PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 12, 2013

The ball comes loose from under the Rams’ Bryce Greager as Utica’s K’shawn Smith slides safely into second Sunday at the Duffy Fairgrounds. Photo courtesy Justin Sorenson/Watertown Daily Times

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.

Sunday Night’s Scores
Mohawk Valley 6 Adirondack 1
Cooperstown 9 Amsterdam 3
Albany 6 Newark 3
Watertown 6 Utica 1
Elmira 5 Glens Falls 4

Monday Night’s Scores
Mohawk Valley 4 Amsterdam 2
Utica at Elmira – PPD Rain
Newark at Watertown – PPD Rain
Adirondack at Glens Falls – PPD Rain
Cooperstown at Albany – PPD Rain

Last Night’s Scores
Utica 5 Watertown 0
Elmira at Cooperstown – PPD Rain
Albany at Adirondack – PPD Rain
Glens Falls at Mohawk Valley – PPD Rain
Amsterdam at Newark – PPD Rain

Tonight’s Games
Glens Falls at Cooperstown, 11:00 AM
Utica at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
Albany at Amsterdam, 7:05 PM
Newark at Mohawk Valley, 7:05 PM
Watertown at Elmira, 7:05 PM

*We’re sufficiently dried out enough now to come back. Sorry for the lack of updates the last few days. Here’s an extended edition of the notebook to make it through this Wednesday.

*So…who’s sick of the rain yet?

*We are one week into the 2013 PGCBL regular season and already 19 games have been either postponed or suspended because of inclement weather in Upstate New York. Conversely, just 16 games were affected by rain last season; 15 during the regular season and one in the playoffs. Last summer, the league went over a month, mid-June to mid-July, without a having a game postponed because of rain. All of the schedule changes including re-scheduled dates can be found on the scoreboard page. Times are being finalized for some of those make-up doubleheaders which will consist of two seven-inning games.

*Sunday night marked the first time this season that all five scheduled league games were completed. The night before, four of five games were played with the lone postponement coming at Colburn Park where Newark and Cooperstown had to re-schedule due to a wet playing surface. And on the first night of the season, five games were played but just four were finished – Albany’s game against Amsterdam was suspended in the eighth due to a power outage.

*The entire day of Monday thankfully was not lost as the Utica Brewers and Watertown Rams managed to get in a game before the rains hit the Mohawk Valley. The reason – the game was played at 11:00 AM and marketed as a Kid’s Day Out with 1,816 area schoolchildren in the attendance. Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley played the only game on Tuesday night at Amsterdam’s Shuttleworth Park. The field tarp was put down on Monday evening and that allowed the playing surface to be ready for the game. While some light rain fell during the game, the full nine-inning contest was still able to be completed.

*And then, there were two. Eight of 10 PGCBL teams have already suffered at least one loss. However, there are two undefeated teams tied atop of the PGCBL East – the Albany Dutchmen and Cooperstown Hawkeyes. Albany and Cooperstown are both 2-0. The Dutchmen have wins over the Elmira Pioneers and Newark Pilots while Cooperstown has a pair of home triumphs at Doubleday Field against the Utica Brewers and defending league champion Amsterdam Mohawks. It should go as no surprise then also that both teams are tied for the league lead in earned run average (1.50).

*We’re just one week into the season and the defending league champion Amsterdam Mohawks are currently in fifth place in the PGCBL East with a 1-2 record. Last season, Amsterdam also had a 1-2 start. Keith Griffin’s Mohawks went on to finish the regular season 35-12. That 1-2 start last season was followed by a 10-game winning streak and the winning streak was part of a stretch where the team went 19-2.  

*One notable signing to mention up here; Mohawk Valley has picked up second baseman Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice). Rodrigue was an NJCAA Division II second team All-American this spring at LSU Eunice. He led NJCAA Division II with 68 stolen bases. This fall, Rodrigue will attend Indiana University. Last summer, the Destrehan, La., native was a PGCBL Rising Stars Team selection as a member of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Rodrigue helped the Golden Eagles to the PGCBL Championship Series. He hit a scorching .347 (42-for-121) and stole 10 bases for Glens Falls in 31 regular season games. He also smacked a grand slam against the Newark Pilots in the opening round of the PGCBL playoffs. Over the last year or so, Rodrigue has competed in the NJCAA Division II World Series twice and the PGCBL Championship series.

*Don’t look now but the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs have won three in a row to improve to 3-1. Since a 17-6 defeat to Glens Falls on June 5, Mohawk Valley has downed Watertown, Adirondack and Amsterdam by a combined score of 14-3. The three Dawgs starters in those games – Logan Carmen (Southern Maine), Jared Dye (ULM) and Gavin Culpepper (SE Louisiana) accrued a combined 0.00 ERA. The trio has tossed 18.0 innings, struck out 15 and allowed just 10 hits.

*While Mohawk Valley’s Jared Dye (ULM) flirted with a no-hitter on Saturday night in a win over Watertown, teammate Logan Carmen (Southern Maine) produced an eaqually solid performance on Sunday. Carmen spun a four-hitter for seven shutout frames in a win at Adirondack. The 2013 second team All-American scattered four singles, walked one and struck out three. He sat down 10 men in a row between the first and fifth innings and ended the day having faced just three batters over the minimum. The USM rising senior induced two double-play groundouts and allowed just one Trail Blazer to safely advance past first base.

*One night after recording their first shutout of the season, Mohawk Valley nearly had a second. The Dawgs blanked home-standing Adirondack at the hitter-friendly Smith Sports Complex for 8.2 innings. Adirondack’s Dominic Fazio (High Point) ended the Mohawk Valley shutout bid with a solo home run in the ninth. The home run ended an MV shutout streak of 17.2 innings.

*With six stolen bases in four games, Mohawk Valley’s Dalton Herrington (ULM) could be on pace to break Ross Kivett’s PGCBL stolen base record (37).

*I mentioned strong starting performances from Mohawk Valley a little while ago. Another strong start came out of the Mohawk Valley region of New York State from Utica’s Sam Norman (Creighton). Norman sat out during the spring at Creighton. He made his first start of the summer on Monday morning against Watertown. Norman pitched a two-hit shutout for six innings in what ended up as a 5-0 Utica victory over Watertown. The 6-foot-5 southpaw from Des Moines, Iowa, yielded just two infield singles. He faced 19 batters and allowed just two Watertown runners, one of which was erased on a double play.

*Utica’s K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) has scored one run in each of the Brewers four games this season. Smith, a former Toronto Blue Jays draft pick, has been on base six times for Utica via hit, walk or hit by pitch. He has scored a run in four out of six base-running chances for a 67-percent conversion rate.

*K’Shawn Smith’s Utica teammates Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) and Michael McClellan (Ga. Southern) are among the league leaders in hits and RBI respectively. Pierson has mashed out eight hits in four Utica games and has driven in five runs. He leads all PGCBL swingers in hits and is tied for the league lead in RBI. McClellan is one of four players tied for second in the league in hits.

*Sunday, there were several themes, one late-game rallies and the second was the big inning. Late-game rallies led both Elmira and Cooperstown to wins over Glens Falls and Amsterdam respectively. Elmira scored four times in the final three innings to edge past Glens Falls at East Field. The Pios rallied from a 4-1 deficit and managed to tie the tilt in the eighth. Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) broke a 4-4 tie in the ninth with an RBI single that proved to be the winning run. Earlier in the day, Cooperstown ran off six-unanswered runs in a 9-3 defeat of Amsterdam. The Hawkeyes did have a big three-run inning early in the game but most importantly broke a 3-3 tie with six-straight runs between the sixth and eighth innings. Cooperstown’s six runs came on four hits and four costly Amsterdam errors.

*Watertown and Albany were proponents of the big inning on Sunday. Albany began the big hit parade in the bottom of the first at Bob Bellizzi Field against the Newark Pilots. The visitors scored twice in the first to amass an early 2-0 lead. Albany responded with five runs on six hits to ahead, 5-2. The Dutchmen ultimately won the game by a 6-3 score. A little while later and several hundred miles away, Watertown surged for six runs in the bottom of the third inning against Utica in a 6-1 victory. The Rams used the six-run frame to break a scoreless tie. Watertown’s six scores came in on two hits and two Utica errors. Nik Alfonso (South Florida) had the big hit for the home side with a three-run double.

*While not many games have been played, we’re still one week into the league season. Already, we’ve had two players nearly hit the cycle. It has just been done once in the three-year history of the league. Watertown’s Larry Balkwill batted for the cycle in a 2011 game against Glens Falls. Here is the box score to prove it.  On the first night of the 2013 season, Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova) singled, double and homered in a win over Watertown. He missed hitting for the cycle by a triple. Another Luke nearly pulled off the cycle this past Sunday for the Albany Dutchmen. PGCBL veteran Luke Nethaway (Saint Rose) singled, doubled and homered for the Dutchmen in a 6-3 win over Newark. The Albany center fielder fell a triple short of the cycle. Apparently, only players with their first names starting with the letter “L” can bid for the cycle.

*Albany’s tied for first place in the PGCBL East and tied for the league lead in ERA (1.50). One of the big reasons for this is the effort of Albany’s bullpen. Relievers Ben Seabrook (North Alabama), James Davitt (Bryant) and Dylan Collett (Keene State) have combined to allow just one run in seven innings. Davitt and Seabrook retired all nine men they faced in a win over Elmira at Dunn Field on Saturday night. Sunday, Dylan Collett struck out five in four innings of long relief and allowed one run on two hits against Newark. Last season, Albany finished the year with a 5.08 ERA.

*New manager Matt Burch has the Elmira Pioneers off to a 2-1 start. Both Elmira wins have come on the road with late-game rallies against Newark and Glens Falls.. Against Newark in the season opener, Elmira plated two runs in the 11th inning and then two again in the 13th. The scores in the 13th were the difference in a 6-4 triumph. Sunday night, the Pios reeled off four runs in a row between the seventh and ninth innings to spoil a 4-1 advantage for Glens Falls. Again for the Pios, it was the Ithaca Connection of Colby Gee (Ithaca) and Ryan Plantier (Cornell) in on the late-game heroics; this time along with outfielder Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) who broke a 4-4 tie in the ninth.

*Ten of Elmira’s 13 overall runs have scored in the fifth inning or later.

*Elmira reliever Parker Curry (Samford) leads the PGCBL with two wins in two appearances. He tossed two scoreless frames on Sunday night to earn the winning decision against Glens Falls.

*While the Glens Falls offense was somewhat slowed on Sunday night, the Golden Eagles have still put together impressive numbers through three games. Heading into this morning’s game with Cooperstown, Glens Falls was batting .310 as a team with 32 runs scored and 36 hits. No other league team has more than 20 runs scored though the number of games played varies somewhat.

*With the rash of inclement weather across the state, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes have yet to play a road game. Including today’s morning game against Glens Falls, the Hawkeyes have played three games – all at Doubleday Field.

*While Elmira’s Parker Curry (Samford) leads the league with two runs, Cooperstown reliever Luke Mould (UAH) has one of the toughest bullpen arms in the early going. The rising junior has yet to allow a run and has only given up three hits in five innings pitched. Mould has walked one and fanned five. Opponents are currently hitting .167 against the All-Gulf South conference selection. Mould spun two scoreless frames in the season opener versus Utica and then struck out five Amsterdam batters in three innings of work on Sunday.

*Last night, Mohawk Valley and Amsterdam met for the first time this season. The two teams played last season in the opening round of the PGCBL playoffs with Amsterdam prevailing two games to one in the best-of-three series. During the regular season last year, Amsterdam went 10-2 against Mohawk Valley. Last night, that was all washed away as MV jumped out to a 4-0 lead and didn’t look back. Willie Shaw (W&M) smacked a second-inning home run for the Dawgs and MV never trailed. The Mohawks did manage 12 hits but Mohawk Valley hurlers stranded 10 men on base.

New daily segment – did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day..
*Newark utility player Jacob Russell (Kentucky) is a former NCAA Division I FBS and FCS quarterback. Russell, an all-state player in football, basketball and baseball at Anderson County High School in Kentucky, began his collegiate career as a quarterback at Eastern Kentucky University in the fall of 2010. After one season at EKU, Russell transferred to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky. He played in UK’s 2012 spring game and fared well as a quarterback. He ran for 74 yards and threw for 96 yards. Russell scored one touchdown on the ground and tossed a TD pass. This past fall, Russell joined Kentucky’s baseball team and left the football program.

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