Schenectedy native Mike Urbanski (Binghamton Univ.) fanned seven batters in just 3.1 perfect innings of relief work to lead the
Amsterdam Mohawks to a 4-3 victory over East Division rival Mohawk Valley on Monday night at Shuttleworth Park.
The win was Amsterdam's eighth in their last ten games to give them a record of 13-11 at the official midway point of the season for the defending champions of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Amsterdam has played 24 games of their scheduled 48-game regular season slate.
Urbanski retired all 10 DiamondDawgs batters he faced in his perfect relief stint from the sixth through the ninth and cranked up seven big strikeouts with his blazing fastball that touched 92 miles per hour on several occasions on the radar-gun reading on the scoreboard.
Keith Skinner (Fairfield) hit his first home-run of the season in the fourth inning. It was Amsterdam's 22nd long-ball of the year which is the most in the league. 11 different Mohawks have now gone yard this season for Keith Griffin's team.
Mohawk Valley was led by Landon Thiebodeaux (LSU Eunice) who had a two-RBI single and a stolen base. Lanky 6'8" tall righty Gavin Culpepper (SE Louisiana) was very good in taking the tough loss going 6.1 strong innings allowing just five hits and striking out three.
Also for the Dawgs, Dalton Harrington (Louisiana-Munroe) swiped his league-leading 24th stolen base of the year. Jordan Serena (Columbia) was 2-for-4 with a double and two steals.
The game was a topsy-turvy one with the teams exchanging the lead four times. Mohawk Valley initially led 1-0 in the third inning. Then Amsterdam pushed out in front 2-1 in the fourth. Mohawk Valley regained the lead at 3-2 in the sixth. And then Amsterdam re-took the lead for good in the seventh inning at 4-3.
The DiamondDawgs struck first against Colonie native Matt Snyder (Fulton-Montgomery C.C.) in the third inning with Jordan Friend (Alabama A&M) bringing in the first run via a sacrifice-fly.
Keith Skinner cleared the fence in right-field in the fourth inning a couple batters after Dylan Smith (Auburn) had singled for a two-run shot giving Amsterdam a 2-1 advantage.
Mohawk Valley re-took the lead in the sixth with a two-run single by Landon Thibodeaux scoring runners from second and third with two outs on the last batter Snyder would face.
Amsterdam's game-winning rally in the bottom of the seventh inning came via only one base-hit, three free-passes, and one wild pitch. After a walk, a single by Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) and a sac-bunt by Josh Gardiner (Radford), the DiamondDawgs would intentionally walk hot-hitting John Nogowski (Florida State) to load the bases.
The next pitch by Gavin Culpepper would be his last. He hit Jordan Ebert (Auburn) in the back to force in the tying run making the score 3-3.
Relief pitcher Zach Williams (UC Davis) then threw a wild pitch allowing Barrett to come home with what would prove to be the game-winning run. Williams cranked it up and struckout recently named PGCBL Player of the Week Dylan Smith and then Shane Zimmer to work out of the tough situation with minimal damage.
But the one-run lead for Amsterdam was enough for Urbanski who didn't allow a single base-runner in his 3.1 innings and practically cruised through the Mohawk Valley lineup to the finish-line.
Mohawk Valley fell back to .500 with the loss at 10-10 as they dropped back-to-back games to Amsterdam in the two-game home-and-home series. Amsterdam won at Mohawk Valley on Sunday 7-3 in a rain-shortened six-inning game to begin the two-game set.
The game was played in a very light rain from the sixth through ninth innings but never had to be delayed. The teams were ever to beat a more steady rain which began to fall about a half-hour after the lastout was recorded. Amsterdam has played more games than any other team in the league meaning they have had the fewest rainouts in the PGCBL this year.
Amsterdam now opens a home-and-home series with the top team in the league, the #22 nationally ranked Glens Falls Golden Eagles. The Mohawks travel to East Field in the North Country Tuesday night at 7:00 with Matt Ternowchek (Notre Dame) scheduled to start for the visitors.
The Mohawks return home Wednesday night, again taking on Glens Falls, with a post-game Fireworks Spectacular presented by the Rotary. Amsterdam will also feature a post-game fireworks celebration on Friday night following ParkFest Day presented by the Wasserman Foundation.
The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs return to Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls for back-to-back home games this Tuesday and Wednesday against the Utica Brewers and Adirondack Trail Blazers.