PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 15, 2013

A rainbow over Amsterdam's Shuttleworth Park on Friday night as the Mohawks hosted the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. Photo courtesy Amsterdam Mohawks

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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. The box scores are also linked on the statistics page for each team.

Last Night’s Scores

Mohawk Valley 6 Adirondack 5
Albany 5 Glens Falls 2
Amsterdam 4 Cooperstown 1
Utica 8 Newark 5

Tonight’s Games and Pitching Probables
Glens Falls at Mohawk Valley (DH), 5:05 PM
Matt Portland (Northwestern) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. TBA
Fernando Fernandez-Beltran (Vanier) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. TBA

Adirondack at Amsterdam, 7:05 PM
TBA vs. Matt Ternowchek (Notre Dame) 0-0, 4.50 ERA

Watertown at Albany, 7:05 PM
TBA vs. Bryan Carr (Saint Rose) 0-0, 1.50 ERA

Cooperstown at Elmira, 7:05 PM
Collin Belk (Kirkwood C.C.) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. TBA

Utica at Newark, 7:15 PM

 *Despite a little rain in Amsterdam and Glens Falls that pushed back first pitches, all four games were completed on Friday night. Two exhibition games were also played as well in Elmira and Watertown. Hopefully the trend of nice weather across the state will continue into the weekend.

*The season is just over one week old and two of the top offensive performers in the league are playing for the Utica Brewers. Second baseman Michael Pierson (App. State) has played in six games and he leads the league with 15 hits and 10 RBI. No other PGCBL hitter has recorded a double-digit number of hits and no one else has recorded more than seven runs batted in. Pierson’s middle infield mate, K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) leads the league with eight runs scored. Smith is averaging over one run per game and he has scored at least once in all six of Utica’s games this season. Oh by the way, Smith bats lead-off for the Brew Crew and Pierson hits right behind him.

*Keith Strickland’s Brewers have scorched opposing pitchers for 64 hits in six games – an average of over 10 hits per contest. Utica has posted at least nine hits in all six of its games and has totaled 27 in its last two. Wednesday night, the Uticans smashed out 13 hits including one home run against Adirondack. Last night, the Brewers belted out 14 hits in an 8-5 win over Newark. As a whole, the team is batting .294. It’s top four hitters for average bat second, third, first and fourth respectively in Michael Pierson (App. State), Jay Gonzalez (Auburn), K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) and Michael McClellan (Ga. Southern)

*Utica brewed up a league single-game season high six doubles on Friday night at home against Newark. Overall, nine two-baggers were recorded in the game by eight different swingers. Newark’s David Vandercook (Columbia) doubled twice in three overall at-bats. Max Rosing (Cortland State) and Taylor Hinshaw (GCSU) each doubled for the Pilots while Utica’s K’Shawn Smith (Stetson), Jay Gonzalez (Auburn), Michael McClellan (Ga. Southern), Joe Gallub (Concordia, N.Y) and Nathan Mann (Brown) all doubled. Surprisingly, the nine doubles combined in a single game is not a league record.

*While Utica was doubling its’ pleasure, Newark was sacrificing its way towards runs. The Pilots scored three of their five runs on sacrifice flies. Jeff Edwards (Valparaiso), Josh Ludwig (Rochester) and Steve Laurino (Marist) each logged a sac fly for the Pilots. For the season, Newark has totaled four sacrifice flies in four games and three sacrifice hits.

*Despite a three-run difference, there was a nail-biting finish at Donovan Stadium. A walk, a hit batter and an error packed the sacks for the Pilots who trailed 8-4. Utica closer Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls) came on from the bullpen with one out and the potential go-ahead run on deck. Brothers induced a ground ball to the left side from the first batter he faced. The Brewers forced out the runner headed for second but one run scored to cut Utica’s lead to three. With two outs and the potential tying run at the plate for the second batter in a row, Brothers dialed up a strikeout to end the game for his second save.

*Albany is off to its best start in franchise history. Heading into tonight’s home game at “The Bob,” Albany stands 4-0. Now, the Dutchmen do have a suspended game to finish that will retroactively revert back to June 5 when it is completed, however that will not be until June 20. Nick Davey’s Dutch roared out of the gates with a 4-2 start last year but that start did not include a four-game win streak. Nick Davey has increased Albany’s win total from the previous season each year he has been the manager. Last year, the Dutchmen won a franchise record 22 games. How many will Albany win this year?

*The Dutchmen need one more win to tie the franchise record for longest winning streak. The 2011 Dutchmen won five games in a row in late June 2011.

*While other pitchers have garnered more headlines, Albany’s Sean Spicer (Baylor) has quietly put together two solid starts against the Amsterdam Mohawks and Glens Falls Golden Eagles. The big Texan who has a mid-week starter in the spring at Baylor shut out Amsterdam for the first three innings of the season opener. He allowed just two runs on three hits over five innings in a no decision. Because that game has not been completed, the statistics do not yet count. Friday, Spicer held Glens Falls to one run on five hits over six innings in a 5-2 victory. He walked one and struck out three. It should be noted that Spicer, a rising redshirt junior, pitched in just one game over his first two collegiate seasons.

*Albany’s Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) made an immediate impact for the Dutchmen in his season debut on Friday night at Glens Falls. Marks started in center field for the Dutch and batted in the lead-off spot. The speedy center fielder went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored in a 5-2 victory. Marks was directly responsible for Albany’s first two runs. He singled to start the game, stole second and recorded Albany’s first run on a throwing error by the Golden Eagles during an attempted sacrifice bunt. Marks was retired in his second at-bat but he returned to the plate in the fifth with the game tied 1-1. The Coraopolis, Pa., native bunted for a base hit to open the fifth and again he stole second. A throwing error by Glens Falls on the stolen base attempt allowed Marks to reach third. He dashed home on a Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) ground out to put Albany ahead 2-1 and it was a lead the Dutchmen would not give up.

*The “Bosco Bashers” made their starting line-up debate for the Dutchmen on Friday night at East Field. Joe Purritano (Dartmouth) and Matthew Dacey (Michigan) were high school teammates at New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco Prep. Purritano started at designated hitter for the Dutchmen and Dacey manned first base. The last time Purritano and Dacey played together, the pair led Ironmen to the North Jersey Non-Public “A” championship. Bosco advanced all the way to the Non-Public A state championship game.

*A pair of 2012 first team All-PGCBL selections are beginning to heat up. Albany’s Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) got off to a somewhat slow start with just one hit in his first two completed games. Thursday night, he belted a key two-run double for the Dutchmen in their 6-5 win over Amsterdam at Shuttleworth Park. Friday, Remillard went 4-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored as the Dutch downed the Golden Eagles 5-2 at East Field. Through four complete games, Remillard is batting .375 (6-for-16). Amsterdam’s Ed Charlton (NJIT) slugged his first home run of the season on Thursday night at Dunn Field in rain-soaked Elmira. He finished the night 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Friday, he clubbed his second home run in as many days to provide a late insurance run in the Mohawks’ 4-1 win over Cooperstown. Charlton is tied for the league lead in home runs (two) with Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova) and Tom Bouck (NJIT).

*Pitching and defense have been an early-season issue for the defending league champion Amsterdam Mohawks. Friday night however, the pitching staff held Cooperstown to just one run and the defense committed only one error in a 4-1 win. In two victories this season, Amsterdam has committed two errors total and has held opponents to three runs. On the other hand, in losses, the Mohawks have allowed 26 runs and have committed 11 errors.

*Amsterdam is 2-0 when Matt Snyder (Fulton-Montgomery C.C.) and Christian Bartholomew (Wake Forest) team up on the mound as a starter and middle reliever combo. Last weekend, Snyder one-hit Adirondack over four innings, allowed one run and struck out five in a no decision. Because Snyder pitched just four innings, Bartholomew with two scoreless stanzas of relief pocketed the win in a 7-2 triumph over Adirondack. Last night, Snyder garnered his first win of the summer as he fired a three-hitter over five innings, allowed one run and struck out five. Bartholomew again went un-scored upon in two innings of relief.

*Cooperstown’s Ben Hall (Central Alabama) is making an immediate impact for the Hawkeyes at second base. Through two games, Hall is 4-for-7 with a home run and two RBI. The Cooperstown second baseman made his PGCBL debut on Thursday night at Watertown and went 2-for-3 with one run scored. Friday, he produced Cooperstown’s only run with a solo home run in the top of the first inning off of Amsterdam starter Matt Snyder (Fulton-Montomgery C.C.). Hall finished the game with two hits.

*Four PGCBL games have been played this season at Adirondack’s Robert S. Smith Sports Complex in Boonville. In those games, a total of nine home runs have been hit. The Trail Blazers have belted five of those blasts while opponents have mashed just three home runs. Overall, at least one home run has been hit in all four games at the field. Co-league leaders Luke Emling (Villanova) and Tom Bouck (NJIT) have each smacked two home runs in Boonville while teammates Dominic Fazio (High Point) and Riley Moonan (Farleigh Dickinson) each launched one long ball. Two of the four games in Boonville have been multi-home run games. Adiirondack and Watertown combined for three belts on June 5 though that was surpassed one week later when the Trail Blazers and Brewers belted out four bombs in an 18-15 Adirondack win. Luke Emling homered in both of those Wednesday games, both Adirondack wins.

*A Glens Falls offense that combined to score 28 runs in its first two games – 17 on Opening Night – has scored just nine runs in its last three games. Meanwhile, Golden Eagle pitchers have given up at least five runs in all five games this season.

*One other quick note from Utica’s game with Newark on Friday night. The game could have gone differently for both teams depending on a momentum swing in the third inning. In the top of the third, Newark scored one run to push out to a 2-0 lead. Taylor Hinshaw (GCSU) attempted to score a third run for the Pilots on a Steve Laurino (Marist) base hit however he was thrown out at the plate by Utica’s Joe Gallub (Concordia, N.Y.). In the bottom half of the inning, Michael Pierson (App. State) came charging home from second on a Michael McClellan (Ga. Southern) single but he was also cut down at the plate – on a throw by Taylor Hinshaw.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*Utica’s Jay Gonzalez (Auburn) is a two-time selection in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Gonzalez, a native of Orlando, Fla., was selected in the 27th round (833rd overall) by the Boston Red Sox following his senior season at Orlando’s Freedom High School. He did not sign with the Red Sox and chose to attend Auburn University of the Southeastern Conference. Last week, the Auburn junior was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 39th round (1180th overall). Gonzalez will be a senior when he returns to campus this fall.
Quick Hits on tonight’s action
*A stretch of four games in two days and back-to-back doubleheaders begins tonight for John Mayotte’s Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Because of rain outs, Glens Falls must play a doubleheader this evening against Mohawk Valley at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls. The Green and Gold will turn around and do the same thing tomorrow but at home against the Amsterdam Mohawks. That’s at least 28 innings of baseball on Saturday and Sunday for the Eagles.

*While the rain has been one constant in the PGCBL this season, so has the Albany Dutchmen winning baseball games. The problem is, the rain has kept the Dutchmen on the road. Three of Albany’s four wins have come away from home and the team has finished just one home game; another was suspended due to a power outage. The Dutchmen look to continue their winning ways tonight against Watertown. The Rams have yet to win on the road but were one of the best road teams in the league last summer with a 13-10 away record.

*Rain has also plagued the Newark Pilots. Like Albany, Newark has finished just one home game. But unlike Albany, the Pilots have had only one home game. Mike Armstrong’s Pilots return to Colburn Park tonight for a game for the first time since Opening Night (June 5) to finish off a home-and-home with the Utica Brewers. Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) leads the league with 15 hits while K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) has a league-best eight runs scored.

*Former division rivals meet for the first time tonight in the Twin Tiers when Elmira hosts Cooperstown. Both teams played in the PGCBL West during the 2011 season. More importantly, tonight marks the return of Dan Shwam to Dunn Field in Elmira. Shwam helmed the Pioneers from 2010 through 2010 and led the team to the 2010 New York Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series. The former Elmira skipper has managed the Hawkeyes out to a 3-2 start. Cooperstown concludes a three-game road swing tonight. PGCBL West leading Elmira has won three in a row and four overall. The Pioneers look to increase their winning streak to four.

*Defending league champion Amsterdam earned its first win of the season last weekend over league newcomer Adirondack. The Trail Blazers will bus from Boonville to the Rug City for the second time this season to meet the Mohawks tonight at Shuttleworth Park. Amsterdam’s pitching and defense have been solid in wins (three combined runs allowed) but rocky in losses. The Mohawks are trying for their first two-game winning streak of the season tonight. On the other side of the field, the Trail Blazers bid for their first triumph away from the Smith Sports Complex.

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