PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 24, 2012

Austin Chase (UAlbany) pitching for the Albany Dutchmen in 2011. He logged eight innings in a win at Glens Falls on Saturday night. Photo courtesy Albany Dutchmen/James DiBianco

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Last Night's Scores
Amsterdam 3 Cooperstown 1
Albany 3 Glens Falls 2
Newark 12 Mohawk Valley 4
Oneonta 10 Watertown 8 (11)

Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Glens Falls at Cooperstown, 5:00 p.m.
Ryan Peterson (Yavapai) 1-1, 4.76 ERA vs. Denis Buckley (Charleston Southern) 0-1, 1.69 ERA

Elmira at Oneonta, 5:00 p.m.
Matt Holling (Hofstra) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Brett Lisle (Virginia) 1-1, 2.63 ERA

Newark at Albany, 5:05 p.m.
Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph's, Pa.) 2-0, 0.69 ERA  vs. Andrew Furber (Gloucester County College) 0-1, 9.53 ERA

Watertown at Mohawk Valley, 5:05 p.m.
Ryan Filipowicz (Holy Cross) 0-1, 4.15 ERA vs. Cameron Sorgie (UAlbany) 0-1, 4.66 ERA

*There were two great pitchers' duels on Saturday in Cooperstown and Glens Falls. Amsterdam's Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) continued his mastery of PGCBL hitters as he threw a four-hitter over seven, allowed one run and struck out nine against Cooperstown. He was opposed by Cooperstown's Cody Cooper (Northern Kentucky) who went eight strong innings and allowed three runs, all in the third, on five hits. Aside from the third, Cooper generally shut down the Amsterdam bats. The rising sophomore at NKU threw the first complete game of the season last Sunday against Elmira. Meanwhile in Glens Falls, Albany's Austin Chase (UAlbany), a 2011 PGCBL All-Star Game selection, struck out 10 through eight innings and was bend but not break in a 3-2 win. He stranded eight Glens Falls runners on base and never let the Golden Eagles have a big inning. Talk about tough luck, in the same game, Tayler Saucedo (Tacoma C.C.) of Glens Falls threw a two-hitter for six innings and struck out eight. He ended up as the losing pitcher. His bullpen cohorts Neil Fryer (Siena) and Cory Folk (Buffalo) did not allow a hit so the Golden Eagles tossed a combined two-hitter. 

*Quickly on Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky); through three starts, the Amsterdam hurler is 3-0 with a 0.45 earned run average. Through 20.0 innings, he has 22 strikeouts and three walks. Opponents have a .121 batting average and have managed just one run on eight hits. When Cooperstown scored in the second inning against Shepherd on Saturday, it ended a streak of 14.0 innings without allowing a run. Shepherd, as mentioned earlier this week, is among the candidates for the PGCBL Pitcher of the Week award which is surely to be hotly contested.

*Tayler Saucedo (Tacoma C.C.) of Glens Falls has pitched at home twice for the Golden Eagles this summer and Saturday was his first start. The crowds for his first two appearances at East Field - a franchise-record 3,051 on June 15 against Oneonta and 1,115 on Saturday night versus Albany.

*What a wild, back-and-forth game in Watertown on Saturday night between the Wizards and Outlaws. Over the course of the four-hour marathon that lasted 11 innings, the two teams combined for 18 runs on 24 hits. Ten pitchers were used and 34 players in all saw action at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. Half of the 18 runs were plated in the first three innings of the game, a contest which featured several ties and seven of 11 innings with at least one run. Fourteen batters recorded at least one hit - Watertown's Brandon Cipolla (Holy Cross) led all batsmen with a 4-for-5 night. For all of the offense, there was just one home run in the game, a solo smash by Watertown's Donald Walter (Cal Poly Pomona). Altogether, the Outlaws and Wizards also accounted for seven stolen bases.

*Nothing beats the rush of an exciting ending to a game. This happened in both Watertown and Glens Falls where the final out of the night came down to a bases-loaded situation. In the North Country, Watertown loaded the bases in the 11th against Oneonta reliever Clay Bates (Clemson) who was in his fourth inning of relief work. Bates left with the sacks packed, no one out and the potential tying run coming up to the plate in a 10-7 game. Nick Cioffi (Towson) retired the first two men he faced though a free pass allowed a run to score. With one run in and two outs, Cioffi induced a groundout to end the game. Albany's Trevor Lacosse (Bryant) found himself in a slightly similar situation. Glens Falls used a walk and two singles to load the bases with two outs against Lacosse with the tying run at third and the game-winning run at second. With the bases loaded, Lacosse faced clean-up batter Chase Griffin (Ga. Southern) of the Eagles, a 2012 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Lacosse struck Griffin out to end the game.

*Colburn Park in Newark does not appear to be a welcome place for dogs, DiamondDawgs that is. In two games against Mohawk Valley at Colburn Park, the Newark Pilots have scored 31 runs and allowed just 10.

*Sean Osterman's (St. John Fisher) game-winning home run in Game 2 of the 2011 PGCBLCS may have been a foreshadowing to his performance this year. At the end of the second full week of the season, Osterman leads all PGCBL batters with 17 RBI. He slugged a three-run double on Saturday night against Mohawk Valley to assume the RBI league lead.

*Heading into the second Sunday of the season, Glens Falls' Ross Kivett (Kansas State) of Glens Falls is the top hitter in the PGCBL. Kivett, like Amsterdam's Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville) before him, leads the league in batting average (.429), slugging percentage (.667) and on-base percentage (.508). Kivett also is first among all batters in total hits (23) and total bases (36). Saturday night, Kivett became the first Golden Eagle to hit a home run at East Field when he slammed an Austin Chase (UAlbany) delievery over the left-field fence. The rising junior at K-State has two home runs in his last two games.

*Reigning PGCBL Player of the Week Joe Landi (Rhode Island) of Newark is now tied for the league lead in stolen bases. Landi swiped three on Saturday night against Mohawk Valley to push his team-leading total to 10. Landi is tied for first in the PGCBL with Oneonta's Clay Holcomb (Troy).

*Watertown's Jordan Enos (Holy Cross) continued his early-season tear on Saturday night with three hits and three RBI in a loss to Oneonta. Enos, an All-Patriot League selection in the spring, has a .471 batting average through four games. He has eight hits total and four of those eight hits have been doubles. The slugging corner infielder has seven RBI and a .706 slugging percentage.

*Over the last few years, Amsterdam has boasted a strong closer. Abram Williams (Radford) closed for the Mohawks in 2010 and 2011; he was an All-PGCBL closer last summer. This year, Chase Williamson (Auburn) has picked up closing duties for head coach Keith Griffin. Williamson has already converted four saves. He's tied for the league lead with Jared Cheek (Ga. Southern) of Glens Falls. The Auburn product is 0-1 with a 2.08 earned run average through seven appearances. He has a 14:0 strikeout to walk radio with 14 strikeouts and zero walks in 13.0 innings. Williamson pitched a scoreless ninth at Cooperstown on Saturday to perserve a win.

*How about the hot start overall for the Albany Dutchmen? That's now eight wins for the Capital District club in 14 games. The Dutchmen, winners of three in a row, are off to their best start in franchise history. Albany did not score its eighth win last year until July 8. Head coach Nick Davey's charges are tied for second in the league with Oneonta and a win over Newark on Sunday combined with an Oneonta loss to Elmira would put Albany all alone in second place behind Amsterdam. Albany's current three-game win streak is its longest of the season. The Dutch have outscored opponents 14-9 in those games.

*Another streak ended on Saturday night, Mohawk Valley's three-game win streak. That said, the Mohawk Valley offense has still be very good over the course of the last week. Mohawk Valley had an off-day from league competition on June 14 and played an exhibition game against the New Rochelle Athletics. Since June 14, the DiamondDawgs have played eight games and in seven of those eight, Mohawk Valley has scored at least four runs.

*Head coach John Mayotte of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles has received two quality starts in a row. Friday night at Amsterdam, Brandon Magallones (Northwestern) fired a no-hitter for six innings in an 11-8 win. Magallones left after the sixth due to a high pitch count. Saturday night, Tayler Saucedo (Tacoma C.C.) allowed only two hits in six innings to Albany in a tough-luck loss. That's two hits given up in 12.0 innings.

*Lastly a belated congratulations to Kyle Koeneman (Amsterdam 2010) and Justin Thompson (Saratoga 2009). Both signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks as non-drafted free agents and both are currently playing in the Pioneer League for the Missoula Osprey.

*One other quick alumni note, Mel Rojas Jr. (Amsterdam 2009-2010) clubbed what is believed to be his first professional grand slam on Thursday night for the Advanced-A Bradenton Marauders of the Florida State League. The grand slam came in a 10-3 win over the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Bradenton is the Advanced-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The grand slam by Rojas won a lucky fan in attendance $200.

Looking Ahead
*All four home teams today are looking for a glorious summer Sunday evening at the ballpark. Cooperstown, Oneonta, Albany and Mohawk Valley are all playing home games that are scheduled to start right around 5:00 p.m. Of the four, Cooperstown is the only team that plays regularly at 5:00 p.m. due to the lack of lights at Doubleday Field.

*With the league-leading Amsterdam Mohawks off on Sunday, second place is up for grabs and four teams are in the mix for that slot - Oneonta, Albany, Newark and Glens Falls. All four are in action on Sunday. Newark and Albany play at "The Bob" inside the Christian Plumeri Sports Complex in Albany for the second time in three days. The Pilots buzzed out to the Capital District on Friday and were sent home with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Dutchmen behind an 11-strikeout performance from Albany starter David Stagg (Heartland C.C.). The two teams are scheduled to meet just four times. Albany buses to Newark this coming Saturday and then the two teams do not play again until the final week of July.

*Glens Falls, after a gut-wrenching loss to Albany on Saturday night, packs up the bus and heads south for a trip to Cooperstown. The way the schedule works out, the Golden Eagles will play the Hawkeyes at Doubleday Field on Sunday and Tuesday. It's not a very far trip for the Eagles, only about two hours and 10 minutes down to Doubleday from Hometown U.S.A. Glens Falls has been as Jeckyll and Hyde as its 7-7 record indicates. The Golden Eagles hit the ball all over the yard on Friday night in an 11-8 win over Amsterdam but then managed just six hits against Albany ace Austin Chase on Saturday night in a 3-2 home loss. Last season, Cooperstown had one of the best records at home in the PGCBL under head coach Eric Coleman. Through eight home dates this season, the Hawkeyes are 2-6.

*Oneonta is tied with Albany for second place currently in the PGCBL. Oneonta owns a win over Albany and thus a tiebreaker right now. While Albany entertains Newark, the Outlaws, fresh off  an 11-inning victory over the Wizards and a long bus ride home, host the seemingly-fresh Elmira Pioneers. While the Pios will vovage along New York's Southern Tier to arrive in the City of the Hills, manager Dan Shwam's team had Saturday night off. That said, Elmira has been a travel-heavy team already this season as Sunday evening will mark the 10th road game of the year for Elmira. This will also be the first-ever game between the Outlaws and Pioneers. However, Elmira did play the Saratoga Phillies, franchise forerunners to the Oneonta Outlaws in 2006 when both teams were in the NYCBL.

*A short trip rounds out the Sunday slate with Watertown taking the quick jaunt down Route 12 to Little Falls to tangle with the DiamondDawgs. Despite a loss on Saturday, the Dawgs offense is still hot having scored 29 runs in four games. Mohawk Valley has struggled somewhat at Vet's Park this season however the DiamondDawgs thumped the Wizards, 9-2, last Wednesday night in the North Country. A short trip is a good thing for Watertown after a four-hour marathon at home versus Oneonta on Saturday night. The game did not end until after 11:00 p.m. The Wizards squashed the Elmira Pioneers on Frirday at Dunn Field and have gone 4-1 in five road games. One of those four wins came earlier this season in Little Falls with a 7-6 victory in which Watertown stormed out to a 7-0 lead and then hung on to win. That particular game was the home opener for the Dawgs.

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