NEWARK, N.Y. – The three runs Amsterdam scored in the first inning proved to be all the Mohawks would need as the three-time defending Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) champions edged Newark, 3-2, at Colburn Park on Father’s Day.
It was the first meeting between last season's division winners since the PGCBL Championship Series last August. With the win, the Mohawks extended their win streak to 10 consecutive games.
After a quick pair of ground outs in the opening frame, an error by Pilots (5-9) shortstop Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) allowed Hunter Tackett (Auburn) to reach safely and extend the inning. Justin Yurchak (Wake Forest) doubled home Tackett in the next at-bat followed by a two-run home run to right field by Gage West (Florida State).
Amsterdam (14-3) starter Evy Ruibal (Notre Dame) struck out the side in the bottom in the first and held the Pilots hitless until the fourth inning. Ruibal earned the win to improve to 1-0 on the season. He surrendered one run on three hits and eight punch outs.
James Baer (Delta) finally put the Pilots on the board in the fifth. He led off the inning vs. Ruibal with a double and was sacrificed to third by Blake Valley (San Francisco). With Willy Yahn (Connecticut) at the plate, Baer scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to two.
In the sixth, Mark Martin (Le Moyne) and Wiktorski hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with one away. Amsterdam catcher Scott Manea (North Carolina State) threw wildly into center field as Wiktorski stole second base and Martin trotted home to make it a one-run game. Wiktorski was caught stealing third to end the inning.
Nick Wegmann (Binghamton) led off the seventh with a base hit but Baer was unable to sacrifice him to second. Relief pitcher Joe Nellis (Herkimer C.C.) fielded the bunt and threw Wegmann out at second on the fielder’s choice. Valley hit into an untimely double play to end the seventh. With a full count, Baer took off for second base on the pitch, but Valley flew out to right fielder Aidan McDermott (St. John’s), who then threw to first before Baer could tag up.
Kyle Smith (North Carolina State) struck out the side in the ninth after issuing a two-out walk to Kyle Norman (San Francisco) to secure the win and his second save of the season.
Newark starter Patrick Ryan (Iona) took the loss and is now 0-2 this season. He allowed the three unearned runs in the first inning but settled in and tossed seven complete innings. He surrendered five hits and fanned five without a walk on 83 pitches.
West and Yurchak each collected two hits for the visiting Mohawks while Martin led the home club with a pair of hits.
The Pilots and Mohawks are both off on Monday, June 22 and will reach resume play at home on Tuesday, June 23. Amsterdam plays host to Adirondack at 6:35 p.m. at Shuttleworth Park while the Pilots host the West-Division leading Elmira Pioneers at 7:05 p.m.