We continue to approach the 2023 PGCBL playoffs, and Wednesday’s eight games will certainly shake up how the playoff picture could unfold.
Saugerties Stallions 6, Glens Falls Dragons 4 (GAME 1) – 7 Innings
Saugerties (23-16-1) continued to push for good playoff positioning in this tight game one win over the Dragons (13-25).
Saugerties got the scoring started in this game in the top of the second, all beginning with an RBI double off the bat of catcher Alex Nevils (Wofford) to give them a 1-0 lead. After then adding on one more that inning and two more in the fourth, second baseman Samuel Hill (UMass) could cap off a four-run fourth with a 2-run single to put the Stallions up 6-0.
The Dragons would battle back later on, putting up four runs of their own, all in the bottom of the sixth inning. After an RBI single got the scoring started, shortstop Zander Teator (Babson) and first baseman Joe Harwood (Bryant & Stratton) picked up RBI hits of their own to bring home three more runs and cut the Saugerties lead to 6-4. The rally would be put a halt here, though, and the score would remain the same until the end.
Xavier Rodriguez (Webber) picked up the impressive win for Saugerties, tossing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts.
Glens Falls Dragons 9, Saugerties Stallions 6 – (GAME 2) – 7 Innings
Glens Falls (14-25) came back in game two to secure the doubleheader split against the Stallions (23-17-1).
After taking the loss in game one, the Dragons wasted zero time in game two, scoring four runs in each of the first two frames. In the first inning, catcher Kyle McNeff (UMass Dartmouth) came through with a 3-run double, putting Glens Falls up 4-0 at the time. Then in the next inning, four RBI hits would tack on four more runs, all beginning with an RBI double from EH and 2023 All-Star Odilio Cespedes (Bryant & Stratton), who had two hits in the game. In the sixth, Glens Falls added one more run to reach nine for the game.
Saugerties put together some quality offensive innings, but it just wasn’t enough to match the Dragons. In the fourth inning, an RBI single from third baseman Samuel Hill (UMass) gave them run number four, and in the sixth, an RBI double by shortstop Aaron Stelogeannis (Polk St) made the score 8-5, before he’d then come in on a putout to make it 8-6. This was the closest the score would get, and the Stallions would leave Glens Falls with a split.
Antonio Hicks (Central Connecticut) got the win for the Dragons, putting 2.2 innings, giving up three runs, and striking out two. Andrew Kramer (Lock Haven) came in for the save, his first of the summer.
Utica Blue Sox 4, Albany Dutchmen 3 (GAME 1) – 7 Innings
Utica (25-12) escaped with a game one victory after Albany (20-20) gave them a final-inning scare.
After scoring run one in the first inning and one in the fifth on putouts, the Blue Sox decided they wanted more. In the seventh (and final) inning, an RBI single from third baseman Kyuss Gargett (Kentucky) gave Utica run number three, and later on shortstop Andre Demetral (NIU) walked with the bases loaded to add one more.
After going down 2-0 in the fifth, Albany first got on the board with two runs on a putout and sacrifice fly to tie the game at two. Then, down 4-2 in the final inning, catcher Ryan Deo (Saint Rose) came through with an RBI single to pull the Dutchmen within one, but this is all they’d be able to execute before the final out. Shortstop Joe Karpierz (Xavier) reached base twice to help the Albany effort.
Daly Skees (Hillsdale) pitched all seven innings for Utica to earn the win, giving up three runs and striking out four.
Albany Dutchmen 4, Utica Blue Sox 3 (GAME 2) – 7 Innings
Albany (21-20) flipped the score in their favor in game two in Utica (25-13) to keep up their momentum heading into the playoffs.
Utica once again jumped on the lead in this game, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from EH Kyuss Gargett (Kentucky). Then in the six, two more Blue Sox runs would come in on a wild pitch and putout, one of the scoring baserunners being second baseman Ben Partridge (Rockland CC), who lead the team with two hits.
After going down 1-0, Albany had a big third inning, putting three runs on the board. A 2-run double by right fielder JT Vance (Mississippi) capped off the rally to give Albany their second and third runs of the game, helping to take control. In the sixth, a sacrifice fly brought in run number four, which would jus the enough, as the Dutchmen would survive a scare later in the inning to hold on, 4-3. Catcher Tyler Kipp (Fairfield) helped out well for the Dutchmen, picking up two hits.
Greg Mays (Cortland) started and got the win for Albany, pitching 5.1 innings, giving up three runs, and striking out two. Devin Campbell (Oswego) came in for the final five outs, giving up no runs and striking out two Blue Sox to earn the save.
Jamestown Tarp Skunks 8, Geneva Red Wings 3 – 7 Innings
The Tarp Skunks (22-17-1) kept up their playoff push with this home win over Geneva (11-30-1).
After scoring the first run of the game in the bottom of the first, Jamestown added onto their advantage with two more in the third on RBI singles from second baseman Tommy Googins (Princeton) and third baseman Jake Kernodle (Princeton). Then after adding one more run in the fourth, the Tarp Skunks broke out with a five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a 2-run single off the bat of left fielder Zack Kent (Wagner). They’d settle for eight run on ten hits in the comfortable victory.
The Red Wings scored their fist run in the top of the fourth when left fielder Jason Shockley (Rutgers) came through with an RBI double. The very next inning, centerfielder Brandon Gelpi (Baldwin Wallace) would come through with an RBI single, before one more Geneva run would cross home on a putout. Jamestown would hold them right there.
Peyton Ahlstrom (Finger Lakes CC) picked up the win for Jamestown, going five innings, giving up three runs, and striking out five.
Game two of the scheduled doubleheader between Geneva and Jamestown was cancelled.
Niagara Power 3, Batavia Muckdogs 2 – 5 Innings
The Power (21-17-2) kept themselves in playoff positioning with this win over the Muckdogs (25-15).
The Power struck first in the bottom of the first inning, with an RBI double from DH Andrew Stillinger (NCCC) giving them a 1-0 lead. Their other two runs would cross in the bottom of the third when Stillinger would come through with another RBI hit, followed by first baseman Cal Brazier (Tiffin) crossing home.
Batavia would tie the game at one in the third when DH Adam Agresti (St. John’s) came through with an RBI single. Then in the fifth, right fielder Josh Leaden (Rochester) came home on an error after a stolen base to bring Batavia within one.
Unfortunately, the comeback would be halted there due to storms in the area, and the league ultimately chose to make the game final over a postponement, given its proximity to the playoffs.
Josh Quartley (Gannon) picked up the win for the Power, pitching two innings in relief.
Watertown Rapids 6, Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs 2
Watertown (15-28) used a big ninth inning to impact Mohawk Valley’s (25-17) chances at a top-two seed in the East.
After going down 1-0, Watertown took the lead in the top of the third on a 2-run double by DH David McCann, a hot hitter as of late. Then after going scoreless for the next five innings, the Rapids offense would click in the ninth inning, putting up four runs to take full control of the game. Left fielder Terence Moynihan (Saint Michael’s) make a strong contribution for Watertown, reaching base three times.
Mohawk Valley’s first run came in the bottom of the second inning when shortstop Sam Miller (Columbia) came home on an error. Then in the eighth, a Miller RBI single scored second baseman Corey Adams (William & Mary) to give the DiamondDawgs their second run of the game and tie it at two. Despite this momentum, the Rapids putting up four runs the very next half inning was too much for Mohawk Valley to come back from, holding there at 6-2.
Cory Arthur (Anderson U) pitched great for the Rapids in the win, going eight innings, allowing just one earned run, and striking out five.
Elmira Pioneers 4, Newark Pilots 2
Elmira (26-15-1) further positioned themselves well for the West playoffs in this victory over Newark (12-26-1).
Newark wouldn’t score their first run until the fourth inning, when shortstop Michael Flaherty (Grinnell) came through with an RBI single. Later on, a sixth inning run would come in via right fielder Paulie Goodness coming home (Finger Lakes CC) on a groundout.
Elmira went up 2-0 to start the contest when right fielder Cooper Smith (Tufts) came through with 2-run single in the bottom of the first. Then in the fifth, the big moment of the game would happen, as Elmira third baseman Joe Muzio (Eckerd) hit his first home run of the summer, a 2-run shot. With Newark’s offense being slowed down, this is all the Pioneers would need for the win.
Griffin Yastremski (Keystone) picked up the win as the starter for Elmira, doing five innings, allowing no earned runs, and striking out five. Gardner Meeks (Roanoke) came in for the final four innings to get the save, also allowing no earned runs and striking out four.