PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 25, 2013

Cooperstown players, coaches and front office staff pose with the 2012 World Series trophy. Photo courtesy Cooperstown Hawkeyes

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
No games scheduled

Tonight’s Games
Watertown at Amsterdam, 7:05 PM
Cooperstown at Glens Falls, 7:05 PM
Elmira at Newark, 7:15 PM
Albany at Utica – PPD Rain
Adirondack at Mohawk Valley – PPD Rain

*Congratulations to the Albany Dutchmen on being ranked in Perfect Game’s Summer Top 30 for the second week in the row. The latest poll, compiled by Perfect Game’s Allan Simpson, was released earlier today. The Dutchmen earned a lucky-number 13 ranking in the poll. Albany made its debut in the national rankings last week.  The Glens Falls Golden Eagles and Cooperstown Hawkeyes merited mention in the “Also receiving consideration” category.

*More congratulations to hand out – this time to our weekly award winners – John Nogowski (Florida State) of the Amsterdam Mohawks, Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls) of the Utica Brewers and Keegan Long (Saint Joseph’s, Ind.) of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Nogowski was the PGCBL Player of the Week while Brothers and Long split the Pitcher of the Week award.

*There is more rain in the forecast for this week with scattered thunderstorms roaming across the state. Follow the PGCBL on Twitter @PGCBLBaseball for weather-related postponements and of course other information.

*Did everyone enjoy their Monday off?

*Records for PGCBL teams last week…Amsterdam (5-2), Glens Falls (5-2), Albany (4-3), Newark (5-4), Cooperstown (3-3), Adirondack (3-4), Mohawk Valley (3-4), Watertown (3-4), Utica (2-4) and Elmira (2-5).

*Some quick notes from last week. Watertown’s Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi) led all PGCBL hitters with 10 RBI. Utica’s Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) continued his league-leading tear with a .521 batting average (11-for-21), six runs scored, six runs batted in, one home run and a .714 slugging percentage. Adirondack’s Bobby Slagle (Villanova) boasted the best league batting average (.583). Utica’s Jay Gonzalez (Auburn) and Watertown’s Dominic Lopez each scored seven times. Mohawk Valley’s Gavin Culpepper (Southeastern Louisiana) started twice and compiled 15 strikeouts; Amsterdam’s Trey Wingenter (Auburn) tallied 11 in two starts.

*One note from Saturday’s games that was missed at the time. Newark’s Eddie Emes (PSU Greater Allegheny) pulled off a rare feat on Saturday night against the Watertown Rams. He struck out four batters in a single inning. Emes fanned Watertown’s Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi) to start the third but Lopez reached on a wild pitch. Following a base hit by Watertown’s Connor Perry (Holy Cross), Emes struck out three Rams in a row to end the inning. Even more interesting, six-straight outs recorded by Emes and Watertown’s Jake Jenkins (Pacific) were strikeouts. Jenkins struck out the side in order in the bottom of the second and then Emes struck out four in the top fo the third.

*The next league-wide scheduled off day is not until July 8. Between now and then, there is at least one scheduled PGCBL game per day. This includes the Fourth of July when the Newark Pilots host the Utica Brewers at Colburn Park. The Elmira Pioneers will also be playing on the Fourth in an exhibition game at home against the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s Niagara Power.

*Not only does Albany lead the league with a 10-3 record, but the Dutchmen also lead the league in walk-off victories. The Dutchmen won three times last week in walk-offs; twice in a non-traditional doubleheader against the Amsterdam Mohawks and then once more on Sunday in the night cap of a twin bill versus Glens Falls.

*Who had the better pitching performance on Sunday? Mohawk Valley’s Gavin Culpepper (Southeastern Louisiana) tossed a two-hitter over seven innings, allowed one run (unearned) and struck out 11 in a victory at Watertown. In his season debut for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles, Jake Matthys (Kansas State) one-hit Albany for five innings, conceded one unearned run and struck out seven in a no decision. Matthys nearly retired the final 13 men he faced but one of his seven strikeouts was dropped which resulted in a batter reaching on a strikeout-passed ball.

*Albany Dutchmen manager Nick Davey has come through with several key late-game adjustments in victories. Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) did not start the night cap of the Glens Falls twin bill. He entered as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning with the potential tying run on second. Remillard produced as he connected on a pinch-hit single that scored the winning run. Two nights earlier, Matt Dacey (Richmond 2013-14) drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in a comeback win over Mohawk Valley.

*With Sunday’s doubleheader split, five of the last six games between the Albany Dutchmen and Glens Falls Golden Eagles have been decided by two runs or less. All three games this past weekend involving the two teams were one-run games.

*It was a good day to be a top-of-the-line-up hitter on Sunday in the opening game of the doubleheader between Glens Falls and Albany. The top of John Mayotte’s line-up card for Glens Falls – Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico JC), Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) and Ramon Laureano (NEO A&M) - combined to go 4-for-7 with seven RBI and four runs scored. Ramirez drove in a game-high four runs, three of which came on a three-run double in the fifth inning that Laureano followed with a two-run home run. Albany’s top two hitters, Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) and Bradley Noland (North Alabama) each had three hits, scored two runs and drove in one.

*Glens Falls became the first team this season in the PGCBL to reach 10 wins when it took the twin bill opener on Sunday from Albany. However, the Dutchmen shortly followed suit with their 10th victory in the night cap of the doubleheader. No other league team has more than eight wins.

*Through three Sunday games this season, Mohawk Valley’s Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) has put on his “Sunday Best.” Thibodeaux has been a one-man wrecking crew in three Sunday wins for the DiamondDawgs. On June 9, the Delta State-bound infielder went 3-for-5 and drove in four runs against Adirondack in a 6-1 victory. One week later, Thibodeaux recorded his second four-RBI game and was 2-for-5 in a 7-6 win at Elmira. This past Sunday, the recent LSU Eunice graduate drove in a league season-high six runs in a 10-5 victory at Watertown; he socked a three-run home run and a two-run double. Sunday’s this season, Thibodeaux is batting .467 (7-for-15) with 14 RBI. The Mohawk Valley infielder has driven in 17 runs overall and stands second in the league in RBI behind Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State).

*Mohawk Valley was lifted to a win Sunday in Watertown by a quartet of top performers from the Pelican State. Gavin Culpepper, from Belle Chase, La., and Southeastern Louisiana University, pitched a two-hitter over seven innings and struck out 11. Greenwell Springs, La., native and LSU Eunice product Landon Thibodeaux totaled a game high six RBI. Infielder Casey Rodrigue from Destrehan, La., and LSU Eunice drove in two runs and Dalton Herrington from Homer, La., and ULM scored twice. #GeauxDawgs

*Sunday’s games featured two doubleheaders, two walk-offs and two games decided by identical 10-5 scores.

*The Adirondack Trail Blazers lead the league with 15 home runs. Sunday at Elmira, the Trail Blazers, without the benefit of a home run, scored a road season high 10 runs and pounded out 12 hits to defeat the Pioneers at Dunn Field. The Blazers from Boonville struck quickly with nine runs over the first four innings including five in the fourth. While Adirondack did not hit a home run, the Trail Blazers were able to double their pleasure with five total doubles from four different players – Dominic Fazio (High Point) dinged two doubles. Fazio and Chris Divarco (Northern Ilinois) also combined to drive in five of Adirondack’s first nine runs.

*While some teams have seen the middle of the line-up , the top of the line-up or the bottom of the line-up do a lot of damage, Sunday for Adirondack; it was a combined team effort. The top six batters on manager Ryne Foster’s line-up card combined to total 11 hits, eight runs and eight RBI. Five different players – Brandon Jossey (Seton Hill), Dominic Fazio (High Point), Alex Mata (Saint Leo), Shane Allen (Northeastern) and Chris Divarco (Northern Illinois) each had two hits and at least one RBI and one run scored. Fazio drove in a game-high three runs and Jossey scored three times. Jossey, Adirondack’s lead-off hitter, also had three stolen bases.

*Heading just about into the fourth week of the regular season, just 1.5 games separates first place from fifth place in the PGCBL West. In the PGCBL East, second place and fifth place are separated by 2.5 games. Keep in mind the number of games played for each team is varied because of the inclement weather we’ve experienced.

*Amsterdam’s Josh Gardiner (Radford) was one of the main reasons the Mohawks came up with a Sunday doubleheader sweep over the Newark Pilots at Shuttleworth Park. Gardiner, who did not start the opening game, came on as a pinch hitter and belted a three-run blast in the fourth inning that gave Amsterdam a 4-3 lead. In the first inning of the night cap, the Radford product smashed his second home run of the day, a two-run belt that put Amsterdam ahead, 3-0.

*Sunday’s doubleheader between Amsterdam and Newark marked the second doubleheader between the two teams in the three-year history of the PGCBL. Due to a rain out during the 2011 PGCBL Championship Series, the Mohawks and the Pilots played a championship doubleheader on the final night of the 2011 playoffs that resulted in Newark sweeping Amsterdam at Shuttleworth Park to claim the league championship. Sunday, Keith Griffin’s Mohawks turned the tables and swept the Pilots.

*Amsterdam became the fourth league team this season to compile a shutout victory. Starter Trey Wingenter (Auburn) fired six scoreless frames and Christian Bartholomew (Wake Forest) did not allow a run in the seventh as part of a 3-0 Amsterdam win versus Newark. Utica and Mohawk Valley lead the league with two shutout victories apiece; Albany and Amsterdam each have one shutout win.

*The Mohawks have mashed their way to a 6-2 mark in their last eight games. Amsterdam’s home run total has also ballooned to 12 for the season. Amsterdam swingers belted three home runs on Sunday against Newark. Josh Gardiner (Radford) went deep twice and John Nogowski (Florida State) swatted his first home run of the season. Ed Charlton (NJIT) has hit a team high three home runs to lead nine different Amsterdam players with belts.

*Newark out-hit Amsterdam, 14-9, in the opening game of Sunday’s doubleheader. All 14 hits were recorded by six different Newark players that logged multi-hit games. Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer), Max Rosing (Cortland State), Jacob Russell (Kentucky) and David Vandercook (Columbia) all had two hits for the Pilots; the four were batters two through five on Mike Armstrong’s Newark line-up card. Sixth-place hitter Steve Laurino (Marist) went 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored while eighth-hitter Coleman Lukas (Pomona-Pitzer) also had three hits and one RBI.

*Talk about stepping into a tough spot. Amsterdam’s Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) entered Sunday’s opener in the top of the fifth inning. At the time, Amsterdam led 4-3 but Newark had loaded the bases with two outs against previous reliever Zach Quayle (Ave Maria). Urbanski came on from the Amsterdam bullpen and induced an inning-ending pop out to keep the Mohawks in the lead. The Binghamton University product tossed 2.1 innings of relief to earn the win.

*Amsterdam’s Brian Ruby (Binghamton) became the latest PGCBL player to record a walk-off hit this summer. The Mohawks trailed the Pilots, 5-4, in the bottom of the seventh inning. A single, a hit batter and an intentional walk loaded the bases for the Tribe against the Newark bullpen. Ruby stepped up to the plate with two outs. He hit a hot smash to the right side of the diamond that caromed off of a Newark infielder and allowed two runs to score giving Amsterdam a 6-5 win. Watertown, Albany and Amsterdam have all had walk-off wins this summer.

*Trey Wingenter (Auburn) had to work hard for his six shutout frames on Sunday night against Newark. The Pilots nearly broke the shutout and tied the game in the sixth inning. Wingenter, a former Seattle Mariners draft pick, sailed through the first five frames and retired 15 of the first 18 batters he faced. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Newark in the sixth inning with two outs. Wingenter kept the shutout alive as he induced an inning-ending ground ball which turned into a force out at second.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
Matt Portland (Northwestern) of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles comes from a family of baseball players. Portland’s father and grandfather both played baseball at Dartmouth College. One of his Matt’s cousins is current New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…
 *As of this writing, two of our five games have already been postponed due to rain. Both will be made up as part of doubleheaders later this season.

*Should the weather hold, two of the top strikeout artists in the PGCBL will go head-to-head tonight when Glens Falls hosts Cooperstown. The scheduled starting pitcher match-up features Ryan Davis (LeMoyne) of the Golden Eagles against Eann Cox (Black Hawk) of the Hawkeyes. Davis is tied for the league lead with 20 strikeouts while Cox is in fourth with 19. Ten of Cox’s 19 strikeouts came in a win over the Golden Eagles on June 12 at Doubleday Field. Davis also started in that game for Glens Falls and pitched into the fifth inning. The Golden Eagles lead the Hawkeyes by a half-game in the PGCBL East. It should be noted that the Hawkeyes have three games at hand on the Green and Gold. Due to rain and an off day, Cooperstown has not played since the opening contest of a Saturday doubleheader versus Elmira.

*Longtime rivals Watertown and Amsterdam meet for the first time this season at Shuttleworth Park. While the PGCBL is just three years old, the rivalry between the Amsterdam and Watertown franchises dates back to 2000 when the Mohawks played in Schenectady and the Watertown Wizards were in their first year of existence. The teams met twice in the New York Collegiate Baseball League playoffs – in the divisional finals in 2003 and 2005 with each team winning one series. The streaking Mohawks are 6-2 in their last eight games and can get back to .500 for the first time since June 8 with a win. Five of the Tribe’s eight wins have come at their home grounds. The Rams have struggled to a 1-4 mark in their last five games. Shuttleworth Park however is the site of one of the best moments in Watertown franchise history. Erick Gaylord, the 2011 PGCBL Player of the Year, hit four home runs and had seven RBI in a single game against the Mohawks in July 2011.

*On the western side of the state, Newark and Elmira meet for the fourth time this season. All three prior games have been hotly contested – Elmira took the series’ opener, 6-4, in 11 innings on June 5 at Newark’s Colburn Park. Friday evening, the Pilots and Pioneers split a low-scoring twin bill with Newark winning the opener, 2-1, and Elmira triumphing, 4-0, in the night cap. All four of Elmira’s night cap tallies came in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Pioneers return to Colburn Park tonight for the first time in three weeks. The Pilots may have been thankful of a day of rest on Monday; Newark played seven games in the span of four days between Thursday and Sunday with three doubleheaders. The Pilots went 4-3 in those seven games but ended the week being swept at Amsterdam. Newark holds a half-game lead over second-place Adirondack and Elmira in the PGCBL West.

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