By Sam Reis
Jack Seppings and Peyton Fall pitched a combined shutout as the Amsterdam Mohawks took down the Elmira Pioneers 4-0 in Game 1 of the PGCBL Championship Series on Wednesday night at Rao Family Stadium.
After making 10 appearances out of the bullpen this summer, Jack Seppings (Brown) made his first start for Amsterdam. While Joe Muzio (Eckerd) and John Schroeder (Florida Atlantic) both recorded singles in the opening frame, Seppings only allowed one more hit in the rest of his outing.
Joseph Keldsen (Cal. St.) made his eighth start and 10th appearance on the mound for Elmira. After stranding multiple base runners in the first couple of innings, the Mohawks drew first blood in the third. Gage Miller (Bishop State CC) was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and Bruer Webster (Utah) singled. Luke Longo (NJIT) lined out to third for the first out but that was followed by a single from Cam Gurney (Utah) which scored Miller from second for the opening run.
Jack Seppings pitched through the fifth inning for Amsterdam, preserving a shutout and allowing just three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. Peyton Fall (College of Central Florida) entered in the sixth, making just his second appearance for the Mohawks as a late season roster addition. The 17 year old settled in right away, retiring the first seven batters faced.
Joseph Keldsen’s night came to an end after the sixth inning, giving up just one run on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Christian Zilli (Seton Hill) came in for the seventh and that is when Amsterdam doubled its lead. Gage Miller walked to begin the inning and Bruer Webster singled for his third hit of the contest. During Luke Longo’s plate appearance, Miller was caught stealing third but that allowed Webster to advance to second. The next pitch got away from the catcher John Schroeder and enabled Webster to get to third. Ultimately, Longo ripped a 3-2 pitch to left-center field to drive in Webster and make it 2-0.
In the eighth inning, the Mohawks made more noise offensively. The frame began with a walk to Jalen Debose (Florida Atlantic) and a double from Jaxson West (Alabama/Florida State). Then, a couple of singles from Zach Eldred (Brockport) and Mason Swinney (Alabama) drove in Debose and West to give Amsterdam a 4-0 lead. Christian Zilli gave up five hits and three runs with three walks and no strikeouts in two innings of work.
Despite a couple of walks in the ninth, Peyton Fall clinched the victory with a strikeout, giving the Mohawks a 1-0 series lead.
In a low scoring affair, Amsterdam tallied 10 hits. Bruer Webster led the way with a 3-for-4 night while Cam Gurney and Zach Eldred both had multiple hits. Joe Muzio and John Schroeder were the only Elmira players to register a hit and the Pioneers failed to record one after the third inning.
Joseph Keldsen suffered the loss, moving him to 2-4 this summer. Elmira now has its season on the line trailing the best-of-3 series 1-0.
Jack Seppings recorded his third win of the season, improving to 3-0. Peyton Fall got the save, not allowing a hit in four innings with three walks and six strikeouts. The Mohawks are now one win away from claiming back-to-back PGCBL titles. They have the opportunity to achieve that on Thursday with Game 2 scheduled for 6:35 in Elmira. If the Pioneers win, the series would return to Amsterdam for a decisive Game 3 on Friday.