PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 6, 2013

Will Spitzfaden (SE Missouri State) pitched eight innings for the Newark Pilots on opening night. Photo coutesy Steve Plopper/Newark Pilots

For all of the latest news stories on the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and television highlights, go to our “Press” page here.

Note: Individual game box scores can be found linked on the scoreboard page which is part of the “Statistics” drop-down menu. Box scores are also linked in the statistics of each member team.

Last Night’s Scores
Cooperstown 5 Utica 1
Adirondack 9 Watertown 8
Glens Falls 17 Mohawk Valley 6
Elmira 6 Newark 4 (13)
Albany 5 Amsterdam 5 (Bottom 8, Suspended)

Tonight’s Games and Pitching Probables
Utica at Amsterdam, 7:05 PM

Cooperstown at Adirondack – PPD Rain, July 27 DH
Albany at Mohawk Valley – PPD Rain, July 14 DH
Elmira at Watertown, PPD Rain – June 17 DH
Glens Falls at Newark, PPD Rain – July 29 DH

*The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft starts tonight with the first round being shown on the MLB Network beginning at 7:00 p.m. The draft continues on through Saturday and we’ll have live coverage on Twitter at @PGCBLBaseball.

*New Mexico JC sophomore pitcher Nic Pivetta (Glens Falls 2012) is expected to be taken on Friday between the third and sixth rounds. Former Glens Falls hurler Dylan Baker (Glens Falls 2011) was a fifth-round selection of the Cleveland Indians last year. He is currently pitching in the Class-A Midwest League with the Lake County Captains.

*Congratulations to current PGCBL players Joe Purritano (Dartmouth) and Jake Matthys (Kansas State) on being named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team. Tyler Mautner (Buffalo), a member of the 2012 Cooperstown Hawkeyes, was also selected for the squad. Purritano will suit up for the Albany Dutchmen this summer and Jake Matthys is slated to pitch for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles.

*Staying with All-America teams, congratulations to Louisville Slugger All-Americans Kerry Doane (ETSU), Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) and Ross Kivett (Kansas State). All three played in the PGCBL last summer. Doane and Papaccio were members of the Amsterdam Mohawks and Ross Kivett played for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Papaccio was the MVP of the 2012 PGCBL All-Star Game and Kivett was the PGCBL Player of the Year. Kerry Doane, the NCAA Division I leader in complete games and innings pitched, was a first team All-American. Kivett and Papaccio both earned third team All-America status.

*Now, on to notes from yesterday’s opening day. For the record, the first pitch of the PGCBL season was thrown at Doubleday Field by Cooperstown’s Eann Cox (Black Hawk) to Utica’s K’Shawn Smith (Stetson). Cox went on to strike out Smith for the first out of the season. The first hit of 2013 was recorded by the next batter, Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State).

*The play of the hometown Hawkeyes wasn’t the only exciting thing yesterday in Cooperstown. The Hawkeyes, in their fourth year of operation, set a franchise record with an Opening Day crowd at Doubleday Field of 1,217. The team also debuted new mascot Harry the Hawk.

*Last night’s 13-inning clash between Newark and Elmira tied for the third-longest game in PGCBL history. The record is held by the Amsterdam Mohawks and Oneonta Outlaws who played 15 innings last year at Oneonta’s Damaschke Field. Interestingly, there have been three 13-inning games in PGCBL history and all three have been played at Colburn Park in Newark and have involved the Newark Pilots. The Pilots played two 13-inning games on back-to-back days in late June during the 2011 season. Newark dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker in 13 innings to Cooperstown on a Saturday night (June 25) and then played at home the following afternoon against the Watertown Wizards and won a 6-5 thriller in 13 innings. Newark played just two extra-inning games last season.

*East Hill-South Hill connection? That’s exactly what happened in the 13th inning last night for the Elmira Pioneers. Colby Gee, a rising senior at Ithaca College (located on Ithaca’s South Hill), singled home the go-ahead run for the Pioneers in the top of the 13th. Later in the inning, Ryan Plantier, who goes to Cornell University (located on Ithaca’s East Hill) plated Gee with a single to give the Pioneers a 6-4 lead. The two Ithacans were Elmira’s starting corner infielders, Gee at third and Plantier at first.

*It was a tale of two different games for Glens Falls and Newark on Wednesday. The two teams met last August in the semifinal round of the PGCBL playoffs. Last night, each team pounded out 16 hits at home however Glens Falls won and Newark lost. The Golden Eagles benefited from timely hitting and scored 17 total runs to wipe out Mohawk Valley. Glens Falls did leave 10 runners on base but certainly made up for it with the number of runs scored. Meanwhile, Newark’s 16 hits led to 14 runners being left on base in a night of missed opportunities. The Pilots left the bases loaded in the eighth inning and the ninth and then had the game end in the 13th with the possible tying run on first.

*While Newark and Elmira combined for 10 runs in 13 innings, it was mostly a pitchers’ duel between Elmira’s Tommy Alexander (Old Dominion) and Newark’s Will Spitzfaden (Southeast Missouri State). Alexander, a CAA All-Rookie Team selection, pitched six innings and allowed one run on six hits.  The Forty Fort, Pa., native spent the spring as a reliever at ODU. Spitzfaden, a conference starter at SE Mo., pitched eight innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits. Neither pitcher figured in the decision.

*One may not know it by looking at the Newark-Elmira box score, but Elmira center fielder Matthew Pelt (Wofford) played a big role in win for the Pioneers. From his position in center field, Pelt threw out two Newark runners attempting to advance in the first six innings. He cut down Newark’s Steve Laurino (Marist) at home plate in the fourth as Laurino attemped to score from second on a Max Rosing (Cortland State) base hit. Two innings later, Pelt threw out Newark’s Jacob Russell (Kentucky) at third base as he attempted to run from first to third on a Laurino single. Offensively, Pelt came alive in extra innings. He reached on a fielders’ choice in the 11th and later scored on a two-RBI single from Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg) that put Elmira up 4-2. The next inning, Pelt connected on his first hit of the game, a lead-off double, that began Elmira’s game-winning rally. Pelt scored the go-ahead run on a Colby Gee (Ithaca) single.

*One of the themes for last year’s Newark team was winning close games and being able to come through with walk-off victories. The Pilots, despite the loss, proved mentally tough on Wednesday night coming back from deficits of 2-1 and 4-2 to force tie scores. A two-out rally by the Pilots in the eighth inning loaded the bases. Steve Laurino (Marist) drew a free pass to force home the game-tying run. Elmira forced Newark to come back again in the 11th inning having amassed a 4-2 edge. Matt McKinnon (Penn) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and quickly moved to third on a stolen base and then a wild pitch. Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer) plated McKinnon with an infield single to the right side. The next batter, Josh Ludwig (Rochester) ripped a double that scored Fox all the way from first with the tying tally to force the third tie score of the game.

*The early lead in the PGCBL strikeout race goes to Watertown’s Brett Brown (Lamar). Brown, who fanned 164 batters as a Texas high school senior two years ago, struck 13 in a no decision against the Adirondack Trail Blazers. Brown is just the fourth PGCBL pitcher to record at least 13 strikeouts in a game. The PGCBL record for strikeouts in a game is 15 which was set last summer by Mohawk Valley’s Joe Michaud (Bryant). The last PGCBL pitcher to seat 13 via strikeout in a game was Amsterdam’s Mark Leiter, Jr. (NJIT) who did it in the playoffs last August against Mohawk Valley.

*Ryan Davis (LeMoyne) of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles picked up last night where he left off at the end of his sophomore season at Division-II LeMoyne College. Davis was a second team All-Northeast Conference pitcher with the Dolphins who threw nine complete games and struck out 82 batters in 85.0 innings pitched. Pitching in front of family and friends on Wednesday in Glens Falls, Davis struck out 11 over six innings and held Mohawk Valley to three runs (two earned) on three hits. The Queensbury, N.Y., native had four double-digit strikeout performances in the spring.

*Breaking down the Glens Falls offensive effort on Wednesday night. Seven of nine starters had at least one hit and overall nine Golden Eagles recorded at least one hit. Four Golden Eagles – Bryan Ramirez (UTPA), Ramon Laureano (NEO A&M), Raphael Gladu (College Lafleche) and James Smith (Saint Peter’s) – had at least two hits, two runs scored and two RBI each. Raphael Gladu and Connor Hoagland (Castleton State) topped the Golden Eagles with three hits apiece; Hoagland finished a perfect 3-for-3 before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Seven Golden Eagles scored two runs apiece and 10 of 11 Golden Eagles to bat had at least one run scored. Most interesting is that Glens Falls scored 17 runs without hitting a home run.

*Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico JC) merits special mention for Glens Falls. Forcier played for the Green and Gold last summer and helped the team reach the PGCBL Championship Series. Forcier, who will attend Oral Roberts in the fall, had a breakout spring for the NJCAA Thunderbirds of New Mexico JC. In his first game back with the Golden Eagles, Forcier did not record a hit but tied a PGCBL single-game record with four walks in six total plate appearances.  He is just the second Glens Falls batter in the PGCBL era of the team to walk four times in a game.

*The 17 runs scored by Glens Falls are the most by the team in the PGCBL era. Last night marked the first time that the Golden Eagles have struck for 17 runs since a 17-8 victory over the Albany Dutchmen on July 15, 2010. 2013 John Olerud Two-Player Award of the Year finalists Ryan Retz (High Point) and David Olson (Campbell) both homered in that game for Glens Falls.

*Despite the loss, Mohawk Valley lead-off hitter Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) and center fielder Dalton Herrington (ULM) both had strong offensive games for the DiamondDawgs. Dexter connected on an RBI single in the fifth inning off of Glens Falls starter Ryan Davis (LeMoyne) and then plated two scores in the seventh with a two-run double. Dalton Herrington reached base safely three times with two walks and one hit. He stole three bases and was a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts.

*Elmira’s Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg), matched Mohawk Valley’s Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) and Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) of Glens Falls with three RBI. Knott singled home Elmira’s first run of the season in the sixth inning against Newark and then came through in the 11th inning with a two-run hit to put the Pios ahead 4-2.

*There were five games played on Wednesday night. The Adirondack-Watertown tilt at the Robert S. Smith Sports Complex in Boonville was the only game which featured a home run. Well, more than one actually – three. Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova) smashed a three-run belt in the first inning to give the Trail Blazers a 3-0 lead. Watertown’s Connor Perry (Holy Cross) responded in the top of the second with a solo belt to pull the Rams within two. Austin Lueck mashed the third long ball of the night, a two-run swat, in the seventh inning. The two home runs by Lueck and Perry are the most by the Rams in a season opener.

*Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova) nearly became the second player in PGCBL history to hit for the cycle. Watertown’s Larry Balkwill hit for the cycle against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles on June 30, 2011. Emling fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle on Wednesday. He singled, doubled and belted a three-run home run in Adirondack’s 9-8 victory.

*Not every outstanding play makes the box score, as referenced by Matthew Pelt’s heroics for the Elmira Pioneers. That was the case on Wednesday night for Watertown’s Brad Rush (St. John Fisher) against Adirondack. The Rams were behind 8-6 when J.J. Wagner (Pacific) stepped up to the plate. Wagner ripped a double into the Boonville night that brought home one run and had Rush scampering around the bases. There was a play at the plate on Rush however he jumped over the top of Adirondack catcher Dominic Fazio (High Point) to record the game-tying run. In the box score, it simply reads – Wagner with a double that scored two runs, the second being Rush.

*Dominic Fazio however got his own revenge on the Rams in the bottom of the eighth inning and it led directly to an Adirondack victory. Alex Mata (Saint Leo) connected on a broken-bat single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. With Fazio at the plate, a wild pitch moved Mata into scoring position. Fazio blooped a single over the top of the Watertown infield to chase home Mata with the eventual game-winning run.

*In somewhat of a strange coincidence, the Amsterdam Mohawks had their season opener suspended for the second year in a row. Last year, the Mohawks opened up against the Cooperstown Hawkeyes at Doubleday Field. An extra-inning game was called due to darkness with the Mohawks and Hawkeyes tied 2-2. Wednesday, Amsterdam and Albany were deadlocked at five in the bottom of the eighth inning when the power went out at Albany’s Bob Bellizzi Field. A localized power outage in downtown Albany was the culprit and prevented the game from being finished.

*The Amsterdam-Albany game will be finished on June 20 when the Mohawks return to Bob Bellizi Field for a regularly-scheduled game with the Dutchmen. The June 6 game will be completed and then a full nine-inning game will follow.

*Wednesday’s Albany-Amsterdam game featured a great BCS pitching match-up between Amsterdam’s Trey Winginter (Auburn) and Albany’s Sean Spicer (Baylor). Wingenter, a Seattle Mariners draft pick, and Spicer engaged in a great pitchers’ duel through the first three innings as the two traded scoreless frames. Amsterdam broke through for single runs in the fourth and fifth while Albany got to Wingenter in the fifth. Wingenter finished his night allowing just one run on three hits in 4.1 innings; he added five strikeouts. Spicer, a mid-week starter at Baylor, went five innings and held the defending champions to two runs on three hits.

*While offenses were lighting up scoreboards across the league, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes were busy quelling the bats of the Utica Brewers at hitter-friendly Doubleday Field. Utica managed 10 hits but Hawkeye hurlers only allowed one run. Starter Eann Cox, coming off a standout season at NJCAA Division I Black Hawk College, blanked the Brewers through the first four innings. Utica scored a single run in the fifth to break up the shutout. All-Gulf South Conference relief pitcher Luke Mould (UAH) held Utica scoreless in the sixth and seventh and then Anthony Naso (Slippery Rock) and Colton Kibler (Garden City C.C.) completed the bullpen shutout.

*Wednesday in Cooperstown also marked a victorious debut with head coach Dan Shwam. Shwam is in his first season with the Cooperstown nine after spending three years with the Elmira Pioneers. Shwam is the third head coach in the history of the Cooperstown franchise. He replaced Eric Coleman who took a job in the professional independent Frontier League with the Joliet Slammers.

*And lastly, the first four-hit games of the season were recorded on Wednesday by Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) and Newark’s Max Rosing (Cortland State).

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