Amsterdam's Dylan Dwyer (Kentucky, pictured) struck out 11 batters over the first six innings of Game 1. Photo courtesy Tom Manginelli/Amsterdam Mohawks
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – The Amsterdam Mohawks scored six two-out runs between the sixth and eighth innings en route to a 6-3 comeback win over the Elmira Pioneers in Game 1 of the 2013 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park. Amsterdam took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The Mohawks and Pioneers will play Game 2 of the series on Wednesday night at Elmira’s Dunn Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Elmira starting pitcher Victor Diaz (Old Dominion) shut down the Amsterdam bats through the first five innings. Between the third and sixth innings, Diaz retired 10-straight Amsterdam batters. While Diaz was mowing through the Amsterdam batsmen, the Pioneers amassed a 2-0 lead on Amsterdam starting pitcher Dylan Dwyer (Kentucky). Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg) led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run and Parker Curry (Samford) added a two-out RBI single in the fifth.
The Mohawks came to life in the sixth with a two-out rally that was sparked by a John Nogowski (Florida State) infield single. Pinch hitter Devin Wenzel (Cincinnati) followed with a flare over the top of Elmira first baseman Ryan Plantier (Cornell) that allowed John Nogowski (Florida State) to move from first to third on a two-out single. The next batter, Josh Gardiner (Radford) hit a hard ground ball to the left side that was knocked down by shortstop Parker Curry however his Nogowski was able to score from third and Curry’s throw sailed away from first baseman Ryan Plantier which allowed Gardiner to advance to second and Wenzel to third. A walk to Ed Charlton (NJIT) prolonged the inning and brought up John Sansone (Florida State) with the bases loaded. Sansone, the eighth batter of the inning and the sixth with two outs, smashed a line drive into right-center field off the glove of a leaping Brian Bashara (Old Dominion) that scored both Wenzel and Gardiner to give Amsterdam a 3-2 lead.
Elmira’s Parker Curry recorded his second two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh inning off of Amsterdam relief pitcher Zach Breen (Schenectady County C.C.) to tie the game, 3-3. Amsterdam took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh with a second two-out rally. Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) reached first safely on an attempted sacrifice bunt which turned into a fielders’ choice as Keith Skinner (Fairfield) was forced out at second. Barrett, who stole 18 bases during the regular season, took second with Jordan Ebert (Auburn) at the plate. Elmira reliever Brandon Diorio (Ithaca) forced Ebert to fly out into right field for the second out. John Nogowski, who kick-started Amsterdam’s sixth-inning rally, delivered his second two-out hit, an RBI single into left-center field that scored Barrett with the tiebreaking run.
Amsterdam pulled away in the bottom of the eighth inning with two more runs on one two-out hit. Walks to Ed Charlton and Brian Ruby (Binghamton) sandwiched around two strikeouts by Elmira reliever Zach Bican (Pitt-Bradford) placed Mohawks on first and second with two outs. Ruby was intentionally walked by Elmira so that the Pioneers could set up for a potential inning-ending force out. Instead, Keith Skinner (Fairfield) blasted a double down the left-field line that scored Charlton from second and Ruby from first to put the Mohawks ahead by three.
While Amsterdam’s two-out hitting was one story, the other was Amsterdam’s pitching. Starter Dylan Dwyer (Kentucky) struck out 11 batters over six innings and five Mohawks pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts. Dwyer allowed two runs on five hits and walked three. He struck out the side in the second, third and sixth innings and had at least one strikeout in five of his six frames. Winning pitcher Chris Kalica (St. John’s 2013-14) struck out the only batter he faced in the top of the seventh. Set-up man Zach Quayle (Ave Maria) struck out two in the eighth and closer Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) fanned Elmira’s final two batters to close out the game.
John Nogowski finished 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored and Keith Skinner went 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace Amsterdam’s 11-hit attack. Josh Gardiner scored one run for the Mohawks and drove in another. Six different Amsterdam position players tallied one run each.
Elmira starter Victor Diaz allowed three runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings. He walked none and struck out five in his second postseason start for the Pioneers. Brandon Diorio was charged with the loss. He pitched 1.1 innings and conceded Amsterdam’s go-ahead run in the seventh on two hits. Zach Bican struck out the side in the side eighth but was charged with two runs on one hit.
Parker Curry was Elmira’s top offensive performer. Curry smacked a pair of two-out RBI singles and finished 2-for-5. Chris Knott clouted the only home run of the game and collected two outs. Ryan Plantier singled, doubled and walked in five plate appearances.