scoreless bottom of the 10th inning in the opener to seal his first save of the season. The Matawan, N.J., native returned for the night cap and while he did allow two runs on a two-out double in the ninth, he struck out the potential game-tying run to end the game.

*Mohawk Valley's heartbreaker to Newark nearly did not happen. The DiamondDawgs, down 3-2, placed two runners on second base during the ninth inning but neither man was able to score. One was thrown out attempting to move to third on a ground ball up the middle. The other was picked off at second by Newark's Chris Rogers (Okla. Baptist) to end the game.

*While most of the Monday headlines come from pitching, Oneonta has flipped the switch on its' offense. One night after scoring 10 runs at Albany, the Outlaws struck for eight on 12 hits versus Glens Falls. Eight of nine Oneonta starters had at least one hit and all nine either posted a hit or scored a run. Left fielder Logan Brown (Baylor) has been the catalyst for Oneonta's offensive surge. In the three games that Brown has played, the Orange and Black have gone unbeaten (3-0) and scored 22 runs. Brown's batting .500 (7-for-14) with four RBI and three runs scored. Oneonta, hitting well under the Mendoza Line last week at this time, has increased its team batting average to .220.

*One of the strangest plays of the night took place at Oneonta's Damaschke Field. In the bottom of the third inning, the Outlaws loaded the bases with two outs against Glens Falls reliever Tayler Saucedo (Tacoma C.C.). Clay Holcomb (Troy) hit a line drive at third baseman Alberto Morales (Clarendon). The ball hit off the glove of Morales, spiraled high through the air and was caught by shortstop Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice). Thanks for Oneonta official scorer Jim Gates for the lowdown.

*Aaron Nardone (Delaware State) of Elmira has a flair for the dramatic. In two of the Pios three wins over the Cooperstown Hawkeyes, Nardone drove in the eventual game-winning run with a late-inning RBI double. Nardone broke a 2-2 deadlock on Sunday at Dunn Field with an RBI double in the eighth to put Elmira ahead for good. Monday, it was a double by Nardone in the top of the 10th inning that ended a near two-week tie at Doubleday. Nardone knocked in the game-winning run in a 3-1 victory.

*Through five home games, the Amsterdam Mohawks have not hit a home run at Shuttleworth Park. The same can be said for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in five games at East Field. All the home runs hit by either team have come on the road.

*A few scheduling notes to pass along - Amsterdam's doubleheader with Oneonta scheduled for June 21 at Shuttleworth Park has changed slightly. The first game of the doubleheader will now begin at 3:00 p.m. It will be a seven-inning game. The regularly-scheduled game, which will also be seven innings, will start at 7:05 p.m. On the same day, Cooperstown and Newark will play a doubleheader at Doubleday Field. The first game is set for 2:00 p.m.

*Through about the first two weeks of the season, PGCBL teams have accounted for 30 home runs - that's about an average of a little over three per team. Mohawk Valley leads the league with six belts - three of those have come off the bat of league leader Eric Helmrich (Marist). Amsterdam, Albany and Glens Falls have each hit four to tie for second place. All nine teams have hit at least one home run, Cooperstown brings up the rear with just one home run in nine games.

*Lastly here in the notebook, a note about stolen bases. PGCBL players have stolen 151 bases this season. Oneonta's Omar Garcia (State College of Florida) and Clay Holcomb (Troy) are tied for the league lead with eight apiece. It's no surprise that the Outlaws lead the loop with 23 swipes on 25 attempts. Elmira with 21 thefts is the only other league team over 20.

Looking Ahead
*Just four games on the docket today - no doubleheaders, at least until Thursday.

*Oneonta and Cooperstown move their Mayor's Cup rivalry series to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown for the first time this season. The Outlaws, winners of three in a row overall, are undefeated (2-0) against the Hawkeyes this season. A tremendous pitching match-up will pit Oneonta's Sheldon Lee from the Universify of San Francisco (1-0, 1.50 ERA) against Cooperstown's James Norwood (Saint Louis). Norwood carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Oneonta earlier this season.

*Otsego County has the Mayor's Cup, meanwhile Little Falls will have the second head-to-head meeting of the Nethaway brothers when Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley play at Vet's Park. Amsterdam began its current six-game win streak with an 8-4 victory over Mohawk Valley at Shuttleworth Park. Amsterdam's Josh, the older of the two Nethaway brothers, is a rising redshirt junior at UAlbany and younger brother Luke, of Mohawk Valley, is a rising sophomroe at Herkimer County Comm. College. Both starred in multiple sports at Fonda-Fultonville High School.

*The Elmira road caravan rolls up to the North County for a Tuesday night date with the Watertown Wizards before heading east to Glens Falls and Little Falls. The Wizards will be playing their eighth home game of the season at the Fairgrounds. That means that the Wizards, after Tuesday, will be completed one-third of their 24 game home schedule just two weeks into the regular season.

*Newark and Glens Falls played yet another one-run thriller just a few days ago at Colburn Park. The two teams meet again tonight however this time the game will be played at East Field in Glens Falls. The Pilots will be in "Hometown U.S.A." as part of a brief two-game swing through Little Falls and Glens Falls.

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