PGCBL Daily Rundown - August 1, 2012

Mohawk Valley's Joe Carcone (Bryant) tags out Amsterdam's Keaton Flint (Sacred Heart) as he slides into second base on Tuesday night. Photo courtesy The-Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo

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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
Cooperstown 17 Albany 15 (Resumed from 7/12)
Albany 8 Cooperstown 2
Oneonta 8 Newark 3
Mohawk Valley 10 Amsterdam 5
Glens Falls at Watertown - Cancelled, Rain

Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Oneonta at Glens Falls, 7:00 p.m.

Mohawk Valley at Watertown, 7:00 p.m.

Evan Davis (Marist) 0-3, 5.45 ERA vs. Matt McClain (St. Mary's, Texas) 3-2, 5.31 ERA

Elmira at Newark, 7:05 p.m.
Brad Bellinger (St. John's) 0-1, 5.60 ERA vs. Phillip Flach (Samford) 3-2, 4.41 ERA

Amsterdam at Albany, 7:05 p.m.
Dan Zlotnick (Marist) 1-1, 6.75 ERA vs. Matt Snyder (Va. Tech) 2-3, 4.10 ERA

*Amsterdam, Glens Falls and Newark have all clinched playoff spots. For the two teams remaining - Oneonta and Mohawk Valley, it's fairly simple. If Oneonta defeats Glens Falls at East Field, the Outlaws are in the playoffs and it does not matter what Mohawk Valley does. However, Mohawk Valley needs to beat Watertown and have Oneonta lose to Glens Falls to leap-frog into the fourth and final playoff spot. If both teams win or both teams lose, Oneonta is in and Mohawk Valley is out. No tie is possible because both teams will finish with a different number of games - Oneonta with 47 and Mohawk Valley with 46.

*While the playoff teams are just about set, seeds two through four are completely up for grabs. There are more than a few scenarios to consider. With a victory over Oneonta, Glens Falls can clinch the second seed in the playoffs and with that home-field advantage in the opening round. A Newark loss to Elmira would also give Glens Falls the second seed. The defending champion Pilots can finish anywhere from second through fourth depending on tonight's results. A win makes sure that Newark is no lower than three and a Newark win combined with a loss by Glens Falls would vault the Pilots into second place. Oneonta can finish no higher than three and Mohawk Valley will be the four seed no matter what if it makes the playoffs.

*Should the standings come down to Newark and Glens Falls finishing second and third in no particular order, the higher-seeded team will have to make one less four-hour trip across the New York State Thruway. Both teams also have played better at home than on the road  - the Golden Eagles are 16-6 at East Field and the Pilots are 14-8 at Colburn Park. In the playoffs last year, Newark went 1-1 at home with a win over Cooperstown in the divisional series and a loss to Amsterdam in the finals.

*If there are ties, the first tiebreaker criteria is head-to-head results. Glens Falls holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over Oneonta based on a win in the season series. Even with a loss tonight, Glens Falls would still have a 4-3 lead over Oneonta in seven games total. The other possible tie would be between Newark and Mohawk Valley. Newark won the season series from Mohawk Valley 4-1 and would gain the higher seed should the two teams finish with identical 25-21 records.

*Of the three teams that have already clinched playoff spots; all three made the PGCBL playoffs last year. Amsterdam and Glens Falls met in the PGCBL East divisional series and then Amsterdam and Newark played for the league championship. Oneonta is bidding to make the PGCBL playoffs in its first year in the league. Oneonta won the NYCBL championship last summer. Oneonta has made five overall playoff appearances and won two league championships. Mohawk Valley made the playoffs four years in a row between 2006 and 2009.

*The latest Perfect Game Summer Top 30 rankings have been released. The Amsterdam Mohawks, down to number four last week, returned to number three in the newest poll. Amsterdam is third in the nation behind the Cotuit Kettleers and Harwich Mariners, both of the Cape Cod League.

*Coleman Barron (Davidson) of the Cooperstown Hawkeyes is the king of resumed games. Back in June, Barron belted a two out, two-run home in the bottom of the 14th inning to give Cooperstown a 4-3 win over Amsterdam at Doubleday Field. The game had begun on June 6, was suspended due to darkness and then during the resumption a few days later, Barron hit the game-winning belt. Yesterday in Albany, Barron replicated the feat in the resumed game with the Dutchmen. He clubbed a two out, two-run home run that proved to be the difference in a 17-15 Cooperstown win.

*Amsterdam's D.J. Hoagboon (UAlbany) pulled off a rare feat on Tuesday night. Hoagboon pitched both right-handed and left-handed against the Mohawk Valley DiamonDawgs. Hoagboon, a catcher and outfielder at the University at Albany, was a pitcher in high school at Mayfield Central. During high school, he pitched both right and left-handed. Hoagboon took to the mound in the eighth inning last night and as a right-handed pitcher, he issued one walk and then struck out Mohawk Valley slugger Chris Cruz (Cornell). Hoagboon went southpaw in the ninth inning and retired the side in order. Hoagboon also went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

*Al Leiter, the uncle of Amsterdam starting pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) threw out the first pitch on Tuesday night at Oneonta's Damasachke Field where the Oneonta Outlaws hosted the Newark Pilots.

*Cooperstown and Albany finished the highest-scoring game in PGCBL history yesterday evening in Albany. The two teams combined for 32 runs and 35 hits in a 17-15 shootout. The game was started on July 12 in Cooperstown and lasted seven innings before darkness suspended play. At the time of the stoppage, Cooperstown had a 15-11 lead. When the game resumed on Tuesday, Albany scored four runs to complete a wild comeback that began on July 12 with the Dutchmen trailing 15-4. By the time the final out was recorded, 36 players had seen action in the contest and the actual game play lasted three hours and 48 minutes. Included in the final box score - four home runs, eight doubles and one triple. Fiffeen of Cooperstown's 17 runs were scored in the first three innings.

*Going more in-depth on the Cooperstown-Albany box; 21 players had at least one hit - 12 for Albany and nine for Cooperstown - and 23 players scored at least one run - 12 for Albany and 11 for Cooperstown. Four different players hit home runs and 13 players total had an extra-base hit. No one swinger had more than one extra-base hit. Eight pitchers in total were used as well as three umpires. Mitch Nathan umpired all nine innings, he was joined on July 12 by Tim Kreamer and then Nathan finished the game yesterday with Ian Manlove. Cooperstown and Albany also set the league single-season record for most total bases - 57.

*In the Albany and Cooperstown "night cap" which started only five minutes later than the original 7:05 p.m. start time, the line-up card for the manager Nick Davey featured the brothers Pezzuto and Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina), one half of the Remillard brothers, batting 1-2-3. Greg Pezzuto (Southern New Hampshire) hit lead off and played left field while brother Andrew (Cortland State) batted second and played second base. Andrew hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning of the resumed game.

*Seven of the 10 runs scored by Albany and Cooperstown in the night cap came with two outs. Albany recorded five two-out tallies; two in the third inning on RBI hits from Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina) and Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) and then three as part of a five-run fifth on a three-run home run by Jon Mestas (Buffalo). Also, all six runs in the final two innings of the resumed game between the Dutchmen and Hawkeyes were scored with two outs. Albany plated four two-out runs in the eighth inning and then Coleman Barron's (Davidson) game-winning home run came with two outs in the home half of the frame.

*With last night's 10-run performance in Amsterdam, Mohawk Valley has now hit double-digits in runs 11 times this season.

*Mohawk Valley teammates Chris Cruz (Cornell), Eric Helmrich (Marist) and Jack Morrow (Young Harris) are all tied for the league lead in home runs. A similiar situation for the Dawgs occured in 2010 while in the NYCBL. MV teammates Jason Simone and Kyle Richardson went into the final day of the regular season fighting for the league batting championship; they entered the last game 1-2 in the batting race. Simone ended up winning the league batting title.

*Oneonta and Newark combined for seven total extra-base hits on Tuesday night at Damaschke Field. The two teams had four doubles and three triples - Newark's Ben Bostick (St. John Fisher) swatted his fourth triple while Oneonta's Zach Lucas (Louisville) notched his third and Cory Hunt (Utah) belted his first.

*Amsterdam allowed double digits for just the fourth time this year in last night's loss to Mohawk Valley. The DiamondDawgs have two of their 11 double-figure performances against Amsterdam. When allowing 10 or more runs, Amsterdam is 1-3.

*To my knowledge, there was just one player dealt yesterday with ties to a PGCBL team. Hunter Pence, a member of the Schenectady Mohawks in 2002, was traded to the San Francisco Giants from the Philadelphia Phillies in a four-player deal.

Looking Ahead
*Final night of the regular season with playoff seedings and the final playoff spot on the line. It doesn't get much better.

*Playoff seeding and the final playoff spot are both on the line at East Field in Glens Falls where the Golden Eagles face the Oneonta Outlaws. A win carries big weight for both - Glens Falls can secure the second seed in the playoffs and home-field advantage in the opening round with a win while Oneonta with a win can clinch a playoff spot. Sure, there are other ways for both the Eagles and Outlaws to get what they want but both can make sure there is no doubt with a victory. This will be the seventh and final meeting of the regular season series. Glens Falls, by virtue of a win over Oneonta earlier this week, leads the series 4-2. Oneonta traveled up to Glens Falls just four days ago and suffered a 12-5 defeat. The Outlaws have yet to win at East Field; both of their victories in the series have come at Damaschke Field in Oneonta. However it was just over a week ago that Oneonta handed Glens Falls a 6-3 setback. Both teams have been playing well down the stretch; the Eagles are 9-3 in their last 12 while Oneonta is 8-3 in its last 11. The Eagles were rained out in Watertown on Tuesday night however the team did have to make a four-hour bus ride back home while Oneonta played at home on Tuesday night and home. It's a little over a two-hour drive from Oneonta to Glens Falls.

*Mohawk Valley's playoff chances rest solidly on beating Watertown at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds tonight. If Mohawk Valley does not win, then the season for the DiamondDawgs will conclude because there is no way that they can pass Oneonta in the league standings. However if the Dawgs are victorious, they'll still need Oneonta to lose to Glens Falls. However, Mohawk Valley does hold its destiny because if the Dawgs do not win, there's no chance they can get into the playoffs. The Dawgs, sparked by a beatdown of Elmira on Monday night, have won two in a row and scored 23 runs in those games. The back-to-back games with double-digit runs are the first for Mohawk Valley since an 11-game winning streak last month. Mohawk Valley leads the season series with Watertown 4-1 though the two teams have not played since July 14 when the Dawgs crushed the Wizards, 12-2, at Vet's Park. In four-straight wins, Mohawk Valley has outscored Watertown  46-7. It's worth noting that the Mohawk Valley staring pitcher in three of five games pitting the Dawgs against the Wizards was Joe Michaud (Bryant). Due to the weather, the Wiz Kids have played just three games since the All-Star break. Watertown can spoil Mohawk Valley's playoff hopes with a win in the North Country tonight. Watertown edged out MV, 7-6, at Vet's Park back in the first week of the season.

*Newark has already clinched a playoff spot but would much rather have home-field advantage in the opening round as opposed to going on the road. Keep in mind, Newark, as the number two seed and overall fourth seed last season, defeated higher-seeded Cooperstown and Amsterdam last year back-to-back to win the league championship. The Pilots play the Elmira Pioneers for the 12th and final time tonight at Colburn Park. Newark won a nail-biter over Elmira, 3-1, on Sunday evening behind a complete game performance from PGCBL Pitcher of the Week Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph's, Pa). Thorpe tossed a three-hitter and struck out 12. Newark won the game with two runs in the last of the eighth inning. Newark holds an 8-3 lead in the series and has gone unbeaten against Elmira at home this season. However, the last four games in the season series and five overall have been decided by two runs or less. The Pilots had a five-game win streak snapped on Tuesday night in Oneonta though have still finished the regular season with a flurry - 10-6 over their last 16 games. Since beating Oneonta on July 21, Elmira has gone 1-5 though four of the five losses have been by three or fewer runs.

*Amsterdam and Albany round out the final night of the regular season at "The Bob." Amsterdam leads the series 7-2 though Sunday night's game at Shuttleworth Park between the Mohawks and Dutchmen could have gone either way as Amsterdam eeked out a 1-0 win behind a three-hit shutout from Taylor Martin (Kentucky). The third-ranked Mohawks will play on Friday against an opponent to be determined while Albany closes out its' season tonight. In the month of July, Amsterdam rose higher than it has ever been in the national rankings and the team compiled a 16-8 record after starting the season 19-3. The Mohawks have won seven of their last 10 games overall. Amsterdam's road record is an astounding 17-5 which is the best among any league team. With a win tonight, Albany can finish out its' home season at Bellizzi Field with a winning record. Through 23 home dates, the Dutch are 12-11. As mentioned yesterday, Albany has already set a franchise record for single season wins. 

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