Photo courtesy Amsterdam Mohawks/Jon Sargalis
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) launched a third-inning home run and nine pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout to lead Team Griffin to a 4-0 victory over Team Ebright in the 2012 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game at Shutteworth Park.
The second-annual PGCBL All-Star Game pitted Team Griffin, led by Amsterdam Mohawks head coach Keith Griffin, against Team Ebright, a squad skippered by Newark Pilots head coach Chris Ebright.
Papaccio, a member of the Amsterdam Mohawks playing in front of his home crowd, broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning. In his first at-bat, which came against Chris Rogers (Oklahoma Baptist) of the Newark Pilots, Papaccio belted a high-arching blast over Shuttleworth Park’s “Chain Monster” in left field to give Team Griffin a 1-0 lead.
Papaccio added a single up the middle in the fifth inning. He played the entire game for Team Griffin and finished 2-for-4. Papaccio spent most of the night at shortstop and he switched to second base in the ninth inning.
The solo home run by Papaccio was the only offense that Team Griffin would need. Nine pitchers, throwing one inning apiece, combined on a three-hit shutout, the first shutout in PGCBL All-Star Game history. Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) of the Amsterdam Mohawks, the league’s leader in ERA and co-leader in victories, started for Team Griffin. Shepherd faced four batters, induced three ground outs and allowed just a two-out double to Elmira's Steven Patterson (San Joaquin Delta).
Mark Leiter (NJIT) of Amsterdam and Oneonta’s Sheldon Lee (U. San Francisco) followed Shepherd. Each yielded one hit but did not allow a run to score. The duo combined to strand five Team Ebright runners on base. Lee was also the lone pitcher to pick a runner off of first base. Watertown’s Bryan Chudy (Clarkson) was the first Team Griffin hurler to retire the side in order.
Amsterdam’s Rocky McCord (Auburn), Cooperstown’s Raleigh Rushing (Cypress), Jared Cheek (Ga. Southern) of Glens Falls, Oneonta’s Jeremy Rhoades (Illinois State) and Albany's Trevor Lacosse (Bryant) each threw one hitless inning of relief. Both Rushing and Rhoades struck out two and Lacosse, who has not allowed an earned run all summer, pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
Team Griffin added to its’ lead in the sixth inning against Kole Mickolio (Utah Valley) of Watertown. Amsterdam’s Demarcus Henderson (Mississippi State) drew a one-out walk and stole second. Mohawks’ teammate Josh Nethaway (UAlbany) pushed Henderson to third with a base hit into left field. The next batter, Cooperstown’s Quinn Pippin (Tulane), brought home Henderson from third with a chopper up the middle. It was mis-handled and allowed Pippin to reach base safely.
The final runs for Team Griffin crossed the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning. The final half-frame was played, even with the home team ahead, so that all the scheduled pitchers for the game could throw at least one inning. Mike Vigliarolo (Saint Louis) of Glens Falls worked a one-out walk against Newark’s Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta). Two batters later, Brandon Cipolla of Watertown smacked a high line drive over the "Chain Monster" in left field for a two-run home run.
For Team Griffin, Brandon Cipolla and Giuseppe Papaccio each hit a home run and ended the night with two hits. Neither man participated in the Home Run Derby prior to the All-Star Game. Oneonta’s Shane Crain (Louisville) and Mohawk Valley's Tyler Heck (Union, N.Y.) each had one hit.
Steven Patterson of the Elmira Pioneers tallied two of three hits recorded by Team Ebright. Patterson blooped a doubel into left field in the first inning that appeared to be lost in the sun by Watertown's Brandon Cipolla (Holy Cross). Patterson singled to right field in his second at-bat. Chase Griffin (Georgia Southern) added an infield single up the middle in the second inning.
Oneonta’s David Sosebee (Georgia) started for Team Ebright. He yielded a pair of base hits but struck out the side. Sosebee was the lone pitcher to record three strikeouts in the game. Watertown’s Jonathan Perez (St. Mary’s, Texas), Mohawk Valley’s Aaron Casper (Canisius) and James Yacabonis (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.) each tossed one scoreless inning of relief.
Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.) was the only pitcher for either team to work two innings. Thorpe struck out two and allowed just one hit, a two-out single in the fifth to Amsterdam’s Giuseppe Papaccio.
Team Ebright threatened to score on several occasions. In the second inning, Alberto Morales (Clarendon) of Glens Falls worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Amsterdam’s Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT). The next batter, Chase Griffin of the Golden Eagles, cued a single up the middle that was knocked down behind second base by shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio. With runners on the corners in a scoreless game, Mark Leiter, the PGCBL all-time strikeout leader, fanned two batters in a row to end the inning.
The most exciting play of the night came in the third with Oneonta’s Sheldon Lee on the mound. Team Ebright used a Steven Patterson base hit and a pair of walks issued by Lee to load the bases with two outs. Ross Kivett (Kansas State), who earned a one-out walk earlier in the inning, attempted to steal home with Glens Falls teammate Alberto Morales batting. Sheldon Lee’s throw home was snared by catcher Zak Colby (Faulkner) who applied a tag to a sliding Kivett for the third and final out of the frame.
Prior to the All-Star Game, the PGCBL Home Run Derby was won by Cooperstown’s Tyler Mautner (Buffalo). Mautner defeated Albany’s Morgan Phillips (Charleston), 5-4, in the final round. The five semifinalists included Phillips, Mautner, Elmira’s Steven Patterson, Amsterdam’s Josh Nethaway and Mohawk Valley’s Chris Cruz (Cornell). Cruz, the Week 5 PGCBL Player of the Week, had the best round of the Home Run Derby. He hammered six home runs in the first round and that included five in a row over the right field fence.