Keith Griffin (in red) gives instruction to the Amsterdam Mohawks prior to a regular season game at Shuttleworth Park. Photo courtesy Amsterdam Mohawks
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is pleased to announce that Keith Griffin of the Amsterdam Mohawks has been selected as the 2012 PGCBL Coach of the Year.
Griffin guided the Mohawks to a magical 2012 season that included a franchise record 39 overall victories and a league championship. Between the regular season and playoffs, Amsterdam went 39-13 (.750). The Mohawks set PGCBL regular season marks for wins (35) and winning percentage (.745). Amsterdam moved into a three-way tie for first place with Newark and Albany on June 13, just one week into the season. The Mohawks remained in the catbird’s seat for the next seven weeks, finishing eight games ahead of second-place Glens Falls.
Nationally speaking, Griffin helmed the Mohawks to a spot in Perfect Game’s Summer Top 30 poll for nine-straight weeks beginning in mid-June. Amsterdam is currently ranked second in the country and the Mohawks have spent seven weeks in a row in the national top 10.
Griffin’s Mohawks earned 22 of their 35 regular season victories by three runs or more and 16 victories came in games decided by five or more runs. When the score was close, the Mohawks found a way to win. Amsterdam was 8-5 in one-run games and 13-7 in contests decided by two runs or less. The Mohawks won the longest game in the two-year history of the league on June 13 at Oneonta’s Damaschke Field. Amsterdam outlasted Oneonta 5-4 in a 15-inning marathon.
Amsterdam’s pitching staff was the best in the PGCBL. The Mohawks led the league in earned run average (3.34), wins (35), shutouts (five), innings pitched (428.1), fewest hits allowed (347), fewest runs allowed (194), fewest earned runs allowed (159), strikeouts (420) and opponents’ batting average (.223). Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) led the league in opponents’ batting average (.154) and tied for the league lead in victories (seven) and ERA (1.31). Shepherd and Rocky McCord (Auburn) tied for fifth in the league in strikeouts (50) and McCord was also among the top five in ERA (1.71) and OBA (.180). Reliever Chase Williamson (Auburn) tied for the league lead in saves (eight) and was second in appearances (20).
Eleven Mohawks were chosen to play in the 2012 PGCBL All-Star Game for Keith Griffin’s Team Griffin. Team Griffin triumphed over Team Ebright, 4-0, and Amsterdam’s Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) was the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.
Griffin’s Mohawks won 35 games and finished as league champions despite the loss of seven starting position players during the regular season. Several other Mohawks that finished the season missed at least a week due to injury. Twenty-one Mohawks had at least one at-bat and Keith Griffin, along with pitching coach Max Hutson, utilized 18 different pitchers including nine starters.
Griffin, a Pensacola, Fla., resident, just completed his fourth season as the head coach of the Mohawks. Over the last four years, Amsterdam has compiled 141 victories overall, 122 regular season victories, 19 playoff wins, three 30-win regular seasons and three league championships. Amsterdam has advanced to a league championship series four years in a row. Prior to Amsterdam, Griffin was a collegiate head coach at both Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) J.C. and Jefferson Davis (Ala.) C.C.
Coach of the Year Winners
2011 – Eric Coleman, Cooperstown
2012 – Keith Griffin, Amsterdam