PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 7, 2012

The Elmira Pioneers after Thursday night's home win over Newark. Photo courtesy Mike Gurnsey/Elmira Pioneers FB page

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Note: Individual game box scores can be found linked on the scoreboard page which is part of the Statistics drop down menu on the main web site navigation bar.

Last Night's Scores
Newark 8 Watertown 5
Albany 6 Cooperstown 1
Amsterdam 12 Glens Falls 2
Elmira 7 Oneonta 6

Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Watertown at Glens Falls, 7:00 p.m.
Ryan Dunn (Cal Poly Pomona) 0-3, 5.67 ERA vs. Cory Folk (Buffalo) 2-0, 4.50 ERA

Newark at Oneonta, 7:00 p.m.

Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph's, Pa.) 4-0, 3.00 ERA vs. Brett Lisle (Virginia) 2-2, 3.57 ERA

Cooperstown at Mohawk Valley, 7:05 p.m.
James Norwood (Saint Louis) 2-3, 2.70 ERA vs. John Means (Fort Scot C.C.) 1-2, 1.23 ERA

Amsterdam at Elmira, 7:05 p.m.

Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) 1-0, 3.00 ERA vs. Dylan Waugh (Arizona Christian) 3-0, 3.67 ERA

*Albany's Adam Young (UC Davis) turned in one of the top performances of the night in a win over Cooperstown. Young collected three extra-base hits in four at-bats. He tripled in the first first inning and scored on a Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina-2012-13) RBI single. The Albany number-two hitter drilled an RBI double in the second and then he smashed his second double and third extra-base hit in the fifth. Young finished 3-for-4 with one RBI, one run scored and seven total bases.

*Mohawk Valley might be one of the most rested teams in the league. The Dawgs were off on the Fourth of July and then made a short trip to Amsterdam  and won 11-7 on Thursday night. Mohawk Valley was off again on Friday for a stretch of one game in three days. And on that note, the Dawgs open up a stretch of 9.5 games in nine days. The stretch will conclude with a non-traditional doubleheader at Doubleday Field on July 15 with at least two innings of a resumed game and then a regularly-scheduled game against Cooperstown.

*Amsterdam's offense was electric on Friday night against Glens Falls. The Mohawks scored at least one run in seven of eight innings in a 12-2 romp over the Golden Eagles. What's even more impressive for the Mohawks? Amsterdam scored at least one run in eight-straight frames between games on Thursday and Friday against Mohawk Valley and Glens Falls. The nationally-ranked Mohawks scored twice in the ninth inning on Thursday night. And overall looking even further back, the Tribe has recorded at least one score in nine of its last 10 innings for 15 total runs.

*Elmira pocketed the wildest win on Friday night with a come-from-behind victory over Oneonta. The Pioneers offense earned the win with strong two-out hitting. Four of the seven runs recorded in the game by Elmira came with two outs. In the sixth inning, the first two Elmira batters were retired and then the Pioneers rallied to score three runs. In the decisive eighth inning, the Twin Tiers team tallied twice to tie the game and with the bases loaded and two outs, Spencer Brann (UC Davis) came through with an RBI single.

*Amsterdam played on Friday night without either of the two reigning PGCBL Co-Players of the Week, Ed Charlton (NJIT) and Evan Stephens (Wake Stephens). The Mohawks still managed 12 runs on 10 hits. The normal top two in the Amsterdam order were replaced by lead-off hitter Demarcus Henderson (Miss. State) and Jeff Boehm (Kentucky). The two SEC swingers combined to score three times, Boehm added two RBI.

*Recent Amsterdam addition Brian Ruby (Binghamton) is off to a hot start at the plate. Ruby, who played first base on Thursday and third base on Friday, has a .444 batting average (4-for-9) in two games with two doubles and three RBI.

*Watertown's Donald Walter (Cal Poly Pomona) is a candidate for the upcoming PGCBL Player of the Week award. Walter has scored 11 runs this week in four Watertown contests. Friday night, he tallied three times in a loss to Newark. The rising senior at Cal Poly Pomona has moved into a tie for the league lead with Newark's Joe Landi (Rhode Island) for the most runs scored, each has recorded 28 runs.

*Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky)'s ERA cannot get much lower. Shepherd entered into Friday's action with an earned run average of 0.33, the best in the league for a starting pitcher. At the end of a seven-inning performance in which he did not allow an earned run, Shepherd's ERA dropped to a miniscule 0.26. The University of Kentucky rising sophomore allowed one unearned run on six hits, walked none and struck out four to improve to 5-0 on the season. Shepherd leads the league in wins and ERA and he is tied for first in innings pitched (34.0).

*Amsterdam opened the season with a long stretch of games at Shuttleworth Park without a home run. It took the Tribe two weeks to ding their first home run in the Rug City. Josh Nethaway (UAlbany) on June 22 against Glens Falls. Fast forward to the present and the Mohawks have rocked at least one home run in their last four home games. Ed Charlton (NJIT) clubbed his league-leading sixth home run on June 30 against Watertown. Chase Williamson (Auburn) homered in back-to-back games versus Cooperstown and Mohawk Valley and Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville) dinged a two-run blast over the Chain Monster on Thursday. Overall this season, Amsterdam has hit 16 home runs.

*Some quick overall numbers to pass along now that just about every team has moved past the midway point in its' schedule. Overall, the league is hitting .259. This is slightly down from last year's .268 overall batting average. Last season, eight of nine teams have .250 or better. Currently there are six of nine clubs with at least a .250 batting average. PGCBL batters have accounted for 1,310 runs on 2,015 hits. Home run numbers appear to be similiar with 91 total belts at the halfway point; league teams smacked 201 home runs in 2011. Though there is a large disparity between the haves and have nots, five of nine teams have hit at least 12 home runs and the other four are in single digits. Pitchers in the PGCBL own an overall earned run average of 4.23 which right now is slightly lower than last year's 4.48. League hurlers have struck out 1,728 batters and walked 1,022. Current PGCBL pitchers are on pace to surpass last year's overall strikeout number of 2,760.

*The starkest difference between this year and last year lies in overall stolen base numbers. Last season, league teams stole 461 bases. Albany led the league with 93 steals and three other teams had at least 70 swipes. This season, nine teams have already stolen 423 bases. Oneonta, despite a recent dry spell in swipes, still leages the lead with 54 stolen bases. Thee other teams have at least 50 stolen bases and five others have at least 40 stolen bases. Individually, Ross Kivett (Kansas State) of Glens Falls continues to lead the league. He now has 21 steals.

*Mohawk Valley pitchers have allowed 288 runs this season. However, only 209 runs have been earned. The disparity of 79 unearned runs is the largest in the league of any team. The next closest is Watertown with 275 runs total allowed and 215 earned.

*Amsterdam has one of the league's top offenses. Heading into Saturday's games, the Mohawks have eight players with at least 10 RBI. A ninth swinger, Evan Stephens (Wake Forest), needs just one more RBI to reach double digits. In terms of run scoring, 10 Amsterdam players have scored at least 10 runs and three have recorded 20 or more led by Evan Stephens with 25.

*Elmira can become the first team in the brief two-year history of the PGCBL to reach the 40,000-fan mark. Elmira's crowd of just over 3,000 on Friday night pushed the Pios to the brink of 40,000. Through 13 home dates, the Pios have an average attendance of over 3,000/night and a total attendance of 39,451. The current Pioneers surpassed last year's then Elmira summer-collegiate record of 35,453 on Thursday night. Elmira is in the midst of a three-game homestand on U.S.A. Weekend where every night has Fireworks.

*The biggest statistical dead heat in any individual major offensive category is currently in doubles where four players are tied for the league lead with 10 apiece. Newark's Brent Langston (Delta State), Elmira's Zac Bellinger (VCU), Watertown's Jordan Enos (Holy Cross) and Amsterdam's Zak Colby (Faulkner) have all smacked 10 doubles this season.

*In their current five-game winning streak, the Elmira Pioneers have outscored opponents 35-23. That's an average of seven runs per game for the Twin Tiers team which is averaging about five scores per night on the season.

*Albany's Andrew Furber (Gloucester County) has won his last two starts for the Dutchmen. The highly-touted hurler from the Garden State is 2-0 with a 2.13 earned run average in victories over Newark and Cooperstown. Furber yielded just two scores on seven hits over 5.2 innings at Newark on June 30. He shut out the Pilots through the first five frames before giving up two runs in the sixth. Friday, Furber gave up just one run in seven frames versus Cooperstown. He did not allow a hit in the first three stanzas and then yielded two infield hits in the fourth. Furber held Cooperstown without a run in six of his seven innings.

Looking Ahead
*The second and final meeting of the season between the Amsterdam Mohawks and the Elmira Pioneers will be played tonight at Elmira's Dunn Field. The league-leading Mohawks, fresh off of a victory over the second-place Glens Falls Golden Eagles, take their longest bus trip of the season to the Twin Tiers for a match-up against the red-hot Pioneers who have won five games in a row. Amsterdam won the only prior meeting between the two teams this season by a score of 7-1 on June 15 which was about three weeks ago. The Mohawks made three trips to Dunn Field last season and compiled a 1-2 record in Elmira with two of the games coming on back-to-back nights. Amsterdam also won the 2010 NYCBL championship at Dunn Field completing a 2-0 sweep in the best-of-three series. Currently, Amsterdam has won 20 of its last 23 games and the Mohawks have increased their lead atop the league to six games over Glens Falls. The Mohawks tied a season-high on Friday night with 12 runs and the team has scored at least three runs in 23 of 26 contests overall. Included in that stretch, seven-straight games with at least six runs. While Elmira may not be as hot as Amsterdam, the Pios have ripped off five wins including two in a row in front of packed houses at Dunn Field. Elmira's offense has reeled off at least six runs per game in each game of the current winning streak. But, this could be a more defensive-minded game as Pios' ace Dylan Waugh (Ariz. Christian) who already has a complete game shutout to his name this season goes up against 2011 PGCBL strikeout leader Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) who will be making his second start this summer for Amsterdam.

*A key clash in the middle league table occurs at Damaschke Field in Oneonta where the fourth-place Outlaws and third-place Pilots meet for the second time in the span of five days. Oneonta beat down Newark, 10-1, on Tuesday night at Colburn Park in front of over 2,000 fans. In that game, the Outlaws charged out to a 10-0 lead and starter David Sosebee (Georgia) was outstanding over seven innings. The Orange and Black haven't won since and return home to Neahwa Park after failing to hold onto a 6-1 lead in a loss to Elmira on Friday night. In the season series, Oneonta has had the better of Newark twice but both of those wins came in Newark while the Pilots won their only trip to Damaschke Field which was on June 27. Both teams could use a win to boost their standing as Newark is attempting to close in on second-place Glens Falls while Oneonta can reclaim sole possession of fourth place from idle Albany with a victory. Oneonta is 1-7 in its last eight games and a team that at one point led the league in ERA has seen its team average balloon up to 3.78. Stolen base production for the Outlaws is also down with just four steals over the last two weeks. Much like last year, Newark is a scrappy club with a good number of solid players - six enter Saturday's action with at least 10 RBI and four of the six have 15 or more. The Pilots are hitting the ball well but their defense has let in at least five runs in eight-straight games.

*The Watertown Wizards are unbeaten this season against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Watertown out-slugged Glens Falls, 8-7, at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds on June 7 in a game which featured a whopping five home runs. The Purple and Gold tacked on eight more scores in an 8-3 defeat of Glens Falls at East Field 10 days later on June 16. Since then, the Wizards and Golden Eagles, rivals since 2004, have gone their separate ways. Watertown fell at Newark on Friday night and the Wizards are rewarded tonight with their longest trip of the season, a near four-hour jaunt to East Field to face off with Glens Falls. The Puple and Gold and the Green and Gold will see a little more of each other this month with three more meetings after tonight; two of which will come in a home-and-home series on July 30-31. The Golden Eagles, despite a Friday night loss, have still won five in a row in Glens Falls and have outscored the opposition 48-19 in those wins. Glens Falls can earn its 10th home victory with a win on Saturday night in "Hometown U.S.A." Last night, the Golden Eagles tallied just twice at Amsterdam. This has happened, where Glens Falls has been held to two runs or less on three other occasions - in the games following; the Eagles have racked up a combined 25 runs. The Watertown offense rolls into Glens Falls with a total of 25 hits over its last two games - versus Cooperstown and Newark.

*Cooperstown and Mohawk Valley have unfinished business though it won't be handled tonight. The Hawkeyes and DiamondDawgs played earlier this week on Monday evening at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown and made it through only seven innings before being suspended because of darkness. At the time of the stoppage, Mohawk Valley had an 18-9 lead in a game that logged three hours and 14 minutes. That contest will be completed on July 15 before the regularly-scheduled game between the two teams in Cooperstown. The Hawkeyes make their second trip to Little Falls of the season. The last time manager Eric Coleman brought his club to Exit 29A on the New York State Thruway, the Hawkeyes scored three times in the ninth inning to earn a 5-4 comeback victory. The DiamondDawgs, after knocking off the Amsterdam Mohawks at Shuttleworth Park on Thursday night, were off on Friday. The Dawgs are within a line drive almost of the fourth place Oneonta Outlaws and Albany Dutchmen in the league standings. Mohawk Valley's 11 runs and 16 hits marked season highs for the team in Amsterdam and the Dawgs have banged out 61 hits since being shut down by Amsterdam's Taylor Martin (Kentucky) in a 2-1 defeat on June 28. Seven Dawgs are batting .270 or high and the team has certainly been making contact, Mohawk Valley has had players walk just 75 times, a league low. The Hawkeyes have cooled somewhat since a wild win over Amsterdam on Tuesday night with losses in two straight however five of the teams' nine wins have been on the road. Cooperstown is 2-1 in its last three road games with wins at both Amsterdam and Elmira; two of the hottest  teams in the league.

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