Summer Collegiate : : Story
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

PGCBL playoff push

Hudson Belinsky        
Photo: Perfect Game

The end of July is upon us, and the end of the PGCBL regular season is near. As we enter the home stretch, three teams are vying for the final two playoff spots in the league’s East Division.

A quick brief on the PGCBL’s playoff format: Three teams from each division (the East and the West) make the playoffs. The second and third seeds play one game against each other (Divisional Playoffs), and the winners advance to take on the top seed in a best-of-three series (Division Finals). The winners of those series play a best-of-three seriems for the PGCBL Championship.

In the East Division, the Amsterdam Mohawks have clinched the top seed by a pretty large margin. The Mohawks are riding a nine-game winning streak, and are a remarkable 13-1 over their past 14 games. Behind Amsterdam, Mohawk Valley, Albany, and Glens Falls are in a tight race for the final two playoff spots.

The Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs (24-18) have a slight advantage over Albany (24-20) and Glens Falls (24-21). The Diamond Dawgs have a double-header against Elmira on Tuesday before closing the regular season against Newark on Wednesday. Mohawk Valley appears to be a strong bet to make the playoffs, especially considering that Glens Falls and Albany play each other in a double-header on the final day of the season.

The Golden Eagles host Cooperstown on Tuesday, and Albany heads to Watertown for a double-header. Then on Wednesday, the Golden Eagles host the Dutchmen in a season-defining double-header.

Both teams have faced their fair share of adversity this season, with a bevy of injuries forcing each club to recruit more and more players as the season has progressed.

Glens Falls will enter the final leg of the season without two of its top players; Josh Anderson—who’s hitting .347 this summer—suffered a hamstring injury on Monday. On the same night, Garrett DeGallier—hitting .311—was hit by a pitch on the wrist. Head Coach John Mayotte expects to miss both players for the remainder of the season. The Golden Eagles have lost seven of their last eight, but remain optimistic about their playoff chances. Mayotte has confidence in his club’s pitching staff, and plans to use the entire staff over the next couple days, treating every game as if it’s the club’s last.

Albany will take a different approach over the final few days of the season. The Dutchmen will use Dylan Collett, arguably their top pitcher this summer, in the first of their final four games. Head Coach Nick Davey said “We’re sending him out for Game 1 today because we think Game 1 is the most important game.”

We’re just going to go out the next two days and have fun, and that’s all I’ve been stressing,” Davey continued. “Just compete and have fun, play the game of baseball, and go get yourself some wins.”

Albany will use Jose Hernandez in its second game tonight, and the goal is to clinch a playoff spot before the final game of the season. Davey would prefer to rest his squad a bit, but said that he will use all of his team to go get a win if he needs to.

The final two days of the PGCBL season will be filled with excitement and should make for a nice warm-up before the playoffs begin. The Divisional Playoff games will be played on Thursday, August 1, and the Division Finals will begin on Friday, August 2. The PGCBL Championship Series begins on Tuesday, August 6.

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