N.Y. – In an intense, do-or-die matchup, the Amsterdam Mohawks
earned a spot in the PGCBL finals with a 9-4 victory over the Albany
Dutchmen. The Mohawks are now two wins away from winning their second
consecutive PGCBL Championship.
game started off with both teams going back and forth. Both starting
pitchers struggled to settle in. In the top of the first, Albany
outfielder Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) hit a dribbler up the
middle for an infield single. Bradley Noland (North Alabama) then
laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Marks went from first to third. An
infield single from Tyler Orris (Millersville) then gave the Dutchmen
a 1-0 lead.
responded immediately, taking advantage of two errors in the bottom
of the first to get runners on first and third with just one out.
Then, back-to-back singles from Ed Charlton (NJIT) and Josh Gardiner
(Radford) gave the Mohawks a 2-1 lead.
the bottom of the second, the Mohawks added another run when, with a
runner on second base and one out, Jordan Ebert (Auburn) barreled a
low 82-mph fastball from Dylan Collett (Keene State) to right field.
pitcher Trey Wingenter (Auburn) tossed an excellent game for the
Mohawks, but made one mistake all night, and it came in the top of
the third inning. With runners on first and second and two outs,
PGCBL Home Run Derby Champion Matt Dacey (Richmond) stepped up to the
plate. Wingenter, working both sides of the plate, tried to sneak a
fastball by Dacey on the outer third of the strike zone, but Dacey
wouldn’t be fooled; he crushed the 88-mph offering over the wall in
left field for an opposite field, three-run home run. The crowd in
Amsterdam, which had many fans cheering on the Dutchmen, erupted in
applause as Albany took a 4-3 lead.
run into a fastball, and it doesn’t take much to get out of here,”
Wingenter said of the home run.
Coach Keith Griffin, regretted calling for the outside fastball. “I
kicked myself in the butt because I probably called the wrong spot,”
Griffin said. “(Dacey) was probably looking outside, we threw it
outside and he hit over the wall. Probably should have come back in
like we did the last few times against him.”
the Mohawks, who had lost just one of their past 13 games, would not
be deterred in their quest for a championship. In the bottom of the
third inning, Charlton lead off with a long single off the wall in
left field. The next batter, John Sansone (Florida State) crushed an
inside fastball over the wall in left field to give Amsterdam a 5-4
lead that they would not relinquish.
Sansone’s blast, things cooled off for a bit. Wingenter was locked
in; he ended up tossing six innings and allowing four runs on six
hits and three walks. His fastball sat in the upper-80s and topped
out at 90 mph, and he mixed in a filthy curveball and slider
combination that kept Albany hitters off balance as he finished his
start with three straight scoreless frames.
pesky Mohawks added four insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh,
and got scoreless innings from Zach Quayle (Ave Maria), Chris Kalica
(Schenectady CC), and Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) to seal the victory.
Keith Griffin has now led the Mohawks to league finals in each of the
past five seasons, which includes the three-year history of the
PGCBL. The Mohawks will host the Elmira Pioneers in Game 1 of a
three-game series at Shuttleworth Park on Tuesday night. Game 2 will
be at Dunn Field in Elmira, and Game 3, if necessary, will return to
Amsterdam. The game time for all three games will be 7:05 pm EST.