PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 21, 2012

Cooperstown's Daniel Hyatt (Louisburg) pitches against the Newark Pilots on Wednesday night. Photo courtesy Steve Plopper/Newark Pilots

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Last Night's Games
Cooperstown 3 Newark 2
Mohawk Valley 9 Watertown 2
Elmira 12 Glens Falls 9
Amsterdam 11 Albany 0

Today's Games and Pitching Probables

Newark at Cooperstown (DH), 2:00 PM
Skylar Hoke (Grand Valley State) 0-0, 4.50 ERA  vs. Raleigh Rushing (Cypress) 1-0, 2.79 ERA

Oneonta at Amsterdam (DH), 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Taylor Hicks (Georgia) 0-0, 2.53 ERA vs. Matt Gage (Siena) 2-0, 1.20 ERA
Matt Schmitt (Illinois State) 1-1, 1.00 ERA vs. Dan Zlotnick (Marist) 0-0, 15.75 ERA

Watertown at Albany, 7:05 p.m.
Bryan Chudy (Clarkson) 1-1, 3.46 ERA  vs. Cody Tollison (MTSU) 0-0, 4.50 ERA

Elmira at Mohawk Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Carson Bryant (Chattanooga State) 0-1, 3.86 ERA vs. Evan Davis (Marist) 1-0, 0.00 ERA

*Wednesday was not a good night to be a home team. All four road teams (Cooperstown, Mohawk Valley, Elmira and Amsterdam) were victorious.

*Through the first two weeks of the season, the road teams have fared better than the home teams. Here are the respective road records for all nine league clubs in order of winning percentage: Watertown (3-0), Amsterdam (5-2), Oneonta (4-2), Newark (4-2), Elmira (4-4), Cooperstown (3-3), Mohawk Valley (2-2), Glens Falls (2-3) and Albany (2-4). In case you don't feel like adding the numbers up, I did it for you. Road teams this season are a combined 29-22 (.569).

*All four of Elmira's road wins have come this week. The Pioneers, on a current five-game road trip, are 4-0 with wins at Cooperstown's Doublday Field (two), Watertown's Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and East FIeld in Glens Falls. The Pios wrap up their near week-long caravan on Thursday night in Little Falls. Elmira will host Watertown on Friday and then the team has a day off on Saturday. On the road this week, the Elmira offense has awoken with 32 total runs - 24 of which have come over the last two days at Glens Falls and Watertown.

*Elmira's Steven Patterson (San Joaquin Delta), a CCCAA NorCal All-American in the spring, has been one of Elmira's top offensive threats this week. He is an early favorite for the PGCBL Player of the Week award. Monday in the regularly-scheduled game at Cooperstown, Patterson set a league single-game high with four walks. He singled once and scored a run. Tuesday, Patterson clubbed his first home run of the season and went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. The UC Davis commit missed hitting for the cycle by a double. Last night, the Elmira hot corner defender socked his second home run in as many days and finished with four hits, two RBI and two runs scored. This time, he missed hitting for the cycle by a triple.

*Looking through the individual player stats at the end of the night last night, one number jumped out at me. That number is 19 which is the number of walks accrued through 12 games by Elmira first baseman Zac Bellinger (VCU). Bellinger is averaging nearly two free passes per game. The next closest player on the walk list, Amsterdam's Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall), has just 12 walks.

*Elmira has won its last two games by identical 12-9 scores. Much like Tuesday's game in Watertown, Wednesday's Elmira game featured a bushel load of offense. The Pioneers and Eagles combined for 21 runs on 32 hits. Eight pitchers were used in the game. Sixteen, yes that's 16 of 18 batters in the starting line-up for each team had at least one hit. All nine starters for the Golden Eagles recorded a hit while seven of nine for the Pioneers pulled off the same feat. Overall, 17 batters had a hit in the game. And four Elmira players had more than two hits - Steven Patterson (San Joaquin Delta), Kyle Coronel (Binghamton), Landon Prentiss (VCU) and Travis Rosenwinkel (Corning CC).

*The 19 hits posted by Elmira fell one short of the PGCBL single-game high this season for 20. Newark mashed out a franchise record 20 hits in a 12-6 romp at Watertown on June 10.

*For the second time this season, an Amsterdam Mohawks pitcher recorded four strikeouts in an inning. Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) fanned four Albany Dutchmen batters in the bottom of the first at Bob Bellizzi Field. One of the four strikeout victims reached on a wild pitch. Kaden fanned a whopping nine batters in just four innings. Kaden, Kevin Archbold (UAlbany) and Matt Gallup (Stony Brook) struck out 15 total.

*Amsterdam registered its third shutout of the season and third in its last four games. The Mohawks had just four shutouts all of last season.

*Cooperstown and Newark played the fastest nine-inning game in the PGCBL this season. Cooperstown's 3-2 victory over Newark at Colburn Park took two hours and 11 minutes to complete.

*Back quickly to Amsterdam. The first 2012 PG Crosschecker Summer Top 30 rankings were released on Wednesday. The Amsterdam Mohawks are ranked 15th nationally. There will be a full write-up on Thursday. Defending league champion Newark was listed in the also receiving votes category.

*Wednesday night in the North County, it was a night of strikeouts at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds between the Watertown Wizards and Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Five pitchers between both teams totaled 20 strikeouts. Watertown's Rene Solis (St. Mary's, Texas), the reigning PGCBL Pitcher of the Week, fanned nine batters over seven innings and reliever Kyle McNutt (Cal Poly Pomona) had two strikeouts in two innings. Mohawk Valley starter John Means (Fort Scott CC) seated 11 men via strikeout while relievers Aaron Casper (Canisius) and Sal Lisanti (Bryant) teammed up for five.

*So, it's no surprise then that Mohawk Valley's John Means (Fort Scott CC) and Watertown's Rene Solis (St. Mary's, Texas) are 1-2 in the PGCBL in strikeouts. Means has struck out 27 batters in 17.2 innings. The Gardner, Kan., native has posted back-to-back games with double-digit strikeouts. Solis is just three behind Means with 24 strikeouts in 22.0 innings.

*While it was a Nuke LaLoosh-type night in Watertown, Crash Davis would have preferred an evening in Newark with 29 total groundouts between the Cooperstown Hawkeyes and Newark Pilots. Cooperstown's Daniel Hyatt (Louisburg) induced 12 ground-ball outs in seven innings and teammate Josh Ingham (Central Conn. State) forced three in the final two frames. Newark starter Phillip Flach (Samford) picked up 14 outs via groundout in eight innings.

*Who had the better offensive night? Amsterdam scored a season high 11 runs on 19 hits at Albany. Elmira plated 12 runs for the second-consecutive game in a 12-9 win at Glens Falls.

*Amsterdam pitchers recorded their second two-hit shutout of the season, both have come against Albany. Earlier this week, Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) fired a two-hit shutout through eight innings and Chase Williamson (Auburn) swept through the Dutchmen in the ninth. Wednesday night, Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) gave up a double to Morgan Phillips (Charleston) in the second and that was all he would allow hit-wise through four innings. Kevin Archbold (UAlbany) yielded an infield single to Jack Wietlishpach (Parkland) in the seventh and that would be Albany's only other hit.

*Maybe Cooperstown got the memo a little late about hot starts leading to wins. That was the theme on Tuesday night throughout the league. Well, the Hawkeyes were a day late but used three runs over the first two innings to eek out a 3-2 win at Newark's Colburn Park. Ty Morris (CSU Monterey Bay) drilled an RBI double in the first and then scored from second on a wild pitch to put Cooperstown up 2-0. An RBI groundout from Quinn Pippin (Tulane) plated the eventual winning score for the visitors in the second.

*A total of 32 players saw action on Wednesday night at Bellizzi Field in Albany's game with Amsterdam.

*A slow-starting Amsterdam Mohawks team in 2011 did not record its ninth win until July 2 against Mohawk Valley. That coincided with the arrival of eventual All-PGCBL first team catcher Luke Maile (Kentucky). Amsterdam earned its league leading ninth 2012 victory last night.

Looking Ahead
*It's a doubleheader Thursday with two twin bills on the slate beginning in the afternoon. Between the games this afternoon and this evening, you're looking at wall-to-wall PGCBL baseball all day long. Keep in mind, all doubleheader games are seven innings in length.

*Well, we have ourselves quite the doubleheader in the Rug City as the Amsterdam Mohawks host the Oneonta Outlaws. The doubleheader is a make-up for a game that was rained out last week. Amsterdam and Oneonta are two of the hottest teams in the league and the two best pitching teams. Amsterdam's 1.99 earned run average leads the loop while Oneonta isn't far behind at 2.08. Runs could be at a premium on Thursday though in the cozy confines of offensive-friendly Shuttleworth Park on a warm day, the ball could be traveling well. The last time the Mohawks and Outlaws went at it was on the June 15 - Amsterdam outlasted Oneonta, 5-4, in 15 innings at Damaschke Field.

*Newark and Cooperstown wrap up a three-game series at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. It's the second-such series for the Hawkeyes this week that included a single nine-inning game at one site and then a doubleheader (non-traditional or regular) in Cooperstown. The last time the Pilots and head coach Chris Ebright were in the "Birthplace of Baseball," the team was celebrating a win over Cooperstown in Game 3 of a 2011 divisional playoff series between the two teams. Will this be the day the Newark offense roars back to life?

*It has been a successful but long road trip for the Elmira Pioneers who have been away from the Dunn since Monday. The trip finally comes to a close on Thursday night at Vet's Park in Little Falls. The DiamondDawgs and the Pioneers are scheduled to meet only three times in the 2012 regular season and just one of those three games is at Mohawk Valley. With a win and a Watertown loss, the Pioneers could leapfrog the Wizards into the middle of the PGCBL peloton.

*Watertown and Albany round out the Thursday docket in the Capital District at Bellizzi Field. The game is part of a three-game homestand for the Dutchmen that concludes on Friday night against the Newark Pilots. Watertown has been good on the road with an undefeated record (3-0). The Wizards have played just one road game over the last 10 days. In three road games, the Purple and Gold has punished opponents with 21 runs. Two of the three wins were by two runs or less though the Wizards drilled the Golden Eagles, 8-3, in their last road game on June 16. 

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