PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 23, 2013

Members of the Albany Dutchmen volunteered on Saturday morning at the STRIDE Adaptive Sports 5K. Photo courtesy Albany Dutchmen

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
Cooperstown 14 Elmira 6 (Game 1)
Elmira at Cooperstown (Game 2) – PPD
Glens Falls 2 Albany 1
Newark 7 Watertown 4
Amsterdam 3 Mohawk Valley 2 (10)
Adirondack 8 Utica 3

Tonight’s Games
Mohawk Valley at Watertown, 5:00 PM
Newark at Amsterdam (DH), 5:05 PM
Glens Falls at Albany (DH), 5:05 PM
Adirondack at Elmira, 5:05 PM
Cooperstown at Utica, 7:00 PM (Edit, 4:57 PM - PPD RAIN)

*The first league-wide off day is scheduled for tomorrow. No league games are scheduled though Newark is set to play an exhibition game against the Syracuse Salt Cats at Colburn Park. The PGCBL Player and Pitcher of the Week for Week 2 (June 17 – June 23) will be announced tomorrow.

*A new league record was set on Saturday as Elmira’s Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) and Adirondack’s Alex Mata (Saint Leo) bashed grand slams against Cooperstown and Utica respectively to account for the fifth and sixth grand slams of the 2013 PGCBL season. The six total grand slams socked in less than a month marks a new PGCBL single-season record. League teams hit five grand slams all of last season. Yesterday was also the second time this season and in league history that two grand slams have been hit on the same day. The first time came on June 20 when Adirondack hit two slams in the same game versus Watertown.

*The Trail Blazers have swung their way into the league record books with a mark that may never be topped. Adirondack has hit four grand slams in just 13 games. Luke Emling (Villanova), Austin Hatfield (Memphis), Tom Bouck (NJIT) and Alex Mata (Saint Leo) have all launched grand slams for the Trail Blazers in home victories over Utica (x2) and Watertown. No other league team has amassed more than two grand slams over the course of the last three years.

*The lumberjacks from Boonville lead the league with 15 home runs and now average over one home run per game.

*Adirondack’s Eli Anderson (Northern Illinois) threw 115.1 innings during a breakout spring at Northern Illinois University. Anderson led the Huskies into the Mid-American Conference’s West Division regular season championship. He went 8-1 against MAC opponents and overall threw six complete games. The Glenview, Ill., native was named first team All-MAC. This summer, Anderson has thrown limited innings for the Trail Blazers. He made his longest appearance of the season on Saturday night against Utica. The rising senior struck out three batters over three innings and did not concede an earned run in a no decision.

*Following a day off on Friday, Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) returned to manager Keith Strickland’s line-up card on Saturday night at Adirondack. Pierson singled twice and scored one run as he ran his league season high hitting streak to 13 games. The rising junior leads the league with a .508 batting average and 30 hits. He is averaging over two hits per game and leads the next closest player on the league’s hit list by 11.

*Saturday may very well have been Saint Peter’s Night at East Field in Glens Falls. An all-Saint Peter’s College battery of pitcher Zach Hopf and catcher James Smith paced the Golden Eagles to a 2-1 win over nationally-ranked Albany. Hopf pitched eight strong innings and allowed one run on six hits. He held Albany scoreless through the first six frames and conceded a single run in the seventh. Smith bopped a solo home run in his first at-bat to put Glens Falls ahead for good. Behind the plate, Smith cut down three of four Albany runners attempting to steal. The combination of Smith and Hopf let Albany advance just three runners safely to second base. Current Saint Peter’s head coach Sean Cashman is a former Glens Falls assistant.

*Both of Albany’s losses this season have come when Nick Davey’s Dutchmen have scored just one run. In every other game, Albany has totaled at least three runs and gone undefeated.

*Over the last two years, seven games between the Albany Dutchmen and Glens Falls Golden Eagles have been decided by two runs or less. That includes four games in a row; John Mayotte’s Golden Eagles are 3-1 in those games.

*Last season, the Golden Eagles and Dutchmen scored runs in bunches against one another. Saturday, Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) and Albany’s Bryan Carr (Saint Rose) engaged in a pitchers’ duel. Hopf pitched eight strong innings and allowed one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out five. Carr pitched well in a hard-luck defeat. He held the Golden Eagles to two runs on seven hits and struck out four. The Albany starter induced eight ground outs.

*Saturday night wasn’t a good night to be a base runner at East Field. Albany’s Bryan Carr (Saint Rose) picked two runners off base while Glens Falls catcher James Smith (Saint Peter’s) threw out three runners attempting to steal. Albany’s Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) was the only player with a stolen base.

*Albany nearly forced a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning. Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina) hit an RBI single to cut the Dutchmen deficit to 2-1. With two outs, Suseck attempted to score on a ball hit into the outfield by Nate Rupiper (Memphis). Suseck safely made it to third but was thrown out at the plate on a relay throw from left fielder Buddy Putnam (South Florida) and shortstop J.Q. Folena (Cabrillo).

*Amsterdam improved to 10-0 in the PGCBL era at Vet’s Park with a 3-2 win at Mohawk Valley on Saturday night. The Mohawks haven’t lost in Little Falls since June 26, 2010.

*John Nogowski (Florida State) had his best game of the summer for the Mohawks on Saturday night. Nogowski tripled in the second inning and scored on a Brian Ruby (Binghamton) ground out to give the Mohawks a 1-0 lead. The Tallahassee, Fla., native finished off a 4-for-5 night at the plate with an RBI single in the 10th inning that scored Ed Charlton (NJIT) with the eventual game-winning run. Nogowski is among Amsterdam’s leaders with a .381 batting average and 16 hits in 12 games.

*Saturday night’s game in Little Falls featured a “Maine Event.” The starting pitching match-up pitted Amsterdam’s Logan Fullmer from the University of Maine against Mohawk Valley’s Logan Carmen from the University of Southern Maine. Both pitchers representing colleges from the Pine Tree State pitched well. Fullmer threw a two-hitter over five innings, struck out three and conceded just one unearned run. Carmen allowed two scores over 6.2 innings, walked none and struck out four.

*Baseball can sometimes resemble a chess match between opposing managers. Saturday in Little Falls, Amsterdam’s Keith Griffin and Mohawk Valley’s Roberto Vaz combined to use over 30 players. Amsterdam utilized two pinch runners and two pinch hitters as well as three pitchers while Mohawk Valley featured one pinch runner, one pinch hitter, one defensive replacement and four pitchers.

*Amsterdam has played in two extra-inning games this season, both have been decided by a 3-2 final score.

*Mohawk Valley has gone to extra innings in one-fifth of its 15 games this season. The DiamondDawgs have played three extra-inning contests against Glens Falls, Utica and Amsterdam.

*Saturday was also unique in that two former high school teammates started on the mound for their respective PGCBL teams. Amsterdam’s Logan Fullmer (Maine) and Elmira’s Dan Black (VCU) were teammates at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pa. Fullmer started for the Mohawks on the road at Mohawk Valley while Black earned the starting nod for Elmira at Cooperstown.

*The red-hot Newark Pilots continue to win. Newark triumphed over Watertown on Saturday night to move into first place in the PGCBL West. Newark has been in first place at least once in each of the last three PGCBL seasons. The Wayne County side has never missed the PGCBL playoffs and the Pilots won the league championship in 2011.

*Newark tripled its’ pleasure with a two-out rally in the fifth inning on Saturday night against Watertown. Newark trailed, 4-0, moving into the bottom of the fifth. Watertown starter Jake Jenkins (Pacific) recorded two-straight outs after a lead-off single by Newark’s Josh Ludwig (Rochester). Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer) continued his hot streak as of late with a double that scored the speedy Ludwig all the way from first. Max Rosing (Cortland State) chase home Fox with an RBI single. Newark then pulled off a first in PGCBL history with back-to-back RBI triples from Jacob Russell (Kentucky) and David Vandercook (Columbia) to tie the game. Vandercook scored the eventual winning run on a wild pitch.

*Newark right fielder Jacob Russell (Kentucky) played a key role in the win over Watertown. Russell went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple and two runs scored. He was part of back-to-back RBI triples in the fifth inning and then singled and scored on a David Vandercook (Columbia) ground out in the seventh. Before the offensive fireworks, the former Division I FCS quarterback used his arm to keep Newark in the game. Watertown’s Connor Perry (Holy Cross) attempted to score from third on a fly out to right field by Austin Lueck (South Florida). Russell threw home and cut down Perry at the plate to end the inning.

*Newark’s Donald Frew (Young Harris) and Albany’s Ben Seabrook (North Alabama) have been two of the top closers in the PGCBL. Frew struck out three in a six-out save on Saturday night. He has three saves and a 0.00 earned run average in six appearances. The Newark closer has conceded three singles and one walk. Opponents are hitting .115 against him. Seabrook leads the PGCBL with four saves in four appearances. Through 4.1 innings pitched, Seabrook has allowed just one hit and two walks. Seabrook has four strikeouts and a .083 opponents’ batting average.

*Cooperstown’s Eann Cox (Black Hawk) and Luke Mould (UAH) are tied with Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) of Glens Falls for the league lead in victories. All three pitchers have three wins – both Cox and Hopf has won their first three starts.

*It took just five innings on Saturday afternoon for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes to set a season high for runs scored. The Hawkeyes reeled off 14 runs on nine hits in a high-scoring win over Elmira. Dan Shwam’s Hawkeyes scored three runs in the first, one in the second, three in the third, six in the fourth and one in the fifth to complete the offensive explosion. Cooperstown’s 14 runs scored on nine hits and 10 walks. Eight of nine Cooperstown starters scored at least one run and five of those eight tallied at least twice.

*The fourth inning between Cooperstown and Elmira on Saturday ranks as one of the wilder innings of the season in the PGCBL this summer. The two teams combined for 11 runs in the frame on just five hits. Elmira scored five times in the top of the fourth on a Cooperstown error and a Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) grand slam. Elmira’s outburst cut the Cooperstown lead to 7-5. The Hawkeyes answered with six runs on three hits. Nolan Ray (Kentucky Wesleyan) had the biggest hit of the inning with a two-run double. Eric Kalman (George Washington) also singled home a run during the rally.

*Cooperstown’s Austin March (UC Davis) reached base safely four times against Elmira on Saturday and scored three runs but he recorded just one hit. March singled once, walked three times and stole four bases in four total plate appearances.

*The bottom half of Cooperstown’s line-up card provided most of the damage in Saturday’s win over Elmira. Nate Lotze (Kenyon), Nolan Roy (Kentucky Wesleyan), Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) and Eric Kalman (George Washington) combined to drive in nine of Cooperstown’s 14 runs. The quartet batted .500 (6-for-12) and scored seven runs. Lotze and Ray led the bunch; Lotze went 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored while Ray had two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice. Donovan blasted a three-run home run while Kalman plated one score and tallied another.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…

*Albany’s Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) was a standout wrestler at Montour High School in McKees Rock, Pa. Marks wrestled on the varsity for four years and won 102 bouts overall. During his senior season, he became just the second wrestler in school history to win at least 100 matches. Marks qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA tournament as a junior and senior.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…
*There are some scattered showers in the forecast today. For the most part, the weather has been good over the course of the last week. Hopefully that trend continues.

*A re-match of the 2011 PGCBL Championship Series takes place today in the Rug City as Amsterdam hosts Newark for a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. The Mohawks and Pilots were scheduled to play on June 10 at Newark’s Colburn Park but the game was rained out. Amsterdam swept two games with Newark last year including a 16-12 epic that featured a 21-run binge in the seventh inning with 13 runs scored by Amsterdam in the top half of the frame and eight by Newark in the bottom half. The Mohawks took a low-scoring re-match, 4-1, from the Pilots a week later behind a four-hit shutout from Mark Leiter, Jr. (Amsterdam 2011-2012). The Mohawks are 3-2 in their last five games while the red-hot Pilots have surged into first place in the PGCBL West with a 5-1 mark in their last six.

*Capital District rivals Albany and Glens Falls complete a home-and-home this evening at “The Bob” with a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. The Golden Eagles edged the Dutchmen, 2-1, on Saturday night to even the season series at one win apiece. Albany traveled up I-87 on June 14 and earned a 5-3 decision at East Field.  Today marks the first trip down the Northway to Albany for Glens Falls this season. Overall this season, Albany has played in six one-run games and has had seven games decided by two runs or less. Glens Falls has also taken part in six one-run games; four of those have been played on the road. The Green and Gold trail the Dutchmen by just 1.5 games in the league standings though the nationally-ranked side from Albany has played three fewer games due to rain.

*The first-ever meeting between the Adirondack Trail Blazers and Elmira Pioneers is scheduled for tonight at Dunn Field. This will be Adirondack’s first trip to the west of I-81. Elmira will make a return trip to Boonville just prior to the PGCBL All-Star Game. Both the Trail Blazers and Pioneers bopped grand slams on Saturday however Adirondack was victorious while Elmira came up on the short end of the stick at Cooperstown. The teams are separated by just one game in the PGCBL West with Elmira holding the advantage. Adirondack has struggled outside of Boonville with a 1-4 away mark while Elmira has three wins in eight tries at home.

*Utica and Cooperstown met in the first game of the 2013 PGCBL season on June 5 at Doubleday Field. Eann Cox (Black Hawk) pitched the Hawkeyes to a 5-1 victory. Tonight, the Hawkeyes make their first-ever trip to Donovan Stadium in Utica for a re-match with the Brewers. It is believed that this will also be the first trip to the Renaissance City for veteran Cooperstown skipper Dan Shwam. Prior to joining the Elmira Pioneers in 2010, Shwam coached in various independent professional leagues across the country for nearly 20 years, but was never in a league that featured a team in Utica. Cooperstown’s 8-5 overall record is the third-best in the PGCBL and the team has responded with back-to-back wins after being swept in a doubleheader at Newark on Thursday. The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 14 runs in just six innings of at-bats on Saturday versus Elmira. Keith Strickland’s Brewers are playing their first home game since Wednesday. The Sons of Saranac went 2-2 in a quick four-game road trip that included a doubleheader on Thursday Mohawk Valley.

*Watertown and Mohawk Valley round out the schedule this evening in the North Country. While rain showers may impact games in the eastern portion of the state, there is no rain in the forecast for Jefferson County. Despite a loss to Utica at home on Friday night, the Rams have been one of the better home sides in the league with a 3-1 mark at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. Because of the weather, Watertown has played just four home games and nine road games. The Silver and Black has lost its last two games though the team has scored at least four runs in six-straight games. Roberto Vaz’s DiamondDawgs make their first trip to the North County since clinching a playoff spot in Watertown on the final day of the 2012 PGCBL regular season. Needing a win and an Oneonta loss to make the playoffs, Mohawk Valley pulled out a 9-3 victory at the Duffy Dome. This year’s MV side downed Watertown, 4-0, on June 8. The Dawgs are 3-4 in their last seven games despite taking two out of three recently from rival Utica. 

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