PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 20, 2012

Cooperstown Hawkeye coaches Eric Coleman, Juan Carlos Calderon and Brett Gips hanging out with Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Eddie Murray prior to the 2012 Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field. Photo courtesy Cooperstown Hawkeyes

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Last Night's Games
Oneonta 6 Cooperstown 2
Glens Falls 12 Newark 2
Elmira 12 Watertown 9
Amsterdam 8 Mohawk Valley 4

Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Elmira at Glens Falls, 7:00 p.m.
Justin Bhatti (Norfolk State) 0-1, 10.38 ERA vs. Nick Pivetta (New Mexico JC) 0-0, 7.11 ERA

Mohawk Valley at Watertown, 7:00 p.m.
John Means (Fort Scott C.C.) 0-1, 1.64 ERA vs. Rene Solis (St. Mary's, Texas), 1-0, 0.60 ERA

Amsterdam at Albany, 7:05 p.m.
Matt Pirro (Wake Forest) 2-0, 1.80 ERA vs. Blake Smith (Morehead State) 0-0, 10.63 ERA

Cooperstown at Newark, 7:05 p.m.
Daniel Hyatt (Louisburg) 0-1, 7.20 ERA vs. Phillip Flach (Samford) 1-1, 4.91 ERA

*Well, it's the first day of summer and it looks like that it will indeed by a scorcher. Temperature highs across Upstate New York during the day are expected to be in the mid-to-upper 90s. It's a good thing all four games today are scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

*Tuesday night was a night of winning streaks being continued throughout the league as three of four winning clubs extended their strings of wins. Amsterdam won its seventh-straight game and eighth overall. The league leaders have not lost since June 8 at Glens Falls, and that was nearly two weeks ago. Oneonta at one point boasted a 3-3 record. The Outlaws have now won four in a row to keep pace at the top of the table with Amsterdam. And Elmira all of the sudden has whipped off three-straight wins, four unofficially if you count the resumed game that was part of Monday's non-traditional doubleheader.

*All four victorious teams on Tuesday night got out to large leads in the first half of their games. In the early contest, Oneonta scored four times in the first inning and never trailed in a win at Cooperstown. Logan Brown (Baylor) started the game with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to start off the rally for the Outlaws. In the North County, Elmira jumped out to a 9-0 lead on Watertown at the Duffy Fairgrounds. Elmira scored nine runs over the course of the first four innings and then hung out to win by three. Glens Falls had a similar hot start at home versus Newark. The Golden Eagles flapped their wings to the tune of seven runs in the first three frames for a 7-0 advantage. League-leading Amsterdam had a bit slower of a start with a 2-0 cushion in Little Fallshowever the Mohawks blew the game open with five runs in the fifth to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

*Amsterdam's scoreless-inning streak did end on Tuesday night. The Mohawks rolled into Little Falls with a string of 22-straight innings without allowing a run. Included in the streak were back-to-back shutout wins over Watertown and Albany. Amsterdam's Rocky McCord (Auburn) held the DiamondDawgs in check over the first five innings but Mohawk Valley finally broke through in the sixth. That ended the Amsterdam shutout streak at 27 innings.

*Amsterdam's mound foursome of Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky), Taylor Martin (Kentucky), Matt Pirro (Wake Forest) and Rocky McCord (Auburn) has recorded six of the Mohawks' eight wins this season. The four starters are a combined 6-0 with a 1.26 earned run average and 45 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched. They have allowed only seven earned runs.

*Oneonta remained unbeaten (3-0) against Cooperstown with a win over its Mayor's Cup rival on Tuesday evening at Doubleday Field. The Outlaws did accomplish a first however. The Orange and Black earned their first-ever victory at Doubleday Field. When the two teams were members of the NYCBL in 2010, Oneonta was winless in four games against Cooperstown at Doubleday. The Hawkeyes won an exhibition game at Doubelday against the Outlaws last season.

*Offense was the name of the game in Watertown on Tuesday night. The Wizards and the Pioneers combined to score 21 runs on 26 hits in a three hour and 15-minute slugfest. Fourteen players overall had at least one hit and nine of the 14 registered multiple hits. At least one run was scored in every inning and of 18 half-innings in the game, at least one run was scored in 12. Both teams combined for three home runs, all solo blasts from Elmira's Aaron Nardone (Delaware State) and Stephen Patterson (San Joaquin Delta) and Watertown's Christian Hickman (Alcorn State).

*Elmira reliever Miles Canady (Loras) was the lone pitcher in the Watertown-Elmira game in Watertown to not be charged with an earned run. Canady entered the in the ninth as the Wizards were rallying in an effort to tie or win the game. With the potential-tying run on deck and three runs already in, Canady struck out back-to-back batters to end the game.

*Oneonta's Clay Holcomb (Troy) has moved into the league lead in stolen bases. Holcomb swiped his team and league best ninth base in Tuesday's win over Cooperstown. Holcomb has an unblemished 9-for-9 record of stolen bases and attempts this season. Teammate Omar Garcia (State College of Florida) is second in the league with eight stolen bases.

*Elmira's Steven Patterson (San Joaquin Delta) socked his league-leading third triple of the season on Tuesday night. He also had a home run and a single for the Pioneers in a 12-9 win at Watertown. Patterson missed hitting for the cycle by a double.

*Amsterdam's Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville) is tearing up the PGCBL at the plate. Green leads the league in batting average (.429), slugging percentage (.667), on-base percentage (.529), hits (18) and total bases (28). He also sits in the top five in runs scored (14) and doubles (five).

*Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley have met twice this season - once at Amsterdam's Shuttleworth Park and once at Vet's Park in Little Falls. Each game has ended in an 8-4 win for the Mohawks.

*Two returning 2011 PGCBL players made their summer 2012 debuts on Tuesday night. Elmira's Brad Bellinger (St. John's) pitched in relief for the Pioneers against the Watertown Wizards. Bellinger, cousin of fellow Pioneer Zac, played for the Pios last season as a high schooler. Brad was part of an NCAA Super Regional squad with the Red Storm this spring. Amsterdam's Demarcus Henderson (Miss. State) started in the infield against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Henderson arrived into the Rug City from Mississippi on Monday evening, just prior to Amsterdam's home game with Albany. The Miss. State rising redshirt sophomore appeared in over 40 games for the Mohawks last summer.

*Since erupting for a league season high and franchise record 19 runs against Mohawk Valley, the bats of the Newark Pilots have gone cold. Newark has been shut down over the last three games by Glens Falls (twice) and Mohawk Valley. The Pilots have scored just eight runs on 16 hits over the last three games which comes out to an average of 2.5 runs and a little over five hits per game. Newark did have eight hits at Glens Falls on Tuesday.

*Newark manager Chris Ebright has used 17 different pitchers this season.

*Glens Falls set season highs for runs (12) and hits (16) in Tuesday night's thrashing of Newark at East Field. Nine of the runs were scored by the trio of Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico JC), Alberto Morales (Clarendon) and Kevin Meyers (NE Okla. A&M). Forcier, who hit a game-winning home run at Newark a few nights ago, had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two. Danny Brennan (Saint Louis) also drove in three runs for the Golden Eagles.

Looking Ahead
*The best pitching match-up on paper of the night takes place in the North County where Watertown will host Mohawk Valley at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. Reigning PGCBL Pitcher of the Week Rene Solis (St. Mary's, Texas) makes his first start against a team other than the Newark Pilots. Solis, who pitched 117.1 innings in the spring at Division II World Series participant St. Mary's University, has 15 strikeouts in 15.0 innings for the Wizards. One week ago, Mohawk Valley's John Means (Fort Scott CC) struck out 10 as part of a three-hitter over seven innings in a loss at home against Glens Falls. Means, a 2011 Atlanta Braves draft pick, was an NJCAA Division I All-Region V selection this past spring. The game will be webcast through the WWNY TV 7 Watertown web site here.

*Two offenses that accounted for 24 runs on Tuesday night go head-to-head on Wednesday when Elmira continues a long and winding four-game road trip at Glens Falls. It will be the first of only two meetings between the Pioneers and Golden Eagles during the regular season. Glens Falls is slated to visit Elmira's Dunn Field in early July. The two teams are separated by about a four-hour drive. The Green and Gold went 4-2 against the Pioneers last season including a 3-0 record at East Field. Prior to last season, the Pioneers had not played at East Field since the 2007 NYCBL Championship Series. Wednesday night will be Post-Star Night at East Field.

*The Amsterdam Mohawks look for their eighth-straight win and league-leading ninth victory at Bob Bellizzi Field inside the Christian Plumeri Sports Complex against the Albany Dutchmen. Bellizzi Field is named after the late College of Saint Rose baseball coach Bob Bellizzi who passed away in 2006. Bellizzi was the head coach of the Schenectady Mohawks from 1988 through 1990. He led the '88 Mohawks to the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League championship. More recently, he was the President of the Amsterdam Mohawks. Amsterdam is 2-0 against Albany this season though both Mohawk wins have come at Shuttleworth Park.

*Newark and Cooperstown met in the PGCBL divisional playoffs last August. The Pilots won a wild best-of-three series two games to one. The former PGCBL West rivals meet for the first time since the 2011 league playoffs on Wednesday night at Colburn Park. The last time Cooperstown head coach Eric Coleman brought his team to Colburn Park, the Hawkeyes had a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Both teams could use a win; the Hawkeyes have dropped four (unofficially five) in a row while Newark returns home after a loss at Glens Falls dropped the Pilots out of second place.

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