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PGCBL Dugout Chatter Week 3

Newark's Randy Villa (courtesy Newark Pilots/Steve Plopper)
Photo, right: Newark's Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta) slams a home run at Colburn Park against the Watertown Wizards on July 1. Also pictured are Watertown catcher A.J. Capone (Saint Rose), home plate umpire Clayton Hamn and on-deck batter Nick Parent (UCSB).

Albany Dutchmen
Overall: 6-11 (.353), Third PGCBL East…Week 3: 2-5 (.286)
Following a week that consisted largely of rain outs, the Dutchmen played seven games including two doubleheaders, one at Watertown and one at Glens Falls. The team finished the week on a high note with a 6-1 romp over now second-place Amsterdam and a doubleheader split with nationally-ranked Glens Falls…The victory over Amsterdam ended a five-game losing streak; two of Albany’s six wins are over Amsterdam…Newcomer Joey Boney (Cypress) made a major impact. Boney batted .556 over three games and went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in his Dutch debut. Boney recently finished his JUCO career at Cypress, he will play at Loyola Marymount next season…Brandon Trinkwon (UCSB) has been Albany’s hottest hitter. He socked nine hits and stole six bases last week in games against Watertown and Glens Falls…Catcher Dain McNabb (MTSU) leads the team with six multi-hit games and a .405 batting average…Several new players joined the team including infielder Joey Boney, pitcher Damon Valloreo (Burlington County C.C.) and pitcher Zach Robinson (Miami, Fla.)…Robinson earned a win in his first appearance at Amsterdam. He pitched one and one-third scoreless innings…The Capital District club has scored at least six runs in five of six victories…Albany is outscoring opponents 18-1 in the first inning however the team is 1-4 in one-run games…Relievers Preston Hill (Chandler-Gilbert C.C.), Austin Chase (Albany) and Tanner Barron (Trinity, Texas) each have an ERA under 2.50 coming out of the Albany pen. Chase leads the team with 14 strikeouts and he earned a victory in his first start of the summer against Glens Falls on Saturday…The Dutchmen have played 17 games total,10 of which have been at Bob Bellizzi Field – Albany is 3-7 overall at home.

Amsterdam Mohawks
Overall: 11-10 (.524), Second PGCBL East…Week 3: 5-3 (.625)
What a difference a week makes? The Tribe reeled off six wins in eight games to vault up into second place in the PGCBL East, just a few games behind nationally-ranked Glens Falls…Amsterdam won three out of four games from rival Mohawk Valley, a fourth was halted because of fog, and took two out of three from Newark – this included a rain-shortened victory…The week ended with three-straight triumphs and the team is 6-3 in its’ last nine games (not including Monday)…After a slow start, the Amsterdam offense has heated up and scored 39 runs – including 12 against Mohawk Valley in the opening game of a twin bill on Saturday night…Meanwhile Tribe pitchers posted two shutouts and now have three for the year. Kris Barone (Mt. Olive) tossed five shutout frames in a rain-shortened affair with Newark on June 28 and then Austin Salter (Cisco) combined with Derrick Brewer (Radford) and Abram Williams (Radford) for a shutout of Mohawk Valley on July 2 in the night cap of a twin bill…Luke Maile (Kentucky, pronounced MAY-LEE), a member of the 2010 Mohawks, rejoined the team at the tail end of the week. The UK backstop had been playing with the Cape Cod League’s Cotuit Kettleers…Despite the rotten weather, the Mohawks are averaging 1,411 fans per game at Shuttleworth Park. Nearly 2,000 showed up for fireworks on Sunday evening despite a late start because of rain…The Mohawks have already played in seven one-run games this season and are 4-3…Outfielder Josh Nethaway (Albany) is the first Amsterdam batter to reach double digits in RBI this season, he has 10.

Cooperstown Hawkeyes
Overall: 10-7 (.588), Second PGCBL West…Week 3: 5-1 (.714)
Like Amsterdam, Cooperstown has been among the hottest teams in the PGCBL. The Hawkeyes went 4-1 in regularly-scheduled games last week and added a victory over Newark in a resumed game from June 24…The Hawkeyes are 7-2 in their last nine games (not including Monday) …Doubleday Field has been friendly confines for the Hawkeyes, the team is 7-1 at the Cooperstown ball yard with just one loss at home in June to Glens Falls…Speedster Coleman Barron (Davidson) leads the PGCBL in stolen bases with over two swipes per game…Connor Lewis (USC Sumter) has had one of the hottest bats for the Hawkeyes. He slammed two home runs, drove in six and batted .450 last week…As a team, the Otsegans batted .289 in five games and slugged eight home runs – Lewis, Bryan Aanderud (Cypress), Danny Nelson (CSU Monterey Bay) and Nate Izzo (Tufts) each swatted two…Collin Blankenship (South Alabama) tossed the first complete game of the season for Cooperstown with a complete game victory at Watertown on Saturday night…Speaking of Watertown, the Hawkeyes are 8-1 all-time against their neighbors in the North Country…Danny Nelson leads the team with seven multi-hit games while Conor Lewis finished the week on an overall eight-game hit streak…Nelson also leads the team in batting average (.373), hits (22), runs scored (15) and walks (13)…Utility player J.P. Sportman (Central Conn. State) was signed and joined the team in the middle of the week. Sportman was a highly-regarded high school standout at Albany’s LaSalle Insitute…Thirty-two of Cooperstown’s 87 runs have been scored between the seventh and ninth innings. The Hawkeyes penned late rallies against Amsterdam (two runs in the last of the ninth), Albany (three runs combined in the seventh and eighth) and Newark (three runs in the last of the eighth).

Elmira Pioneers
Overall: 12-8 (.600), First PGCBL West…Week 3: 5-2 (.714)
No offense has been more prolific than Elmira’s in the first three weeks of the PGCBL season. The Pios have plated 140 scores over 20 games for an average of seven runs per contest. Elmira is batting .294 as a team with 202 hits including 66 extra-base hits (48 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs)…Justin Lacy (Longwood), David Bishop (Miss. State) and Aaron Hopper (Marietta) each have at least 19 RBI and are all batting over .300..Bishop’s six home runs lead the league as do Lacy’s mind-boggling 25 RBI…Shortstop Ryan Normoyle (Wash, Md.) is the offensive catalyst with 30 hits, 21 runs, eight stolen bases and a .424 OBP. Normoyle has already amassed 11 multi-hit efforts and he currently holds an eight-game hit streak. He strung together six-straight games with multiple hits between June 26 and July 1…The Pioneers split a two-game home series with nationally-ranked Glens Falls in the middle of the week…Elmira is 10-3 since beginning the season 2-5…In all five wins last week, the Pios scored at least six runs and hit double digits three times…Meanwhile, pitcher Jordan Carter (St. Joseph’s, Pa.) tossed the first complete game shutout in PGCBL history with a five-hit shutout of Mohawk Valley on June 27. Carter added an 11-strikeout game at Newark to notch the PGCBL Pitcher of the Week prize. Jordan Carter, David Bishop, Justin Lacy and Aaron Hopper have all earned PGCBL weekly awards…The Pios have outscored opponents 27-10 in the fourth inning and 25-5 in the seventh…Zac Bellinger (VCU-2011), an Elmira native, slugged a home run in his first PGCBL at-bat against Glens Falls; he finished his debut 1-for-3 with two walks…Reliever Cody Lillich (Niagara) might have come through with the relief outing of the week for the Pios. He pitched six and two-thirds innings at Cooperstown and allowed one run on seven hits in a 10-4 victory; Lillich entered in the first with his team down 3-0.

Glens Falls Golden Eagles
Overall: 13-6 (.684), First PGCBL East…Week 3: 3-4 (.429)
The 12th-ranked Golden Eagles cooled off after a white-hot start of 10 wins in 12 games. The Green and Gold dropped a pair of high-scoring shootouts to Newark and Elmira and were blitzed at home by Watertown. Though the team did recover and finish the week with two wins in their final three games…Reliever Kevin Cowan (Albany) has made 10 appearances and is 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA…Starter Derek Mazzio (Saint Louis) has a 1.48 ERA over four starts with 33 strikeouts to four walks in 24.1 innings…The Golden Eagles are second in the league in batting average (.281) however have a 4.81 team ERA which is higher than a 4.75 opponents’ ERA…Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) and David Olson (Tacoma CC) have combined for seven saves; both are also hitting over .300 and have two home runs, 15 RBI and 40 hits between them…Josh Anderson (Yavapai) stands second in the league with five home runs and 21 RBI; Anderson slugged three of Glens Falls’ eight home runs last week…Anderson has seven multi-RBI games and six multi-hit performances…Ricky Claudio (St. Thomas, Fla.) has the most multi-hit games (seven)…Outfielder Cody Lewis (San Diego), on the season-opening roster, finally arrived from California. He pinch hit in his Golden Eagle debut…The team batted .296 last week and scored 71 runs but allowed 81 scores and a .332 opponents’ batting average. David Olson, Josh Anderson, Kyle Ruchim and Ricky Claudio each had at least 10 hits…East Field has been kind to the Golden Eagles this season. The team is 7-2 at East Field and 6-4 on the road…The last two innings of games have been interesting for the Eagles. Glens Falls is outscoring opponents, 15-5, in the eighth inning but being outscored, 13-3, in the ninth…In two run or less games, Glens Falls is 7-3…The number 12 national ranking is the highest that the Golden Eagles have had in three seasons of the poll…Manager John Mayotte is four victories away from 200 in his career with the Golden Eagles. Heading into this week, Mayotte has 196 wins at the helm for Glens Falls. He is in his eighth season with the franchise and is the only head coach in team history.

Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs
Overall: 5-11 (.313), Fourth PGCBL East…Week 3: 0-7 (.000)
The Dawgs found themselves in the muck last week and may welcome the calendar turning to a new month…Mohawk River rival Amsterdam was one of the main causes of a down week as the Tribe pocketed three wins over the Dawgs in three games, a fourth was halted in the sixth because of fog…Tyler Townsend (Kentucky) saw his season-opening hitting streak come to an end at 15 games. Townsend had at least one hit in Mohawk Valley’s first 15 games; he posted five multi-hit efforts and cracked 21 hits total to the tune of a .318 batting average…Dustin Stanton (So. Maine) threw the first complete game of the season for the Dawgs against Glens Falls on July 1. Stanton allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked none and struck out nine. The second-year Mohawk Valley pitcher has a 2.29 ERA, 12 strikeouts and one walk in 19.2 innings however he has yet to record a winning decision…Off the field, the team is among the league leaders in attendance with 1,126 fans per game over eight home contests…Catcher Zach Ciccotti (MVCC) leads the team with a .385 batting average…Reliever Tyler Kane (Washington) has not allowed a run in five appearances and has five strikeouts in five innings pitched…Mike Fasolo (MVCC) made his summer mound debut at Cooperstown on June 29. He slugged a home run to start the game and then held the Hawkeyes to three runs over four innings pitched…Five DiamondDawgs have started every game this summer – Tyler Townsend, Cullen Wacker (Auburn), Dave Soltis (Bryant), Mike Fasolo and Hassan Evans (HCCC)…The DiamondDawgs recently picked up infielder Colin Monagle (Jacksonville) from Jacksonville, Fla.

Newark Pilots
Overall: 8-10 (.444), Tied for third PGCBL West…Week 3: 3-4* (.429)
A back-and-forth week saw the Pilots never too high and never too low with no more than two wins in a row and no back-to-back losses. After two-straight games of 13 innings with Watertown and Cooperstown on June 25 and 26, the Pilots scored three times in their final at-bat to surprise nationally-ranked Glens Falls at East Field on June 27. A three-game road swing to Glens Falls and Amsterdam saw the Pilots buzz to a 2-1 record…Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta) was a one-man wrecking crew with a .522 batting average, one home run and eight RBI in six regularly-scheduled games…The Pilots played a seventh game which was the conclusion of a halted affair at Cooperstown on June 24…Heading into this week, Randy Villa leads the league in batting average (.422) and Dominick Ruscitti (Kutztown) is first in the loop in ERA (1.16)…Villa leads the Pilots in almost every major category including batting average, hits (27), home runs, RBI (18), slugging percentage (.513), on-base percentage (.513), multi-hit games (eight) and multi-RBI games (five)…Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge) finished last week with an overall eight-game hit streak…Newark is 3-1 against division-rival Watertown; Dominick Ruscitti has two wins over the Wizards…The Pilots are 4-3 in one-run games however 1-5 in five+-run games…At the gate, the first-year franchise is averaging 1,071 fans per game…Offensively, the Wayne County side has hit the ball well – just two times in 18 games has the team been held to fewer than five hits. Last week alone, the Pilots mashed out 50 hits and reached double digits in hits three times. The lone low effort came in a rain-shortened affair at Amsterdam…Mike Saunders (Saginaw Valley State) turned in his best performance of the season at Amsterdam, one night after the Pilots were slammed 8-0. Saunders struck out nine over seven and two-thirds innings and yielded three runs in a 4-3 victory. The next night, Carson Beauchaine (Saginaw Valley State) fanned 11 over seven and two-thirds frames and yielded two runs on two hits in a no decision. Beauchaine carried a no-hitter into the sixth.

Watertown Wizards
Overall: 8-10 (.444), Tied for third PGCBL West…Week 3: 5-2 (.714)
The Purple and Gold turned things around 180 degrees last week and while remained on the low end of the PGCBL West standings, improved from 3-8 to 8-10 within the time frame of just seven days. The Wiz Kids swept a three-game set with Albany and then smashed nationally-ranked Glens Falls at East Field. After back-to-back losses to division foes Cooperstown and Newark, Watertown finished the week with a win over division-leader Elmira at Duffy Fairgrounds…In five wins, the Wiz scored 51 runs…Larry Balkwill (Siena) had a monster week at the plate and batted .560 (1.120 SLG) to earn the PGCBL Player of the Week award. Balkwill hit for the cycle in Watertown’s romp over Glens Falls which included 17 runs on 24 hits – one of the best single-game offensive outputs in franchise history. Balkwill had almost hit for the cycle two days earlier, missing by a triple at Albany…Lost in the offensive fireworks at Glens Falls was a strong six-inning outing from recent acquisition Austin Southall (Chipola), a 19th-round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2010…Kaleb Barlow (Chipola), a 2010 Colorado Rockies draft pick, arrived in the North Country at the start of the week. Barlow hit .333 in seven games, socked seven hits and scored seven runs…Jake McGuiggan (Harvard) and Erick Gaylord (Campbell) each turned in strong plate performances last week – McGuiggan hit .474 with five RBI and six runs; Gaylord drove in nine runs, belted two home runs and batted .400 (10-for-25)…The Wizards are 1-6 in one-run games…Watertown was outscored, 14-1, in the first inning last week but outscored opponents 12-4, 14-2 and 15-2 in each of the next three frames…Erick Gaylord leads the team with 20 RBI in 18 games. He is four RBI shy of moving into the top four in franchise history.


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