PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 15, 2012

Newark's Josh Perez (Miss. State) in action against the Watertown Wizads on Friday night at Colburn Park. Photo courtesy Steve Plopper.

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Friday Night's Scores
Newark 12 Watertown 5 (Game 1)
Newark 6 Watertown 5 (12) (Game 2)
Mohawk Valley 12 Oneonta 5
Albany 9 Elmira 6
Glens Falls 4 Amsterdam 3 (10)

Last Night's Scores

Elmira 13 Cooperstown 7
Amsterdam 10 Oneonta 1
Albany 6 Glens Falls 5
Mohawk Valley 12 Watertown 2

Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Mohawk Valley at Cooperstown, 4:15 p.m.*
Eddie Fitzpatrick (Brown) 1-3, 8.22 ERA vs. Josh Anderson (Cypress) 0-1, 7.41 ERA
*The regularly-scheduled game will follow the completion of the suspended game from July 2

Oneonta at Elmira, 5:05 p.m.
Spencer Thomas (South Georgia) 0-0, 2.57 ERA vs. Carson Bryant 0-3, 6.12 ERA

Watertown at Amsterdam, 7:05 p.m.
Matt McCain (St. Mary's, Texas) 2-2, 6.67 ERA vs. Taylor Martin (Kentucky) 2-2, 4.31 ERA

Glens Falls at Newark, 7:05 p.m.

Nick Pivetta (New Mexico J.C.) 0-1, 8.41 ERA vs. Derek Dallas (UT Dallas) 2-1, 1.52 ERA


*Well, hello friends. Welcome back to the Daily Rundown. I apologize for the lack of an update however I'm back full force today with notes from the last two nights as we begin this sweltering Sunday. Oh by the way, temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-to-upper 90s on Tuesday.

*Have you seen this catch by Ross "Spiderman" Kivett (Kansas State) of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles yet? If not, go watch it now. The catch comes at the end of the highlights. For those that cannot watch - Kivett jumps on top of the brick wall at Amsterdam's Shuttleworth Park separating the playing field from the first base box seats and leans into the foul screen to make an amazing catch. Entering today's action, Kivett has a league-leading 31 stolen bases.

*Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) of the Amsterdam Mohawks is one strikeout away from becoming the first pitcher in league history to record 100 strikeouts. Leiter fanned nine of six innings of work on Friday night in a no decision against Glens Falls. This summer, Leiter has struck out 25 batters in three starts. Last summer, the Lanoka Harbor, N.J., native led the league with 74 strikeouts. In two seeasons, Mark has amassed 99 strikeouts. He is currently 2-0 with a 1.50 earned run average.

*How hot is Mohawk Valley right now? The DiamondDawgs have won 10 in a row to tie Amsterdam for the longest winning streak this season. Mohawk Valley has not lost since July 3. That night, MV was defeated by Albany, 10-8, in extra innings at Vet's Park. While Mohawk Valley can potentially earn two victories today, its winning streak would increase by just one because the suspended game with Cooperstown was started on July 2, several days before the current winning streak began. Following its loss to Albany on July 3, Mohawk Valley was 9-13 and sat in sixth place, barely ahead of seventh-place Cooperstown. Since then, the Dawgs have outscored their opponents 101-32; that's an average win of 10-3. Mohawk Valley has also scored at least 10 runs in seven of its 10 wins. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mohawk Valley at least receiving votes for this week's Summer Top 30.

*Mohawk Valley has scored an identical number of double-digit runs in back-to-back games three times this season. Sound confusing? It's not. The Dawgs plated 11 runs each in wins over Amsterdam and Cooperstown to start their current winning streak. That was followed up with 15 runs each in wins over Watertown and Elmira in games last weekend. Mohawk Valley erupted for 12 runs on Friday night against Oneonta and then turned the trick again on Saturday night versus Watertown.

*The Newark Pilots are the league leaders in terms of overall games played currently with 34. What you may not know is that the Pilots are averaging over a sacrifice per game. Newark has totaled 38 sacrifice hits this season. Josh Crowdus (Delta State) has set a team and league recod with 10 sacrifice hits. He had three alone in one of Newark's wins over Watertown on Friday night. Crowdus also has posted three sacrifice flies and holds a .348 batting average, highest among all Newark regulars. Thirteen Pilots have at least one sacrifice. As a team, Newark has allowed only 20.

*Newark received a well deserved day of rest on Saturday after a near seven-hour twin bill at home on Friday with Watertown. The Pilots again had a flair for the dramatic on Friday night with a second walk-off victory in as many days. While Newark won the opener handily by a 12-5 count, the Pilots and Wizards found themselves deadlocked at five going into extra innings in the night cap. It took five extra frames before Chris Doyle (UC Davis) ended the marathon with a walk-off single. The night before, Adam Grace (Erie C.C.) smacked a walk-off hit to beat Oneonta. Four of Newark's last eight and three of the last five have been decided on a walk-off. The winning pitcher in both Newark victories on Thursday and Friday was Chris Rogers (Oklahoma Baptist).

*The 6-5 marathon between Newark and Watertown in the night cap on Friday was a battle of the relief pitchers. Watertown closer Jonathan Perez (St. Mary's) dueled with Newark's Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta) and Chris Rogers (Oklahoma Baptist). Mark Scott entered in the sixth and struck out the only man he faced to strand the potential go-ahead run on the bases. Scott struck out seven of the 13 batters he faced in 3.1 scoreless innings. Chris Rogers followed with three more shutout frames where he seated five via strikeout. Watertown's Jonathan Perez entered in the sixth and strung together 3.2 shutout innings. He struck out three and allowed just one hit.

*Elmira surpassed the 50,000-fan mark on Friday night at Dunn Field with a crowd of 3,648 for a game with the Albany Dutchmen. The Pioneers are averaging nearly 3,000 fans a night (2,962) and are on pace to surpass 60,000 before the end of the season.

*Heading into Sunday's games, over 168,000 fans have attended a PGCBL game this season.

*New league record holders over the last few days include Watertowns' Brandon Cipolla (Holy Cross) with 33 walks (old record - 30), Newark's Josh Crowdus (Delta State) with 10 sacrifice hits (old record - 8) and Watertown's Donald Walter (Cal Poly Pomona) with 14 HBP (old record - 11).

*Other marks possibly set to fall in the coming days. Newark's Brent Langston (Delta State) with 36 RBI is six RBI shy of tying last year's record of 42 set by 2011 PGCBL Player of the Year Erick Gaylord. Watertown's Donald Walter (Cal Poly Pomona) is three runs away from the league single-season record of 38 set by Amsterdam's Zach Shank (Marist). MV's Tyler Heck (Union, N.Y.) and Newark's Joe Landi (Rhode Island) are also in striking distance of that mark. Elmira's Zac Bellinger (VCU) needs just one more double to tie the league record of 16 held by Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) of Glens Falls.

*One team record to pass along. Newark's Joe Landi (Rhode Island) has broken the Pilots franchise record with 25 stolen bases. Michael Bolling set the team and league record last year with 22.

*Just one game stands between third-place Newark and sixth-place Albany with about 2.5 weeks left in the regular season schedule. However, Newark has the fewest games left of the four teams with just 13 after today. Glens Falls, Oneonta and Albany all have several games at hand.

*Mohawk Valley's Eric Helmrich (Marist) was one of the early home run leaders in the PGCBL. The big swinger from Marist College has slugged his way back to the top of the leadboard now with seven home runs for the DiamondDawgs. He has surpassed Amsterdam's Ed Charlton (NJIT) who recently returned to the Amsterdam line-up after missing several games due to injury.

*Three of the five league leaders in batting average currently play for the Amsterdam Mohawks. Evan Stephens (Wake Forest) continues to top the circuit with a .446 batting average. Zak Colby (Faulkner) is tied for second with Ross Kivett (Kansas State) of Glens Falls, each has a .393 batting mark. Amsterdam's Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) is fourth with a .388 batting average.

*Amsterdam has now won 14 road games in a row. The Mohawks have not lost a road game since June 8 in Glens Falls. While Amsterdam dropped a 4-3 decision to Cooperstown several days later; the game was resumed from June 6 and reverted back to that date when the score went final. The Mohawks have banged out 18 hits each in back-to-back road wins over Newark and Oneonta and accrued 26 runs on 36 hits in those wins.

*Two-out hitting proved to be key in several games on Saturday night. Six of Amsterdam's 10 runs on Saturday night came with two outs. Mohawk Valley scored seven times in the eighth inning to pull away from Watertown in a 12-2 victory. Six of the seven MV runs in the eighth inning crossed the plate with two outs. Four of the five runs scored by Glens Falls in Albany came with two outs while Albany responded with five two-out scores including four in the second inning.

*The most exciting moment late on Saturday night came in Albany's thrilling one-run win over Glens Falls. The Golden Eagles rallied from a 6-1 deficit and pulled to within 6-5 in the eighth inning. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases with two outs and the middle of the order batting. Albany reliever Cody White (Southern Idaho) entered from the bullpen with the sacks packed and the tying run 90-feet away. White induced Ross Kivett (Kansas State) of Glens Falls to hit a ground ball to the left side that turned into an inning-ending and rally-killing force out at second.

Looking Ahead
*Two early games and two late games on this very warm and muggy Sunday.

*The earliest start comes in Cooperstown where the Hawkeyes and the streaking Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs meet for a non-traditional doubleheader. The first game, a resumed game from July 2, starts at 4:15 p.m. in the top of the eighth with Mohawk Valley ahead 18-9. That game will be finished and then the regularly-scheduled game will be played afterwards. Mohawk Valley leads the series, 2-1, with Cooperstown and the Dawgs have won two-straight decisions over the Hawkeyes since Cooperstown rallied from a 5-4 win at Vet's Park on June 11. Mohawk Valley has scored 113 runs since the calendar changed from June to July. The Dawgs can set a league record winning streak with their 11th win in a row. On the road, MV is 9-5 and the DiamondDawgs have won five away games in a row. Meanwhile, Cooperstown has dropped eight in a row since a 9-8 victory over Amsterdam on July 3. The Hawkeyes have scored at least five runs in four of their last eight games.

*Oneonta and Elmira have split four previous meetings this season. Most recently, Oneonta scored eight times in a 8-5 victory over Elmira on July 10. The Outlaws and Pioneers each have two victories in the series that will feature three more games after Sunday. Oneonta has lost three in a row since a 13-1 thrashing of Cooperstown on Wednesday night at Damaschke Field. Oneonta fell on a walk-off single in Newark on Thursday however the Outlaws have been outscored 22-6 in their last two defeats to Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley. The Orange and Black has an even 8-8 record at home and on the road. Overall this season, Oneonta has recorded eight separate streaks of at least three wins or three losses. The longest winning streak has been four and the losing losing streak five. The same can be said for streaky Elmira with six different streaks of at least three wins or three losses. The streakiness has stopped recently for the Pios with a 2-1 mark over their last three. The Pioneers pounded out 13 runs in Cooperstown on Saturday evening and the team has scored at least four runs in their last five games. For the season, Elmira is 6-11 at home.

*A potential clash for playoff positining takes place tonight in Newark where the walk-off Pilots host the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. The Pilots have buzzed into sole possession of third place with a three-game win streak that has included a doubleheader sweep of Watertown and a pair of walk-off wins. Five of Newark's last eight decisions have come down to two runs or less. Tonight, Newark concludes a five-game home stand that began on Wednesday with a wild 16-12 loss to Amsterdam. The defending league champs are 3-1 in their current home stand. The Golden Eagles are 3-0 against the Pilots this season. The last time the Eagles rolled down the Thruway west to Newark, they came away with a 3-2 victory on June 17. Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico J.C.) provided the biggest blow of the game with a solo belt in the top of the ninth to break a 2-2 tie. Forcier dinged a two-run swat in the 10th at Amsterdam on Friday and accounted for all four scores in a win. Glens Falls was 15-10 on July 5 after beating Albany 9-2. Since then, the Eagles have logged a 2-6 mark with victories over Amsterdam and Albany.

*Rounding out the Sunday slate, Watertown makes the trip to Amsterdam for the second time in the last four days. Tonight marks the final game of the season between the Wizards and the Mohawks. The Tribe has topped the Wizards in every meeting this season to the tune of a 4-0 record. Amsterdam has outscored Watertown 31-12. The last two games between Amsterdam and Watertown have been decided by three runs and Thursday night's 8-5 Amsterdam win was not determined until Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) launched a three-run home run in the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie. Watertown also beat up Amsterdam starter Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) for five runs on eight hits in six innings. The nationally-ranked Mohawks are 12-5 at home this season but just 1-2 in their last three in the Rug City with a sole win over Watertown and losses to Albany and Glens Falls. Watertown concludes a week-long road trip tonight. The Wizards entered the week with one of the best road records in the league (9-4). The current trip has seen Watertown go 2-4 with four-straight losses that included a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Newark. Watertown has not won at Amsterdam since July 16, 2011, when Erick Gaylord smashed four home runs and drove in seven runs total in a 9-8 Wiz win.

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