PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 17, 2013 (Evening Edition)

It was Kid's Day at Mohawk Valley's Veterans Memorial Park on Monday as the DiamondDawgs took the field in exhibition action. Photo courtesy MV DiamondDawgs

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

Last Night’s Scores
Albany at Watertown - PPD Rain
Newark 6 Utica 4
Glens Falls 7 Mohawk Valley 5 (Game 1)
Adirondack 7 Amsterdam 6
Cooperstown 7 Elmira 6 (10)
Glens Falls 4 Mohawk Valley 3 (10) (Game 2)

Tonight’s Games and Pitching Probables
Elmira at Watertown (DH) – PPD RAIN

Notebook – Evening Edition
*Today’s only scheduled games, both part of a doubleheader between Elmira and Watertown, were postponed because of inclement weather and wet field conditions. Several different storms have moved through the North Country over the last few days washing away the Watertown Rams two days in a row. Check the schedule page and the scoreboard for the make-up date for Watertown’s games with both Elmira and Albany.

*One week from today, the PGCBL will have its first league-wide off day with no PGCBL games scheduled - June 24.

*Congratulations to Utica’s Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) and Newark’s Will Spitzfaden (Southeast Missouri State) on winning the first Player and Pitcher of the Week awards this season. The awards are based on statistics accrued in games played between June 5 and June 16. Weekly award winners are announced each Monday morning and will continue through the end of the regular season.

*Pierson leads the league in total bases (22), hits (19) and RBI (13). He is second overall among qualifying hitters in batting average (.500). In eight games, the Utica second baseman has recorded five multi-hit and three multi-RBI performances. Pierson has at least one hit in every Brewers game this summer. Most impressively, his 19 hits account for 23-percent of Utica’s 84 overall hits.

*Utica’s K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) is one of the beneficiaries of Pierson’s offense production. Smith, Utica’s lead-off hitter, leads the PGCBL with 12 runs scored. Smith has tallied more runs than he has hits (11). The 23rd-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB draft has reached base safely 16 times via hit or walk. He is currently batting .333 and has a .436 on-base percentage. The speedster from Dover, Fla., also leads the Brewers with five stolen bases.

*No one in the PGCBL has been more durable than Newark’s Will Spitzfaden. After throwing nearly 100.0 innings during the spring at Southeast Missouri State, the rising junior has already logged 16.0 in two starts for the Pilots. No other pitcher has totaled more than 13.0 frames. Spitzfaden’s 0.6875 WHIP was the lowest among any league pitcher with two starts.

 *Following a slow start, which is to be expected in the switch from composite to wood, PGCBL teams are starting to hit the ball out of the park. Heading into the second full week of the season, eight PGCBL clubs have combined to belt out 29 home runs. Adirondack leads the league with six clouts followed by Cooperstown, Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley who have slugged four each. Glens Falls hit its first two home runs of the season on Sunday evening at home versus Amsterdam. Elmira is the only team in the league without a home run.

*The saying goes that pitching and defense win championships. Well, certainly those are two of the factors why Albany is out to a 5-0 start. Following Sunday’s games, Albany leads the league in team ERA (2.40) and fielding percentage (.975). Albany’s offense hasn’t been bad either. The Dutch are second in team batting average (.290).

*It’s early but Mohawk Valley’s Dalton Herrington (ULM) may be on pace to break the PGCBL’s single-season stolen base record. Ross Kivett, the 2012 PGCBL Player of the Year, set a league record with 37 stolen bases on 40 attempts in 40 games. Through nine games, Dalton Herrington has successfully stolen 11 bases on 12 attempts. The Homer, La., native is currently batting .357 with 10 hits, eight runs scored, seven walks and seven RBI. 

*Your PGCBL batting average leading moving into the second full week of the season is Tyler Orris (Millersville) of the Albany Dutchmen. Orris has recorded 10 hits in 19 at-bats for a .526 batting average. He leads Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) by .029.

*Sunday, Glens Falls completed a stretch of four games in two days with a doubleheader split against rival Amsterdam. The Golden Eagles went 3-1 in those four games to push their overall record to 5-4. All-time in PGCBL regular season doubleheaders, the Golden Eagles are 14-6.  Glens Falls has swept five league twin bills over the last three seasons and Saturday’s sweep at Mohawk Valley was the Green and Gold’s first road doubleheader sweep since July 27, 2011, at Cooperstown. The Golden Eagles played just two doubleheaders all of last season.

*Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) became the first PGCBL this season to pitch a complete game. Hopf went the distance in a seven-inning complete game effort in a 9-2 win over Amsterdam. He shut out the Mohawks in six of his seven innings and held Amsterdam to two runs in the fourth. Coincidentally enough, the last seven-inning complete game recorded by a PGCBL pitcher came in a doubleheader between Amsterdam and Glens Falls. Amsterdam’s Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky), the 2012 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year, earned a seven-inning complete game victory over the Golden Eagles on July 27, 2012. The last overall PGCBL complete game was pitched by Amsterdam’s Mark Leiter, Jr. in the 2012 league playoffs against Mohawk Valley.

*Mohawk Valley’s Jordan Friend (Alabama A&M) hit a grand slam on Saturday evening in the first game of a doubleheader at Glens Falls. His grand slam was the second of the summer by any PGCBL swinger. Four days separated grand slams between Friend and Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova). Emling clubbed the first grand slam of the PGCBL season on June 12 against Utica.

*While Glens Falls does not lead the league in batting average, the Golden Eagles are first in total runs scored. The Green and Gold have pushed across 59 runs in nine games for an average of 6.5 runs per game. John Mayotte’s Eagles have scored at least four runs in six of their nine games and have posted seven or more on four occasions.

*Youth has been served in Glens Falls so far this season. Three of the Golden Eagles top five hitters are coming off their first collegiate seasons and a fourth, Raphael Gladu, is a 17-year-old headed to NJCAA Division I Galveston College in the fall. Bryan Ramirez (UTPA), Ramon Laureano (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M), Raphael Gladu and J.Q. Folena (Cabrillo) all have batting averages over .300 and have recorded at least seven hits and six RBI.

*Amsterdam turned in its best defensive game of the season in Sunday’s night cap victory over Glens Falls. The Mohawks did not commit an error in the seven-inning contest and the combination of Rich Vrana (Marist) and Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) limited the Golden Eagles to just two runs.

*What you may have missed from the Game 2 Amsterdam-Glens Falls box? The Mohawks scored all three of their runs in slightly unconventional fashion. Amsterdam broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Josh Gardiner (Radford) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Mohawks had loaded the bases on a single, a walk and another hit-by-pitch. Again in the sixth, the Tribe tallied with the benefit of just one hit. An error, a single and an intentional walk packed the sacks for Amsterdam. With one out, Josh Gardiner worked a bases-loaded walk to force home a run. The next batter, Colin Gay (Maine), plated the eventual game-winning run with an RBI ground out. Gardiner finished the game 1-for-2 but with two RBI coming without the benefit of a hit.

*All-time in PGCBL doubleheaders, Keith Griffin’s Mohawks are 7-3. Three of Amsterdam’s five league doubleheaders have come against Glens Falls.

*Cooperstown’s Ben Hall (Central Alabama) made his PGCBL debut for the Hawkeyes on Wednesday night against the Watertown Rams. It took Hall just five games to take the league lead in home runs. Friday night, Hall launched his first PGCBL home run against Amsterdam at Shuttleworth Park. And then on Sunday, Hall belted a two-run home run in his first at-bat against Newark and added a solo swat in the fifth as Cooperstown out-slugged Newark 10-7. Hall logged the first multi-home run game in the league this season and the 12th in PGCBL history. The last two multi-home run games in the PGCBL have come at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field. One last note, the Huntsville, Ala., native is the first Hawkeye to have a two-home run game in the team’s PGCBL era.

*Sunday’s Newark-Cooperstown game featured four total home runs – two for the Newark Pilots and two for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. The four home runs tied a league single-game high this season. Adirondack and Utica combined to hit four home runs in an 18-15 game on June 12 in Boonville. Sunday, Cooperstown’s Ben Hall hit cracked two home runs while Newark’s David Vandercook (Columbia) and Jacob Russell (Kentucky) each had one.

*Monster mashers of late in the PGCBL have included Cooperstown’s Ben Hall (Central Alabama), Amsterdam’s Ed Charlton (NJIT) and Newark’s Jacob Russell (Kentucky). All three have homered twice in the span of three days or less. Charlton and Russell are both tied for second in the league in home runs with Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova) and Tom Bouck (NJIT).

*When scoring five or more runs, Cooperstown is 5-0. When scoring less than that, the Hawkeyes are 0-2. Surprisingly, both losses came in low-scoring games…4-3 (10) and 4-1 to Watertown and Amsterdam respectively.

*Amsterdam’s Josh Gardiner (Radford) and Ronnie Bernick (Canisius) have each started nine games this season. The pair sits first and second in the league in the hit-by-pitch category. Gardiner has been plunked six times in nine games while Bernick has been hit five times. Amsterdam is averaging over two hit batters per game with 19 total HBP in nine contests.

*David Vandercook (Columbia) has made an immediate impact in the line-up of the Newark Pilots. The starting third baseman for the Ivy League champions, Vandercook has doubled four times in five Newark games and is batting .294 overall. Interestingly, all five of Vandercook’s hits have been extra-base hits – four doubles and one home run. He leads the team with a .716 slugging percentage. In his last two Newark road games, Vandercook has dinged three doubles and belted one home run.

*Elmira’s recent four-game homestand at Dunn Field in the Twin Tiers was brought to you by the number seven. The winning team in each game scored seven runs. Elmira bested Watertown, 7-4, on Wednesday night and then brushed away a late comeback from Amsterdam to earn a rain-soaked 7-6 decision on Thursday. Saturday, Cooperstown scored six unanswered runs including three in the ninth and one in the 10th to steal a 7-6 victory. The script nearly repeated on Sunday as Mohawk Valley rallied from a 4-2 deficit at the Dunn to come away with a 7-6 win.

*Five of Elmira’s seven games have been decided by one run.

*Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) leads the league in hits and RBI. The only other player to reach double digits in hits (10) and RBI (10) is Elmira’s Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan). Kalousdian leads all Elmira regulars in batting average (.387), hits, total bases (17) and RBI.

*Sunday evening, the top three batters on Roberto Vaz’s line-up card, all members of LSU Eunice’s 2012 NJCAA Division II national championship team - Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice), Dalton Herrington (ULM) and Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) combined to go 7-for-14 (.500) with six RBI and five runs scored. Only two other DiamondDawgs recorded a hit and Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) was the only other swinger to post an RBI.

*Mohawk Valley’s Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) is among the league leaders with eight RBI. What’s notable is that all eight RBI have come in Sunday games one week apart. On June 9, Thibodeaux plated four runs in a 6-1 Mohawk Valley victory at Adirondack. He notched his second four-RBI effort in this past Sunday’s win over Elmira. Thibodeaux recently completed a two-year career at LSU Eunice and was part of two Bengal teams that reached the NJCAA Division II national championship game. He moves on to Delta State in the fall.

*The late game on Sunday between Utica and Adirondack at Donovan Stadium in Utica was originally slated to commence at 7:00 p.m. However, due to afternoon and early evening rain in Utica, the start time was pushed back until 8:00 p.m. Utica and Adirondack played a near three-hour contest and the final out in the top of the ninth inning was not recorded until almost 11:00 p.m. The game even featured a foggy mist over the top of the stadium with fog eventually rolling across the playing surface.

*The Utica-Adirondack game was sponsored by the letter “K” as pitchers for both teams combined for 31 strikeouts. Utica’s Hunter McIntosh (Alabama State) tossed a two-hit shutout through six and struck out a game-high 12 while Adirondack starter Brendan Butler (Fairleigh Dickinson) fanned 10 over five frames. McIntosh struck out the side in the third and fourth innings and at one point recorded seven outs in a row via strikeout between the second and fourth. Adirdonack’s bullpen of Brandon Mumaw (Saint Leo) and Anthony Beasley (Louisburg) struck out five while the Utica bullpen of Kellen Hackett (Fresno Pacific) and Jordan Brooks (GCSU) whiffed four.

*A tale of two different games. Last Wednesday night in Boonville, Adirondack and Utica combined for 33 runs in an 18-15 epic which saw Adirondack rally from a 13-0 deficit. Sunday night, both pitching staffs got their revenge with 31 strikeouts.

*Hunter McIntosh (Alabama State) is the second Utica pitcher to sling a two-hit shuout through six innings this season. McIntosh limited the Trail Blazers to lead-off singles in the third and fourth innings respectively. Teammate Sam Norman (Creighton) who is expected to start for Utica on Tuesday versus Glens Falls, worked a two-hit shutout at Donovan Stadium against Watertown on June 10 in a 6-1 win. Norman conceded two infield singles, walked none and struck out two. He faced just one batter over the minimum.

*Utica is 3-1 at Donovan Stadium this season but 0-4 on the road.

*Adirondack’s Tom Bouck (NJIT) is tied for second in the league in batting average with Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State). Bouck has eight hits in 16 at-bats and two of his eight hits have been home runs. Both of Bouck’s blasts have come at Adirondack’s Smith Sports Complex, one in a win over Utica and another in a loss to Mohawk Valley.

*Correction – Yesterday I noted that Cory Folk (Buffalo) pitched seven innings of relief for Glens Falls in the second game of Saturday night’s doubleheader at Mohawk Valley. That was incorrect. Folk pitched three innings of scoreless relief and Riley Stephenson (UMBC) came in and worked the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th in a 4-3 Glens Falls win. We apologize for the error.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*Mohawk Valley’s Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) was a three-sport superstar at Messsalonskee High School in Oakland, Maine. Dexter excelled on the baseball diamond, the football gridiron and on the ice.  Dexter was named the 2011-2012 Boys’ High School Athlete of the Year by the Portland Press-Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. As a high school senior, Dexter earned Player of the Year honors in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North Division (baseball) and the Pine Tree Conference (football). He was also selected as the Eastern Maine Class B Hockey Player of the Year. On the baseball diamond, Dexter won the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel Player of the Year Award and he was tapped first team all-state by the Maine Sunday Telegram. The Oakland, Maine, native led Messalonskee to its first Maine state baseball championship since 1973. On the gridiron, Dexter compiled 1,786 all-purpose yards, 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was an all-conference choice at wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner. On the ice, the current USM rising sophomore set a school record with 48 goals in 22 games. His athletic success continued to the University of Southern Maine this past spring where he helped the Huskies to NCAA Division III national championship game. Dexter was the 2013 Little East Conference Rookie of the Year.

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