The record books for the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League are still new and ever-changing. Saturday night at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam, N.Y., Watertown's Erick Gaylord (Campbell) posted a PGCBL performance that may never be topped.
In a game between the Amsterdam Mohawks and the Watertown Wizards, Gaylord belted four home runs and finished 5-for-5 with seven RBI. All four home runs were crucial as the Wizards defeated the nationally-ranked Mohawks, 9-8.
"That guy was Superman tonight," Amsterdam head coach Keith Griffin said of Gaylord in the Amsterdam Recorder News. "That's as good as you'll see."
Gaylord entered Saturday night's affair with three home runs in his first 30 games. He was the second batter of the contest in the top of the first inning. Lead-off batter Alex Maldonado (Holy Cross) was hit by a pitch. Gaylord followed with a two-run home run to right field. The Watertown center fielder returned to the plate in the third inning with two outs and his team ahead 3-0. Gaylord clobbered a two-out pitch over Shuttleworth Park's massive "Chain Monster" in left field. The lone at-bat Gaylord recorded without a home run came during the fifth inning. He singled with one out.
Amsterdam rallied to take a 6-4 lead through six innings. The Atlanta, Ga., native stepped up to the plate in the seventh with a runner on second (Maldonado) and no outs. Gaylord cleared the left-field fence for a second time with a two-run belt that tied the game at six. Watertown scored once in the eighth on an Alex Maldonado RBI single to go ahead by one. According to the Amsterdam press release: "When Gaylord stepped back into the right-handed batters' box with a man on second and two out, there was a buzz at Shuttleworth Park as more than 2,000 viewers wondered if he would go deep again." The Campbell University rising senior had one last blast in his wooden bat as he clubbed his fourth home run of the game and third over Shuttleworth Park's "Chain Monster."
"It felt great," Gaylord told the Leader-Herald. "I just tried to keep the same approach - try to stay up the middle every time - and I just got a little out in front and caught it and put a good swing on it. It just worked out and I put four good swings on [the ball] tonight."
Through 31 games played for the Wizards, Gaylord has a .355 batting average, seven home runs and 34 RBI. His Saturday night performance smashed Watertown single-game franchise records for home runs and RBI. With 17 games remaining in the regular season, Gaylord is on the verge of setting several Watertown single-season records. He is tied for first in single-season home runs and second in runs batted in. Gaylord needs just two RBI to break the team mark, a record that was set in 2005. Only two other players in the 11-year history of the franchise have driven in at least 30 runs.
Game Box Score
Erick Gaylord's PGCBL Bio