PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 21, 2013

Newark's Max Rosing (Cortland State) connects on a three-run home run against Cooperstown on Thursday evening at Colburn Park. Photo courtesy Steve Plopper/Newark Pilots

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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

Adirondack 10 Watertown 8 (Game 1)
Watertown 8 Adirondack 4 (Game 2)
Newark 5 Cooperstown 1 (Game 1)
Newark 8 Cooperstown 4 (Game 2)
Utica 15 Mohawk Valley 9 (Game 1)
Mohawk Valley 2 Utica 0 (Game 2)
Albany 6 Amsterdam 5 (Resumed from 6/5)
Albany 3 Amsterdam 2 (11)
Glens Falls 5 Elmira 2

Tonight’s Games

Adirondack at Cooperstown, 5:00 PM
Newark at Elmira (DH), 6:00 PM
Utica at Watertown, 7:00 PM
Mohawk Valley at Albany, 7:05 PM
Glens Falls at Amsterdam, 7:05 PM


*Honestly…where to begin. Let’s see…Thursday’s nine league games set a PGCBL record for the most games played on a single day, even if one “game” lasted less than two innings. Utica’s Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls) threw the second no-hitter in league history and lost; two Mohawk Valley pitchers combined for a one-hit shutout in the same game. Adirondack blasted two grand slams in one game against Watertown; the grand slams came two innings part. Albany earned two walk-off victories in one night against Amsterdam. Utica scored seven times in the seventh inning to earn a wild 15-9 win over Mohawk Valley and Newark’s Drew Hasler (Valparaiso) induced 13 ground outs and four double plays in a complete game win over Cooperstown. Again, that all happened in one night.

*Utica’s Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls) pitched the second no-hitter in PGCBL history in the night cap of a doubleheader against Route 5 rival Mohawk Valley. The first no-hitter was thrown by Mohawk Valley’s Jesse Buratt (Southeastern Louisiana) on July 11, 2012 at Albany. Both no-hitters were thrown in seven-inning games and both were thrown by the road team.

*More unique is that Brothers no-hit the DiamondDawgs and lost. While Brothers stymied the Mohawk Valley bats, the Dawgs were still able to push two runs across against the Utica starter in the second inning on four walks and a double-play groundout. Following a walk to Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) that gave Mohawk Valley a 1-0 lead, Brothers seated the next 14 batters. One more MV run did score on a double-play ground out. The Valley View, Calif., native faced 21 batters over six innings, just three over the minimum. He recorded eight fly outs and four ground outs to go along with four strikeouts. Outside of the second inning, Mohawk Valley had just one other runner reach base safely; Dalton Herrington (ULM) reached on a one-out error in the second.

*Thursday’s start was the first for Eric Brothers this summer. He is currently 0-1 with two saves and a 2.20 earned run average in five total appearances. He has 13 strikeouts and a .167 opponents’ batting average.

*Eric Brothers is a sophomore from the NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls. He is a starting pitcher for the Cougars of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). His best performance during the spring came against Minot State (N.D.). He threw a one-hitter and struck out seven in a seven-inning complete game victory on April 21.

*How did Mohawk Valley counter the no-hitter by Utica’s Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls)? Keegan Long (Saint Josephs, Ind.) and Tyler Bray (ULM) combined on a one-hit shutout and struck out 12. Long conceded an infield single to the speedy Michael Pierson (App. State) of Utica in the first inning and that was the only hit given up in the seven-inning game by either team. Long fanned nine and stranded seven Brewers on base over six innings. He forced the Brewers to leave the bases loaded in the fifth inning to maintain MV’s 2-1 lead. Bray came on in the seventh and made quick work of the visitors as he struck out the side in order.

*Thursday’s night cap between Utica and Mohawk Valley set a PGCBL record for the fewest amount of hits in a single game with one. The only hit of the game was recorded by Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) and that was an infield single in the first inning. With the hit, Pierson extended his league-best hitting streak to 12 games.

*Maybe Utica and Mohawk Valley’s bats simply ran out of gas in the night cap of Thursday’s doubleheader between Route 5 rivals. In the opening game, the Sons of Saranac and the DiamondDawgs combined for 24 runs on 24 hits in a 15-9 slugfest. Utica scored seven times in the top of the seventh inning to wipe out what was a 9-8 Mohawk Valley lead. Utica’s seven seventh-inning runs scored on five hits. The Brewers batted around during the inning and sent 10 men to the plate. K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) and Michael Pierson (App. State) each had two RBI in the inning to cap off the rally.

*Utica has been led all season by the top of its line-up and Thursday’s opening game was no exception for the triumvirate of K’Shawn Smith (Stetson), Michael Pierson (App. State) and Jay Gonzalez (Auburn). The threesome combined to go 10-for-14 with nine runs scored and six RBI. Pierson led the group with a 4-for-4 performance that included two RBI and three runs scored. Gonzalez led all Utica swingers with four runs scored; he finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Smith scored twice, drove in two runs and rapped out three hits.

*Well, the Route 5 rivalry series between Utica and Mohawk Valley certainly got off to a wild start. The home-and-home series of three games featured a combined 38 runs. Two of the three runs were decided by two runs or less. The two teams will not meet again until July 2 at Vet’s Park in Little Falls.

*Two grand slams in one game by the same team. Prior to last night, no one than one grand slam had been hit in a game and never had two been even hit on the same day in different games. That changed last night when Adirondack’s Austin Hatfield (Memphis) and Tom Bouck (NJIT) both belted grand slams in a 10-8 win over Watertown. Even more remarkable, the Blazers hit two grand slams in just six innings of at-bats. Adirondack is just the second team in league history to hit two grand slams in one season; Oneonta did it last year in games against Albany and Cooperstown. And in fact, Adirondack's three grand slams are the most by any PGCBL franchise ever.

*Both Adirondack grand slams were hit with two outs.

*Grand slams are fairly rare; hitting two in a single game, well…you may have better odds of winning the New York State lottery. That said, Adirondack’s Austin Hatfield (Memphis) had a possible chance to hit two grand slams on Thursday night against Watertown. Hatfield’s slam over the left –field fence at the Smith Sports Complex in the second inning gave the Trail Blazers a 5-2 lead. Hatfield’s next at-bat came in the fourth inning and for the second time in the game; he walked up to the plate with the bases loaded. The Adirondack outfielder did not hit a grand slam but instead walked to record his team season high fifth RBI of the afternoon. Two batters later, Tom Bouck blasted a moon shot over the right-field fence to clear the bases. Hatfield’s home run was his first of the season.

*Watertown could very well have gone ahead in the seventh inning with a grand slam of its’ own. Trailing 10-8, the Silver and Black loaded the bases against Adirondack closer Austin Bartley (Shippensburg). Tyler Fullerton (Mississippi State) came up with two outs and the sacks packed for the Rams. Bartley retired Fullerton with a fly out to left field to end the game.

*Although Watertown did not score in the seventh inning with the bases loaded, Paul Altieri’s Rams have had a least one player smash a three-RBI hit in four-straight games. Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi) dinged three-run doubles in back-to-back wins over Newark (June 18) and Adirondack (June 19). In the opening game of Thursday’s doubleheader, Brad Rush (St. John Fisher) swatted a three-run double that cleared the bases in the sixth. And in the night cap, Bobby Indeglia (Holy Cross) launched a three-run home run in the second.

*Adirondack has scored at least five runs in seven of 11 games. The lumberjacks from Boonville have totaled 70 runs in 11 games this season. That averages out to 6.3 runs per game which leads the PGCBL. Slugging first baseman Tom Bouck (NJIT) is tied for the league lead in home runs (three) and he is currently hitting .524 (13-for-24).

*Two walk-off wins in one night? It happened at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany where the ninth nationally-ranked Dutchmen swept Amsterdam in back-to-back games of a non-traditional doubleheader. Albany’s walk-off sweep is the first of its’ kind in PGCBL history. Prior to last night, no one team had won two games of a “doubleheader” on walk-off hits. Albany’s walk-off heroes were Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina) in the resumed game and Nate Rupiper (Memphis) in the night cap. It should be noted however that statistics from the June 5 resumed game revert back to June 5.

*The Dutchmen continue to be off to their best start in franchise history and that start just became a little better with Thursday’s sweep. Albany began the season with the suspended game against Amsterdam and then went 5-0 before losing to Elmira. Because that statistics of Thursday’s resumed game opener revert back to June 5, that means Albany officially opened the season on a six-game winning streak – the longest in team history. At 8-1 heading into Friday night’s home game, the Dutchmen have posted their best record in four years.

*Albany’s Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina), Danny Crowe (Elon) and Chad Moss (Davidson) were the heroes in the resumed game victory. The Dutchmen left two men on base in the bottom of the eighth which was the first half-inning played. Moss, who entered the game on June 5 in relief of Sean Spicer (Baylor), retired the side in order in the ninth to send Albany back up to the plate. Danny Crowe (Elon) blasted a two-out double in the ninth down the right-field line and then he scored on Suscek’s game-ending hit.

*It took 11 innings for Amsterdam and Albany to decide a winner in the regularly-scheduled game. It marked the first extra-frame game of the year for both teams. Amsterdam last played in extra innings against Mohawk Valley in the opening round of the 2012 PGCBL playoffs. Albany’s last extra-inning affair came on July 29, 2012 against Glens Falls. The 11-inning win marked Albany’s first extra-inning victory at home in the PGCBL. Albany’s two other extra-inning triumphs came on the road in 2011 and 2012.

*Lost in the extra-inning theatrics at Bob Bellizzi Field was a great pitchers’ duel between former Albany pitcher Matt Snyder (Fulton-Montgomery C.C.) and current Albany pitcher James Davitt (Bryant). Snyder was a PGCBL All-Star Game selection with the Dutchmen last summer. Snyder, now with the Mohawks, tossed a three-hitter over five innings and struck out two. Snyder gave way to reliever Alex Gagne (Maine) who spun two scoreless frames in a one-run game. Davitt shut out the Mohawks through the sixth and pitched into the seventh. He gave up two runs on five hits, walked none and struck out four.

*Albany’s batting order former Don Bosco Prep teammates Joe Purritano (Dartmouth) and Matt Dacey (Richmond 2013-14) hitting in the third and fourth slots respectively. Purritano reached base four times in the game and finished 2-for-3 with two walks, one RBI and one scored. The reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year drove in Albany’s first run in the fifth and then scored a game-tying run in the eighth on a Matt Dacey RBI double.

*Amsterdam’s aggressive base running in the ninth nearly resulted in the Mohawks breaking a 2-2 tie. A hard-charging John Sansone attempted to score from first on an Albany fielding error. Sansone safely reached third but was thrown out at the plate on a relay throw from right field. The Mohawks then again nearly pushed ahead in the 11th but stranded a runner on third base to keep the game deadlocked.

*Albany’s Thomas Belcher (Indiana) turned in his best relief performance of the summer. Belcher conceded two Amsterdam hits but blanked the Mohawks through three frames. Second baseman Brian Ruhm (UC Davis) and Nate Rupiper (Memphis) were the Albany heroes in the 11th. Ruhm worked a lead-off walk and then stole second base. With no outs, Rupiper sent a smash down the right-field line that scored Ruhm from second with the winning run.

*While two of the top pitching performances of the night came in Little Falls, Newark’s Drew Hasler (Valparaiso) was on point for the Pilots in a complete game victory. The 6-foot-6 rising sophomore out of South Bend, Ind., native scattered nine hits and allowed one run in a seven-inning complete game versus Cooperstown. Notable is that Hasler induced 13 ground outs and forced Cooperstown to hit into four twin killings. Hasler faced just five batters over the minimum. He limited the Hawkeyes to just one hit his time through the line-up and then dialed up a pair of double-play ground outs the second time through. The Valparaiso product also forced Cooperstown to leave two runners on base in the fourth and sixth innings. He got out of the sixth with a line-out double play and then induced a 6-4-3 double play in the seventh to end the game. All told, it took Hasler just one hour and 25 minutes.

*Newark’s Dan Gautieri (Penn) made his PGCBL debut in the night cap against Cooperstown. The well-regarded Gautieri was one of the top pitchers this spring for the Quakers. He struck out three batters in three innings of work and held the Hawkeyes to just two hits.

*The Pilots are now 10-4 all-time in PGCBL doubleheaders.

*One big signing to mention quickly. Newark has re-signed 2011 second team All-PGCBL pitcher Justin D’Amato (St. John Fisher) D’Amato was a key component in Newark’s run to the league championship in 2011. He threw three scoreless innings of relief against Amsterdam in the winner-take-all championship game at Shuttleworth Park. D’Amato is St. John Fisher College’s all-time leader in wins and strikeouts. He is a two-time All-American.

*One of the bright spots for Cooperstown during Thursday’s doubleheader at Newark was Ben Hall (Central Alabama). The second baseman for the Hawkeyes notched five hits in two games. He went 3-for-3 in the opener and then had two hits, one RBI and one run scored in the night cap. Hall leads the Hawkeyes with a .448 batting average in just eight games.

*Elmira’s Spencer Henderson (UC Davis) made his debut for the Pioneers on Thursday night at Dunn Field. Henderson was a two-way threat for the Aggies of the highly-competitive Big West Conference in the spring. Henderson started at designated hitter for head coach Matt Burch and went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

*This year’s Elmira team is no stranger to close games. In fact, all 10 games played the Pios this year have been decided by three runs or less. There was late-inning drama at the Dunn again on Thursday as the home-siders traded to rally back from a 5-1 deficit against the visitors from Glens Falls. Ryan Plantier (Cornell) cut the Elmira deficit to 5-2 with an RBI single and the Pioneers loaded up the bases against Glens Falls closer Matt Eckelman (Saint Louis). There would be no more late-game magic however and Eckelman induced a game-ending fly out to right which stranded the potential tying run on first.

*John Mayotte’s Golden Eagles are 5-1 away from home this season. Since a 2-3 start, the team has gone 5-2 and that includes a 3-1 record in back-to-back twin bills with Mohawk Valley and Amsterdam.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*Amsterdam’s John Sansone (Florida State), in addition to being a highly-regarded baseball player at Neshannock Junior/Senior High School in Western Pennslyvania, was a standout on the basketball court. Sansone averaged 17.4 points per game during his senior basketball season and canned 50 three-point baskets. The New Castle, Pa., native was named first team WPIAL All-Section II Class A as a senior. He finished his career on the hardwood with 913 varsity points.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…
*It’s a quiet night, just six games on the schedule. Well, anything’s quiet compared to last night’s league record of nine games. I guess the bigger question is, how do you top last night?

*In the early game, Adirondack makes its’ first-ever trip to Cooperstown to meet the Hawkeyes for the first time in the PGCBL. The big lumberjacks from Boonville have scored 28 runs in their last four games and 35 in their last six. The Blazers bashed out three home runs in Thursday’s twin bill split with Watertown and have hit 13 home runs in 11 league games. Doubleday Field is very hitter friendly, reference Cooperstown’s 10-7 slugfest win last weekend over Newark which featured four home runs. Dan Shwam’s team has been its best at home with a 4-2 mark at the “Birthplace of Baseball.”

*Division rivals Newark and Elmira clash at Dunn Field for an early-evening doubleheader in the Southern Tier. It’s a Fireworks Night at the Dunn so expect a large crowd for this battle of co-division leaders in the PGCBL West. Due to the rain, this will be just the second and third meetings of the season between the Pilots and Pioneers. It took 13 innings to decide the first game between the two on Opening Night – Elmira took that game by a 6-4 score. Newark will be capping off a stretch of four games in two days; the Pilots swept a home doubleheader with Cooperstown on Thursday. Elmira will be playing a twin bill at Cooperstown on Saturday weather permitting. At the end of the Fireworks in Elmira, there could be just one team in possession of first place in the PGCBL West.

*Ninth nationally-ranked Albany has been on fire over the course of the first two weeks of the season. The Dutchmen lead the PGCBL East and the entire league with an 8-1 record after yesterday’s exciting walk-off sweep of defending league champion Amsterdam.  Through nine games, Albany has outscored opponents 45-26. The Dutch are holding opponents to less than three runs per game and Albany has allowed more than three runs just three times. With two wins on Thursday, Albany’s home record is now 4-1. Mohawk Valley makes its first trip to the “Bob” this season. Much like with other teams, rain outs have prevented these two from getting together. The Dawgs dropped their final two trips to Albany last season after a July 11 doubleheader sweep which included the first no-hitter in PGCBL history. Mohawk Valley is 5-5 in its last 10 games.

*Longtime rivals Glens Falls and Amsterdam tangle tonight at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. The Golden Eagles traveled to Elmira on Thursday night and punched out the Pios at Dunn Field. The Green and Gold concludes a two-game road trip tonight in the Rug City. The Golden Eagles and Mohawks split a doubleheader at East Field this past Sunday evening. Glens Falls romped 9-2 in the opener and then Amsterdam took advantage of Glens Falls mistakes in the night cap to nab a 3-2 victory. The Tribe had a three-game winning streak snapped yesterday in Albany. After scoring 29 runs in three-straight wins, the Tribe pushed across just two runs in the night cap loss to Albany. The Golden Eagles are one of the best road teams in the league with a 5-1 away record.

*Utica and Watertown round out the league schedule in the North County. The Brewers and the Rams traded victories in a home-and-home series on June 9 and 10 with each team triumphing at its home grounds. Both teams have been swinging a hot stick – Watertown has scored at least seven runs in its last four games and has totaled 39 runs in those games. The Rams plated 16 scores in a doubleheader on Thursday at Adirondack. While Utica dropped last night’s second game at Mohawk Valley, the Brew Crew has smashed out at least nine hits in 11 of its 12 games. In a 15-9 win over MV yesterday, the Brewers smacked out a season high 15 hits and scored seven runs in the seventh inning. Keith Strickland’s team also earned its first road win of the season yesterday though the Sons of Saranac are 1-5 away from Utica. Meanwhile, the Rams are undefeated (3-0) at home.

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