There was no shortage of offense around the league Friday night with each of the six games totaling seven runs of more and four of those totaling 14 plus. There were multiple playoff spots up for grabs coming into the evening- would there be any left after it?
Utica Blue Sox 12, Watertown Rapids 2 – 7 Innings
The Blue Sox (28-13) used 11 unanswered runs to defeat the Rapids (15-30) Friday, bringing an early end to the contest with the run rule.
Utica scored their first run in the top of the first, as Peter Adams (Limestone) scored on Kyuss Gargett’s (Kentucky) single. Watertown immediately responded in the home half however, as back-to-back RBI singles from Gaetan Grandelli (West Chester University) and Quinten Perilli (Elizabethtown College) gave the hosts their first lead. But it was all Utica from there.
In the second, Wyatt Jensen (Northwest Shoals CC) singled in Alejandro Rodriguez (Erskine) before later scoring on a Gavin LaCoe (Mount St. Mary’s University) sacrifice fly. CJ Wisniewski (NJIT) scored later in the inning on a Watertown error to make it 4-2.
Utica blew it open in the fourth. A pair of two-RBI doubles off the bats of Pablo Santos (Rutgers) and Adams on consecutive pitches made it 8-2, and Greg Kopp’s (Hamilton) bases-loaded walk later pushed it to 9-2.
Santos drove in his third run in two innings in the top of the fifth before back-to-back bases-loaded walks from Ryan Rifenberg (University of Fort Lauderdale) and Gargett provided the final score.
Santos led the way offensively atop the lineup, going 3-for-5 with his three runs batted in, two runs scored, and a double. Right behind him, Adams followed with a three hit game himself, also scoring twice and with a double while driving in two and taking a hit by pitch. All 10 in the Utica order reached base safely- with nine reaching at least twice- while seven drove runs in and six scored.
The two hits Watertown got in the bottom of the first would be the only two hits they would get all night, as the Blue Sox quartet of Adam Guazzo (Valparaiso) Alex Canino (Limestone), Brandon Millan (University of Fort Lauderdale), and Billy Rozakis (Siena) would go on to retire 19 of the 20 next- and final- batters they faced.
Amsterdam Mohawks 5, Glens Falls Dragons 2
After only registering six hits and no runs through seven innings, Amsterdam (36-5-1) used a four-hit, five-run eighth to defeat Glens Falls (14-26).
With runners on first and second with one out in the top of the second, Glens Falls took advantage of a Mohawks error that allowed Anthony Macarelli (Ithaca) to score the first run of the game. Odilio Cespedes (Bryant and Stratton) would follow with a sacrifice fly to score Johan Sandoval (Bryant and Stratton) and make it 2-0.
Amsterdam would put runners in scoring position each time they came to the plate in the first seven innings before breaking through in a big way in the eighth.
Jalen DeBose (Florida Atlantic) drew a one-out walk and would score all the way from first on Bruer Webster’s (Utah) seeing eye single. Webster would swipe second as Luke Longo’s (NJIT) pop out in the bermuda triangle in shallow left-center left second base unattended, and would hustle home to score on Cam Gurney’s (Utah) chopper of an infield single that gave him just enough time to slide into home safely to tie the ballgame.
Jaxson West (Florida State) would pinch-run for Gurney at first, and that extra speed would be just enough, as he also dove in just ahead of the tag on Marek Houston’s (Wake Forest) RBI double to give the Mohawks the lead. Bryce Hubbard (Mississippi State) would draw a walk, and Gage Miller (Alabama) would triple both runners in for Amsterdam’s two insurance runs.
Glens Falls would put the tying run on base in the ninth after a leadoff hit by pitch and single, but Ryan Taffe (Fairfield) would get a pair of strikeouts and a groundout for his second save of the summer.
Houston would pick up a game-high three hits in the victory to go with his RBI double and run scored. Miller would go 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two runs batted in, while Webster went 2-for-3 with a run, RBI, walk, and two stolen bases.
Zander Teator (Babson College) would lead the way for Glens Falls, going 2-for-2 with a double, walk, and a hit by pitch. Riley Orr (Castleton) would put together his longest outing of the summer on the mound, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings to go with six strikeouts.
Elmira Pioneers 13, Newark Pilots 6
With Batavia (26-16) off on Friday, Elmira (27-16-1) had an opportunity to take sole possession of first place- and did just that, defeating Newark (13-28-1).
Dom Presto (University of West Florida) led off with a single in the bottom of the first for the Pioneers, and after moving to second on a wild pitch, scored on Joe Muzio’s (Eckerd College) single. Muzio would proceed to score four pitches later, taking advantage of two Pilots errors on the same play to score. Chris Bear (Northern Essex CC) would make the lead three for the hosts after one, as he singled in John Schroeder (Florida Atlantic) later in the inning.
Tyler Walters (Georgia College) drove in Briggs Loveland (Emerson College) and Michael Flaherty (Grinnell College) with a double in the top of the second to bring Pilots back within one, but the ‘Pios got three more in the home half.
Presto singled for the second time in two innings, this time a run-scoring one, bringing in Nick Montagna (Quinnipiac), while Schroeder also singled, scoring Presto and Spencer Aubin (UMass-Lowell). Aubin would score again in the fourth on Muzio’s sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.
Newark stormed back in the fifth, as a bases-clearing double from Jack Arcamone (Richmond) brought it to 7-5. After Arcamone advanced to third on a wild pitch, Chris Ferara (Emerson College) would bring him in with an RBI double, and suddenly Newark was back within one.
After Elmira stranded two in the bottom of the fifth looking to extend the lead and Newark stranded two in the top of the sixth looking to take it, aggressive baserunning would work to the Pioneers benefit in the bottom of the sixth. Two steals of third would force a pair of errors, allowing both Presto and Muzio to score, and a wild pitch with Schroeder on third would allow Elmira to score three runs off no hits, a walk, and two hit by pitches.
Elmira would tack on three more in their next time at the plate, as Erik Charnetski’s (Elmira College) two-RBI single and Muzio’s bases-loaded walk would make it 13-6.
Presto would reach base all five times atop the Elmira batting order, going 3-for-3 with a walk and hit by pitch. He would also score three runs, drive one in, and steal a base. Muzio, right behind him in the two slot, would go 1-for-2 with three runs batted in, two runs scored, a walk, a hit by pitch, two stolen bases, and a sacrifice fly. Elmira sent 11 different players to the plate during the game, and 10 of them reached and six scored. Arcamone led the way for Newark, going 2-for-3 with three runs batted in, a run scored, a double, a walk, and a hit by pitch.
Geneva Red Wings 15, Auburn Doubledays 4 – 7 Innings
Out of playoff contention, Geneva (12-30-1) looked to play spoiler Friday night with their victory over Auburn (22-19), who fell out of the playoff picture heading into the final day of the regular season.
Hazel Martinez (Union College- TN) gave the Doubledays the first lead in the top of the third, driving in Emil Sander (Oswego) with a sacrifice fly. Fernando Espinal (Cayuga CC) would score on a Geneva error to push the lead to two, and Carson Gross (University of Northern Colorado) would score later in the inning on a delayed double steal with runners on the corners to make it 3-0.
Brandon Gelpi (Baldwin Wallace University) would get two back for the Red Wings in the home half of the inning with a double before Geneva took over in the fourth.
With the bases loaded, Daniel Scolaro (St. Anselm) took a walk to tie the game. Nate Milk (Niagara) would follow with a single to give Geneva the lead, and Casey Burcroff (Dominican College) followed with a single of his own that scored Cooper Loyal (UAlbany) while Scolaro followed him in, taking advantage of an Auburn error. Gelpi would take advantage, blasting his first home run of the summer over the left field fence to make it 9-3.
The offense would continue for the Red Wings into the bottom of the fifth, tacking on five runs to their lead. Wyatt Patchett (Le Moyne) would score the first on a wild pitch, and Loyal would score on a Scolaro single for the second. Geneva would load the bases later in the inning, and Ethan Swidler (Lafayette) would take a hit by pitch to make it 12-3, before back-to-back singles from Jason Shockley (Rutgers) and Andrew Eppinger (NJIT) pushed the lead to 11.
Auburn got a run in the sixth off a James Mason (Clarkson) single before Geneva responded in the home half with a run of their own off a RBI double from Loyal.
Gelpi would almost double his season RBI total- going from 7 to 12- after his massive night where he went 2-for-3 with five driven in, two runs scored, a double, a walk, and his blast. Burcroff would actually lead the way in hits, as he went 3-for-4 with two runs, two more driven in, and a double. 11 of Geneva’s 13 hits came from between the 5 and 11 hitters in the batting order, including six from the bottom three. 11 of their 13 runs came from the bottom four.
Boonville Lumberjacks 5, Oneonta Outlaws 2
Boonville (15-30) wrapped up their 2023 season with a dominating victory over Oneonta (12-32) Friday.
Eli Snelson (Union University) gave Boonville the lead in the top of the first, scoring on a wild pitch after he led off with a walk earlier in the inning.
Oneonta took the lead in the bottom of the second, as Ryan Leary (Wagner) took a hit by pitch with the bases loaded before Kyle Caccamise (St. Bonaventure) drove in Christopher Ubner (St. Thomas Aquinas) with a sacrifice fly.
The Lumberjacks would grab it right back in the top of the third however, as after Dylan Mercedes (Mansfield University) tripled in Bryce Collis (St. John Fisher) to tie the game, Snelson would single him in to take the lead. Snelson would proceed to steal second and get third on a wild pitch before scoring on Joshua Lopez’s (Thomas Jefferson University) RBI groundout.
Boonville would add to their insurance in the top of the sixth, as Darnell Guerrero’s Alliance University) double that scored Marcus Smith (McLennan CC) made it 5-2.
After Oneonta got their run in the second, their offense would be limited to just one hit, two walks, and one batter reaching on an error the rest of the way. To end the summer, Jacob Phillips (Guilford College) turned in one of his best starts of the year- about equal with his first start, Opening Night against Watertown- going seven innings, allowing three hits, two runs, and three walks while striking out a season-high nine to tie for a team-high fourth win. Ryan Sullivan (Colby CC) got the final six outs for his first save, striking out five of the six, including the side in order in the ninth.
Mercedes led the offense, going 2-for-4 with a run, run batted in, a double and a triple. Snelson went 1-for-3 with two runs, a run batted in, a walk, and two stolen bases.
Jamestown Tarp Skunks 7, Niagara Power 6
In one of the biggest games in the PGCBL this season, Jamestown (23-18-1) came back from a three-run deficit to defeat Niagara (22-18-2) to lock up a playoff berth.
Jamestown took the first lead in the ballgame, as Luc Fuller (Drury University) drove in Kieran Gagnon (Gannon University) and Zach Kent (Wagner) before stealing second and scoring on Cooper Munro’s (Drury University) single in the second.
Jeremy Glinski (D’Youville) led things off in a big way for Niagara in the fifth with a triple, and two batters later would score on Myles Pallister’s (Kentucky Wesleyan) groundout. The Power would parlay that into a two-out rally, loading the bases before Jackson Strong (Canisius) took a walk, allowing Alex Dzimian (D’Youville) to score. Vincent Mauro (Niagara) followed with a two-RBI single, driving in Zach Evans (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Andrew Fairbrother (Tiffin University) to give the Power the lead, before a dropped fly ball would allow Strong and Mauro to both cross home and make it half a dozen for the Power in the fifth.
The Tarp Skunks would put runners on second and third with no men out in the bottom of the sixth. After a groundout right back to the pitcher Billy Morris (D’Youville) and a strikeout, Niagara returned the favor on the drop they received an inning earlier, as a misplay on what should have been an inning-ending groundout allowed Grady Mee (Western Michigan) and Tommy Googins (Princeton) to score, making it 6-5.
Gagnon would be the hero, as with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth, he would drive a double deep into the right-center gap bringing in both Henry Juan (Williams College) and Matt Thompson (Youngstown State). Joe Reitebach (Gannon University) would come on for the ninth and get his second save of the summer to close out the victory.
Gagnon would finish with a game-high three hits, his first three hit game of the summer. None would be bigger than his game-winning hit, accounting for his two runs batted in to go with his run and stolen base picked up earlier. Fuller would also have his two RBIs and run scored in his 1-for-3 evening, while six other Skunks picked up at least one hit, and five others would account for one run apiece.
Going into the last day of the regular season, Niagara holds a half game lead on Auburn for the fourth spot in the West Division and the final spot in the PGCBL Playoffs. Niagara goes to second-place Batavia Saturday night for a 6:35 meeting with the Muckdogs, while Auburn hosts first-place Elmira for a scheduled contest set to begin 30 minutes later.