the summer coming to a close and students beginning to return to
their schools, the PGCBL season is starting to wrap up. However, the
excitement is only just beginning for six teams who are looking to
make a postseason push to become PGCBL Champions.
six team playoff includes the top three teams from both the East and
West Divisions. The first round of playoffs will take place on July
31 and will pit the second and third seeds against one another in a
win or go home scenario.
the first round of playoffs, the winner will play the top seed of the
division in a best-of-three series that will be played from August
Championship Series will take place from August 5-7 and will pit the
winner of the East Division against the winner of the West Division.
The coaches weighed in on the playoffs about what they are doing to
prepare their teams and what they expect to happen once playoffs
defending PGCBL champion Amsterdam won the East Division regular
season title and will be looking to bring home another championship.
But every team is different from the ones in previous years. There
are new players with few returnees, so the playoff environment is
something new for some of this year’s Mohawks players. But
Amsterdam Coach Keith Griffin said this year’s team is trying to
leave its own mark.
know what to expect,” he said. “But we only have three players
back from last year’s team. So every year is a different team and
this team is trying to make its own mark and hopefully they can.”
far as what the Mohawks need to do in order to continue their run of
postseason success, Coach Griffin kept it short and simple, even with
only three players returning from last year’s championship team.
are excited about it, we finish our last regular season game
tonight,” Griffin added. “We need to get through these nine
innings without getting anybody hurt and turn the page to get ready
to play on Friday.”
the Mohawks is John Razzino, a junior outfielder from Franklin Pierce
College. Razzino is second on the Mohawks roster with a .366 average
including four home runs, 31 RBI, and 48 hits. He leads the team with
21 stolen bases.
the mound, Taylor Blatch has started getting hot for the Mohawks at
the end of the season. The Florida State freshman is coming off a
no-hitter against the Utica Brewers which marked only the second
no-hitter in PGCBL history.
Mohawks will await their opponent, which will either be the Mohawk
Valley DiamondDawgs or the Albany Dutchmen. This matchup will be a
rematch from the first round a season ago which saw the Dutchmen best
the DiamondDawgs in a 6-5, 11 inning thriller. If last season’s
playoff game and the last game played between these two teams is any
indicator, a 0-0 tie, a dogfight is in store for the East Division
in the same division and seeing a team as frequently as Mohawk Valley
and Albany see one another, Albany Coach Nick Davey says that
familiarity is invaluable when it comes to knowing their tendencies
absolutely helps us,” David said. “It’s funny that you play a
team so many times that you get to know who they are and what their
pitchers are and what not because you see their pitchers over and
this year’s first round matchup has a little surprise in store.
actually going to be a matchup where neither team has seen the other
starter at all… It could be a real good game; we’re assuming it
to be a close game,” he added.
also said that he and his wife celebrated the birth of their new baby
earlier this week and nicknamed it his “playoff baby.”
Mohawk Valley coach Blake Nation, he said an all-around team effort
has been the reason why his team has made it to the postseason for
the second consecutive season.
think we’ve done a good job of just playing our game,” Nation
said. “We mainly stick to a lot of hit and run, steals; we have a
lot of speed on the team. We have a good combination of speed and
power that puts us in a good position to win games. Defensively we’ve
done a really good this year of keeping our pitchers in games,
especially [Colin] Hawk at shortstop; he’s done a great job.”
also praised the defensive prowess of outfielder Jayson Sullivan and
catcher Eric Strano. As far as team leaders, he said Colin Hawk has
been a player the DiamondDawg players look up to both offensively and
as far as what he wants his team to focus on come the first round, he
simply wants them to continue playing as they have all season.
on sticking with our game,” Nation said. “We have to focus on the
first game, whether it be against Albany or Glens Falls, we have to
focus on what we need to do to win and what we have been doing to
the West Division, the Newark Pilots earned the No. 1 seed after
winning their final game of the regular season while Elmira dropped
their final game. The Pilots defeated Glens Falls by a score of 4-1
and the Pioneers dropped both games of a doubleheader with Mohawk
and Elmira entered the final game of the season with the same record
with the final day of games being the deciding factor on the No. 1
Pilots have reached the playoffs every year the PGCBL has been in
existence. They are led by Tanner Giesel, a Southeastern CC
infielder, who has started in all 44 games and has two home runs, 32
RBI and holds a .329 batting average.
the Pioneers, they will look to make another run into the
Championship series where they fell in three games to the Mohawks.
Last year, they made it to the championship as the No. 3 seed.
is led this season by T.J. Dixon, a freshman outfielder from Samford
University, who has a .347 batting average in 44 games played. Bryson
Hough, a junior righthanded pitcher from Bucknell, is the leader on
the mound for the Pioneers, pitching to a 5-0 record in eight games
started and leads the team in strikeouts with 41.
Head Coach Matt Burch said he wants his team focusing on winning one
game at a time and when a player is called to step up, he expects
them to do so.
Watertown Rams enter the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Last year, the Rams fell at the hands of the Pioneers in the West
Division Final and played in the PGCBL’s longest playoff
extra-inning game, a 7-6, 14 inning thriller.
Rams are offensively led by Chris Gaetano, a freshman outfielder from
Monmouth University, who started in 34 games this summer and holds a
.271 batting average with one home-run and 20 RBI. On the mound, the
mound, they will look towards Jake Sale, a righthander from Parkland
College. Sale possesses a 5-0 record and has appeared in 21 games and
holds a 2.45 ERA in 25 2/3 innings of work.
the summer and regular season of the PGCBL draws to a close, the
postseason fireworks for six teams are just beginning. In the matter
of one week, there could be a three time PGCBL champion or someone
new could grab the reigns.
baseball, anything can happen in the postseason.