The Watertown Wizards are among the league’s bottom feeders in pitching, except when they play the Mohawks. For the second time this season a Wizards hurler stifled the Mohawks lineup behind the strength of a complete game. It took Scott Whitehead (Canisius) a mere one hour and fifty-four minutes to blank Amsterdam on just four hits and guide the last place Wizards to a 2-0 win at Alex T. Duffy Field.
Although, when it was all said and done, Whitehead needed just a single run in support of his gem, he got two and they both came in the third. Jake McGuiggan (Harvard) lined a leadoff homerun over the leftfield fence and four batters later Erick Gaylord (Campbell) drove in his league leading 40th R.B.I when he grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Sharing the hill with Whitehead for the early stages of Thursday’s contest was Ryan Harper (College of St. Rose), and his performance opened some eyes. Aside from his third inning hiccup, the freshman retired the side in order in three of the four innings he pitched, he struck out two and walked one in his Mohawks debut.
Amsterdam got an early chance against Whitehead after Andrew Green (East Tennessee State) singled to start the game and moved to second on Zach Shank’s (Marist) sacrifice bunt. But Jude Vidrine (Lamar) and Luke Maile (Kentucky) both flied to center to keep scoreboard clean.
After the Green single, Whitehead retired the next 14 batters he faced until Josh Alexander (Utah) slashed a two-out knock through the middle in the fifth. The Arizona native stole second to get himself into scoring position but was stranded there when Brad Picha (Paris J.C.) grounded out to second base.
Ethan Selby (Fulton-Montgomery C.C.) was the second Mohawk to make his season debut when he appeared in relief of Harper to start the fifth. The righty shook off a leadoff double from McGuiggan by getting the next three hitters in order to end the frame.
Patrick Puentes (Holy Cross) nearly added to the two-run lead when he stepped into the box with a man on second and two down in the sixth. The lefty smashed a liner toward the center of the diamond but fortunately for Selby it found the mitt of shortstop Zach Shank and ended the threat.
In the seventh, Selby left Angel Rosa (Alcorn State) at third by striking out Pat Talbut (St. John’s) to mark his second punch-out of his outing.
Two nights ago the Mohawks overcame a two run deficit against these same Wizards with a walk of win in the bottom of the ninth at Shuttleworth. On Thursday, Amsterdam tried to build another ninth inning threat. Shank hammered a single through the middle to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs, however, Vidrine flied out, Maile bounced into a fielder’s choice, and Parker Morin (Utah) taped out to the first base to end the ballgame.
Whitehead completed the game by facing just 32 Mohawk batters. With the win, the Wizards move to 16-25 and the loss drops the Mohawks to 27-15.
The Mohawks host Mohawk Valley Friday night at 7:00.