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Mohawks overcome 7-0 hole to take first place

Filed by the Amsterdam Mohawks...

The Amsterdam Mohawks spotted visiting Albany an early 7-0 advantage even before they took their first swings of the night. After that, it was all Mohawks who overcame the early hole on their way to a 13-9 victory at Shuttleworth Park against the Dutchmen. Amsterdam's fourth straight win and their eighth in their last nine combined with a Glens Falls loss to Mohawk Valley now pushes the Mohawks into first place in the East Division of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League for the first time this season.

Amsterdam (24-16) now leads both Glens Falls and Mohawk Valley by just a half-game with only eight games remaining. Albany (22-17) is only 1.5 games out of first and only one game back of the third-place spot which is the cutoff for a postseason position.

Josh Gardiner (Radford) again led the Mohawks knocking out a three-run homer in the fourth inning that tied the game at 9-9 as part of a 4-for-4 game which also included a double and four RBIs total. He also had two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Gardiner has eight hits in his last eight at-bats going back to the doubleheader nightcap on Saturday.

Gardiner said he made a slight adjustment to his stance which has paid nice dividends for him. He has now gone an amazing 11-for-14 in his last four games with six extra-base hits including four doubles, one triple and one home run.

Ed Charlton (NJIT) had the game-winning RBI in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly that pushed Amsterdam out in front 10-9. Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) was 3-for-5 including a pair of infield singles with two RBIs and a stolen base.

Brian Ruhm (UC Davis) was 2-for-4 with a two-run single that came in the Dutchmen seven-run rally in the first inning and Derrick Armstrong (Mississippi State) socked his second home run of the season in the fourth inning.

Albany sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the first scoring seven runs on five hits. But Amsterdam got four of them back in the bottom of the second and then made it 8-6 in the third.

After Armstrong's home run in the top of the fourth pushed Albany out in front 9-6, a trio of Amsterdam relievers would team up to slam the door on the Dutchmen attack. Chris Kalica (St. John's) Zach Quayle (Ave Maria) and Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) fired a combined 6.1 innings of one-run ball allowing just two hits. Quayle was the pitcher of record when Amsterdam took the lead to earn his first decision of the season.

Gardiner's three-run homer in the fourth brought the crowd to a roar in a 9-9 tie. Then Ed Charlton's sac-fly in the sixth gave Amsterdam the lead at 10-9. And the Mohawks would distance themselves a bit in the seventh with a three-run rally that was aided by three Albany errors just in that inning. The Dutchmen committed five errors in the game helping the Mohawks comeback cause. Albany had only one base-runner from the fifth through the ninth; a seventh-inning two-out single by Brad Noland (North Alabama).

It was something of a taste of their own medicine for the Dutchmen who just one night earlier had overcome an early 7-0 deficit against Glens Falls on their way to an exciting 10-9 win.

It is the first time this season for the defending league champion Mohawks to find themselves in first place in the division. Amsterdam began the year 5-9 but since June 21 have gone 19-7 to catch one team after another on their way to the top. And more recently, Amsterdam has gone 8-1 in their last nine games leading up to the two-day All-Star Break.

The Mohawks began the weekend in fourth place in the division and on the outside-looking-in as far as playoff positioning. They were also 1.5 games behind the second-place Dutchmen in the standings but have defeated their East Division rivals three times in a three-day stretch to now move 1.5 games ahead of Albany. The head-to-head success began with a doubleheader sweep on Saturday night in Albany by scores of 7-4 and 7-0.

The two teams now take a pause for the PGCBL All-Star Break with a day off on Tuesday followed by the league's showcase of their top players on Wednesday at Newark, N.Y. near Rochester.

Amsterdam returns to action on Thursday night at the Elmira Pioneers. And the Mohawks come back to Shuttleworth Park on Friday against the Utica Brewers in a doubleheader with both games scheduled for nine innings. The first game will start at 4:00 with Utica leading in the second inning 2-0 going all the way back to a suspended game on June 6 in Amsterdam's home opener. The second game is scheduled to start at 7:05 and will feature the fifth and final post-game fireworks spectacular of the sewason presented by St. Mary's Healthcare.

Albany is at home on Thursday with a 5:00 doubleheader against the Utica Brewers.

Listen to Amsterdam Mohawks' action all season long on 1490 WCSS and on the internet at WCSS1490.com

Notes:
- Seven Mohawks players will represent the East Division at the All-Star Game Wednesday night and will be led by head coach Keith
Griffin. The players include John Nogowski (Florida State), John Sansone (Florida State), Dylan Smith (Auburn), Jordan Ebert (Auburn), Kyle Barrett (Kentucky), Matt Snyder (Temple) and Mike Urbanski (Binghamton)

- The Amsterdam Mohawks have eight games remaining in the regular season which includes back-to-back doubleheaders on Friday and
Saturday against Utica (home) and Glens Falls (away).

- The top three teams in the East Division will qualify for the playoffs which begin on August 2. The first-place team will receive an opening-round bye.

- Amsterdam's remaining home games in the regular season are Friday, July 27 (doubleheader, post-game fireworks), Monday, July 29 and Tuesday, July 30.



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