Things just did not go the way of the Mohawks on Wednesday night. Amsterdam committed three errors, had a runner thrown out at the plate, another nabbed off of first after a failed sacrifice bunt, and the bullpen was unable to hang on to a ninth inning lead in a 4-3 loss to the Pilots at Colburn Park on Wednesday night.
Andrew Green (East Tennessee State) had the Hawks off to a raging start as he led off the game with a sharp single through the middle, after Michael Bolling (Lewis) misplayed the ball in centerfield, Green stood on third. Zach Shank (Marist) then chopped a bounding ball at third baseman Matt Vera (San Juaquin Delta) on which Green tried to score. But Vera’s throw home was in plenty of time to nip a hustling Green at the plate.
Mohawk’s starter Jimmy Dykstra (LSU) was nearly untouchable until he was marked by a couple of unearned runs in the fifth – emanating from a Shank error. After uncorking a wild pitch that allowed Vera to score from third and put two more runners in scoring position, Dykstra’s night was finished after 4.2 innings. Mike Dodakian (Dartmouth) inherited the jam and came on to strikeout the PGCBL’s top hitter Randy Villa (San Juaquin Delta) to freeze the score at 2-0.
On the other side, Justin D’amato (St. John Fisher) knifed through the Amsterdam lineup as he retired 16 of the 17 batters he faced from the end of the second through the top of the seventh. But Amsterdam refused to go quietly. Taylor Stark (Mississippi State) walked to start the eighth, an out later his college teammate Demarcus Henderson (Mississippi State) earned his own base-on-balls. Green laid down a sacrifice bunt which allowed Shank a bit of atonement.
Zach had committed an error at shortstop in the fifth which led to Amsterdam’s two run deficit. The sophomore out of Maris quickly leveled the score by slicing a single through the right side of the infield to tie the game at two – he advanced to second on the throw home.
After Shank’s heroics, Parker Morin (Utah) plated him when he reached on an error by shortstop Jacob Starnes (UT Dallas) and helped the Mohawks take their first lead, 3-2.
With a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, Kody Ortman (Auburn) led off with a single and was lifted in favor of pinch-runner Chuck Schlegel (Wake Forest). Matt Mack (Radford) popped up an attempted sacrifice bunt that was snagged by Vera at third base, he quickly fired to first and doubled off Schlegel to suffocate the threat.
Leading 3-2 headed into the bottom of the ninth, Head Coach Keith Griffin called upon his closer Abram Williams (Radford). Williams allowed a single to Bolling then fanned Greg Schworm (Finger Lakes C.C.) after the catcher was unable to provide a sacrifice bunt. Ninth place hitter Matt Vera connected with the second single of the inning to put two men on base. Williams then walked the leadoff hitter Luke Swenson (UC Santa Barbara) to load the bases. With the infield back Ray Delvalle (Kentucky Wesleyan) tied the game when he grounded out to third. Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge) made himself the final batter of the ballgame by singling into right-field to give the Pilots a 4-3 triumph.
The loss drops the Mohawks to 22-14 while the Pilots advance to 19-15 with the victory. The same teams will meet tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM for the final game of the two-game series.