PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 10, 2013

Mohawk Valley's Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) is ruled safe at home in Tuesday night's game against Glens Falls. Also picture is Glens Falls catcher James Smith (Saint Peter's). Photo courtesy Jon Rathburn/Little Falls Times

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Note: Individual game box scores can be found linked on the scoreboard page which is part of the “Statistics” drop-down menu. The box scores are also linked on the statistics page for each team.

Last Night’s Scores
Albany 4 Utica 1 (Game 1)
Albany 9 Utica 7 (Game 2)
Watertown 12 Adirondack 5
Glens Falls 6 Mohawk Valley 2 (7)
Amsterdam 4 Cooperstown 2
Elmira 3 Newark 2

Tonight’s Games
Adirondack at Cooperstown, 5:00 PM
Glens Falls at Elmira, 7:05 PM
Utica at Mohawk Valley, 7:05 PM
Amsterdam at Albany, 7:05 PM
Watertown at Newark, 7:15 PM

*Not including today, there are 21 days remaining in the 2013 PGCBL regular season.

*Two weeks from today, Newark’s Colburn Park will host the PGCBL All-Star Game.

* The soggy summer continues in the PGCBL. Thankfully rain did not impact the completion of the schedule on Tuesday and all six games were finished. Rain washed away the final few scheduled innings of a game in Little Falls between the Glens Falls Golden Eagles and the Mohawk Valley DIamondDawgs. However, the game was official when the rain started.

*Garrett DeGallier (Tacoma C.C.) scored six runs in a 3-1 week last week for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. His hot streak continued on Tuesday night against Mohawk Valley. DeGallier tripled twice and went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI in a 6-2 victory. DeGallier’s two triples tied a league single-game record. He cranked a lead-off triple to start the game and then immediately scored on a Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) sacrifice fly. DeGallier then erased a 2-1 Mohawk Valley lead in the fifth with his second triple of the game, a two-out, two-run swat.

*Tuesday’s game featured a back-and-forth duel between outfielders Garrett DeGallier (Tacoma C.C.) of Glens Falls and Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) of Mohawk Valley. DeGallier provided the Golden Eagles leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the seven-inning affair. Landon Thibodeaux was responsible for both Mohawk Valley tallies. He banged out an RBI single in the fifth inning and then scored all the way from on an errant pick-off throw to first to give the Dawgs a 2-1 lead.

*Mohawk Valley’s running game is one of the most potent in the PGCBL. The Dawgs have swiped 70 bases on 89 attempts. Tuesday, James Smith (Saint Peter’s) of the Eagles slowed down the Dawgs. He cut down three MV runners attempting to steal and conceded just one stolen base. For the season, Smith has thrown out 14 of 30 runners attempting to steal for a 46.7% success rate.

*Zach Merciez (Missouri State) of the Eagles earned an unconventional six-out save on Tuesday. Merceiz relieved starter Fernando Fernandez-Beltran (Vanier) in the fifth inning with the Eagles ahead, 3-2. He pitched two scoreless frames and set down six-straight batters. While the game was called in the seventh inning, Merciez still earned the save in a four-run game because he was the game finisher for the winning team and came in with the potential tying run on deck.

*Two of the best pitching performances on Tuesday night came in the opening game of Utica and Albany’s doubleheader at Donovan Stadium. Sean Spicer (Baylor) went the distance for the Dutchmen and threw a three-hitter in a 4-1 victory. Spicer scattered three hits, walked two and struck out a season-high seven. Utica reliever Cod y Miller (UT Martin) entered in the fourth inning in replacement of starter Monte Reese (Georgia Gwinett). Miller slung four perfect innings of near-perfect, no-hit relief. He yielded one walk and struck out five.

*Albany’s Sean Spicer (Baylor) matched Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) for the most victories on the road in the PGCBL this season. Spicer, 3-0, has won all three decisions away from Bob Bellizzi Field. The mid-week starter for the Bears has road triumphs over Glens Falls, Newark and Utica. In each victory, Spicer and company have held the opposition to two runs or less. Overall for the season, Spicer is 3-0 with a 2.18 earned run average over six appearances. He has 26 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. The Texan leads his team in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts.

*The Dutchmen recorded their second doubleheader sweep of the season on Tuesday night in Utica. Albany took both ends of a non-traditional doubleheader at home with Amsterdam on June 20, winning both games in extra innings. Albany last swept a road doubleheader in PGCBL play from the Newark Pilots on July 12, 2011 at Colburn Park.

*Tyler Orris (Millersville) and Bradley Noland (North Alabama) combined to drive in seven runs in Albany’s doubleheader sweep. In the opening game, Noland singled home one run and scored another in a decisive third inning. Orris added an RBI fielders’ choice in the fourth. In the night cap, Noland drove in two runs without recording a hit while Orris went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Noland beat out a double-play ball in the second to bring home one run on a fielders’ choice and then he added a second RBI in the fourth on a near double-play groundout. Orris dinged a two-run double as part of a three-run third inning and then clobbered an RBI single in the seventh to help the Dutch put the game out of reach.

*Utica’s Michael Pierson (App. State) feasted on Albany pitching. Pierson finished the doubleheader 4-for-6 with three runs scored, three doubles and one RBI. In the opener, the league’s leader in batting average went 2-for-3 with one double and one run scored. He had two of Utica’s three hits against Albany starter Sean Spicer (Baylor). In the night cap, Pierson doubled twice, scored twice and drove in one run.

*The night cap of the Albany-Utica doubleheader featured nine stolen bases. No strangers to running, Albany players ripped off five bases – Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) and Derrick Armstrong (Mississippi State) each stole two. Utica’s K’Shawn Smith (Stetson), the league leader in runs scored, stole two bases for the Brewers. Smith has not been thrown out in 12 stolen base attempts this season.

*Albany’s Thomas Belcher (Indiana) held on for the well-deserved victory in the second game of Tuesday’s twin bill in Utica. Belcher inherited a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fifth inning with the Dutchmen ahead, 4-2. The side-arming reliever induced back-to-back groundballs to start his appearance that turned into fielders’ choices were plated two Utica runs to tie the game. With the potential go-ahead run on base, Belcher induced an inning-ending pop up. The Jacksonville, Fla., native then retired six of the next seven Utica batters to complete three frames of one-hit relief. Belcher retired nine of 10 overall men faced.

*The best pitchers’ duel on Tuesday came at Newark’s Colburn Park.  Newark workhorse Will Spitzfaden (Southeast Missouri State) went head-to-head with Elmira’s Victor Diaz (Old Dominion) for five innings. Diaz was nearly perfect through five. He sat down 15 of 16 Newark batters. He allowed one base runner on a single, walked none and struck out three. Newark’s Spitzfaden, who logged eight innings total, matched Diaz blow-for-blow through the first five. The Pilot pitcher no-hit Elmira for five frames and retired 15 of 16 batters faced; the lone runner to reach base safely came on a Newark error. Between the first and fifth innings, just two runners combined reached base. Spitzfaden finished with eight innings pitched and he allowed two runs on four hits in a hard-luck loss.

*Due to some rainy weather, Newark and Elmira started around an hour late. The good news, the low-scoring affair ended just before 10:30 p.m. It took the Pilots and the Pioneers just two hours and six minutes to complete their nine-inning game. The game duration was one of the fastest for a nine-inning affair in PGCBL history.

*Elmira’s Parker Curry (Samford) was a Jack of All Trades for the Pioneers on Tuesday. Curry started the game at shortstop for the Pioneers. He was listed second on manager Matt Burch’s line-up card. Curry clocked Elmira’s third hit of the game in the sixth inning. He returned to the plate in the ninth with the Pios leading, 2-1. He connected on an infield single to start the ninth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Ryan Plantier (Cornell) singled into right field and Curry dashed home from second with what turned out to be the eventual winning run. Curry moved to the mound for the ninth and had a rocky start. Newark’s David Vandercook (Columbia) slugged a lead-off home run in the ninth and then back-to-back Pilots plunked one-out singles to put the potential go-ahead run on base. The Elmira closer then cancelled out the rally and ended the game by inducing a 4-6-3 double play.

*Two of the five runs in the Elmira-Newark game crossed the plate on sacrifice flies. Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) for Elmira and Newark’s Josh Ludwig (Rochester) had dueling sacrifice flies in the sixth and seventh innings respectively.

*Amsterdam’s Ed Charlton (NJIT) made the catch of the night for the Mohawks in a 4-2 win over the Cooperstown Hawkeyes at Shuttleworth Park. Cooperstown had one run home in the eighth and runners on second and third with two outs. Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) smashed a pitch high and deep in the Rug City night towards center field, over the head of Ed Charlton. The center fielder, running to the deepest part of the park on a sprint, made a running, diving catch as he reached the warning track to rob Donovan of what likely would’ve been a game-tying double.

*Mike Urbanski’s (Binghamton) shutout streak is now at three-straight appearances. Last week, Urbanski retired all 13 men he faced. Tuesday, Urbanski struck out four batters in a perfect five-out save. The Schenectady native has retired 20 men in a row dating back to a June 28 game at Amsterdam. He has allowed just one base runner in his last four appearances.

*The top five batters on the line-up card of Amsterdam manager Keith Griffin accounted for all of the Tribe’s offense on Tuesday night. Ed Charlton (NJIT) John Sansone (Florida State), John Nogowski (Florida State), Jordan Ebert (Auburn) and Josh Gardiner (Radford) combined for five hits, four runs and three RBI. Ebert slugged a three-run home run in the third inning to give the Mohawks the lead for good. Nogowski went 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored. The quintet also accounted for five of Amsterdam’s 10 walks in the game.

*Southphaw Rich Vrana (Marist) provided the Mohawks with a big boost from the bullpen on Tuesday night. Vrana entered in the second with Amsterdam behind, 1-0. He relieved started Jeremy Soule (Fairfield) with the bases-loaded and two outs. Vrana struck out Cooperstown second baseman Ben Hall (Central Alabama) to end the inning. He followed with more four scoreless frames of three-hit relief. Vrana tossed 4.1 innings total, scattered three hits and struck out five. He gave away to Kevin Guthrie (Brown) in the seventh.

*Cooperstown pitchers Dean White (Post), Cody Smith (Black Hawk) and Colton Kibler (Garden City) combined to hold Amsterdam to just five hits on Tuesday night.

*Watertown’s game against North Country rival Adirondack featured a pair of bases-clearing doubles. Adirondack’s Connor Garelick (Pepperdine) clubbed a three-run double in the fifth to give the Blazers a 5-1 lead. Watertown’s Nik Alonfso (South Florida) highlighted a seven-run eighth with a three-run double.

*The theme of the night on Tuesday night for Watertown was double digits. The Rams scored 12 runs overall and 11 of those 12 runs were unanswered. The Rams also pounded out 12 hits and drew 11 walks. Eight of Watertown’s nine starters had at least one hit or drew at least one walk. Joe Moroney (Kansas), Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi), Trevor Marino (VCU), Nik Alfonso (South Florida) and Bobby Indeglia (Holy Cross) reached base three times for Watertown via some combination of hits and walks. Both J.J. Wagner (Pacific) and Bryce Greager (Chandler-Gilbert C.C.) walked twice and scored twice.

*Trevor Marino (VCU) powered each of Watertown’s big rallies in the seventh and eighth innings against Adirondack. He capped off the seventh inning with a game-tying RBI single that scored J.J. Wagner (Pacific) from third. In the eighth, Marino slammed a line drive back up the box that knocked off the glove of Adirondack reliever Spencer Bivens (Louisburg) and allowed one run to score. Marino finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.

*While Watertown’s offense took over the game on Tuesday night, pitchers Peter Irvin (Skagit Valley) and Jake Welch (Jefferson C.C.) combined on a five-hitter. Adirondack was held to its fewest hits since a July 5 loss to Glens Falls in which Golden Eagle Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) tossed a seven-inning complete game shutout. The two lanky Ram hurlers (Irvin – 6’8”, Welch 6’6”) struck out nine and walked just one. Welch retired nine of the 10 men he faced between the seventh and ninth innings.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*Albany’s Jose Hernandez (Dean) struck out 96 batters as a senior at Perth Amboy High School in Perth Amboy, N.J. Hernandez, a Newark Star-Ledger All-Group IV first team selection, went 5-1 with three saves and a 1.50 earned run average. He struck out 96 batters in 60.2 innings for the Perth Amboy Panthers. Hernandez was tapped first team All-Middlesex County and first team All-Central Jersey. A utility player, Jose also finished his prep career with over 100 varsity hits.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…

*It took 12 innings to decide a winner the last time the Adirondack Trail Blazers and the Cooperstown Hawkeyes got together. Ben Hall (Central Alabama) scored from third on a successful suicide squeeze bunt by Emilio Alonso (Black Hawk) to give the Hawkeyes a 2-1 win over the Trail Blazers on June 21 at Doubleday Field. The two teams, who combined for a league record nine sacrifice hits in a single game, have not met since. Due a rain out, Cooperstown has yet to travel to Boonville and will not head north to the Smith Sports Complex until July 27 for a doubleheader.. The Hawkeyes have dropped four in a row and have not scored more than four runs in a game since posting 12 in a non-finished doubleheader against Elmira. Cooperstown has seven total victories at home. Adirondack logged just five hits on Tuesday ending a streak of three-straight games with at least 10 hits. The Blazers responded to their last five-hit performance with 10 hits in their next game, a win over the nationally-ranked Glens Falls Golden Eagles.

*It’s about a four-hour drive between East Field in Glens Falls and Dunn Field in Elmira. The nationally-ranked Glens Falls Golden Eagles make the four-hour voyage tonight to the Southern Tier to face off with the Elmira Pioneers. The season series is tied at one win apiece; the road team has won each game. Elmira edged Glens Falls, 5-4, in Hometown U.S.A. on June 9 and then the Golden Eagles returned the favor with a 5-2 victory at Dunn Field on June 20. Both teams have played well in the month of July; Elmira is 5-2 while Glens Falls is 4-1. Overall, the Golden Eagles are 8-1 in their last nine games and the Pioneers are 6-3. Following Tuesday night’s win in Little Falls, Glens Falls is 11-4 away from home. Four of the Eagles’ last five have been on the road. John Mayotte’s squad has scored at least four runs in nine of its last 10 games. In that same span, the Eagles have yielded more than three runs on just three occasions. Elmira finds itself at .500 for the first time since splitting a doubleheader with Newark on June 21; that evening, the Pioneers were 6-6. Elmira has not allowed more than four runs in five-straight games.

*While Glens Falls has the longest bus trip, Utica has the shortest bus trip. Weather permitting, the Brewers will travel to Little Falls to take on the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs in the Route 5S rivalry for the first time since a wild doubleheader on June 20 that included a miraculous late comeback by the Brewers and a no-hitter from Utica’s Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls) in a losing effort. The same two teams tangled briefly on Sunday night only to have rain halt the game in the bottom of the third inning with Mohawk Valley ahead, 3-0. Mohawk Valley stands one game above .500; the Dawgs haven’t lost more than two games in a row this year and have not won more than three in a row. In July, Roberto Vaz’s team is 3-3. Mohawk Valley’s four hits through six innings of at-bats on Tuesday was its lowest hit output since being no-hit on June 20. Utica ended Watertown’s seven-game winning streak on July 3; since then, the Brewers are winless. Utica’s seven runs in Tuesday’s night cap were the most it had scored since a 12-7 win over Amsterdam on June 29. In four games prior, the Brew Crew accounted for just eight runs.

*Another short trip sees PGCBL East rivals Amsterdam and Albany get together at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany for the start of a pivotal home-and-home series. The two teams play at “The Bob” tonight and then head to Amsterdam to play a non-traditional doubleheader that will include the resumption of a game postponed from this past Friday. Albany’s lead over Amsterdam for second place is 1.5 games however the Dutchmen have played five fewer games than the Mohawks. Albany is undefeated (2-0) at home versus Amsterdam this season; the two teams have not met in the Capital District since Albany walked off with wins twice in both ends of a doubleheader on June 20. Overall, the Dutchmen lead the season series, 3-0. Two of the three finished games were decided by one run; the resumed game is currently tied, 5-5. Albany’s doubleheader sweep at Utica gave the Dutchmen back-to-back wins for the first time since June 20-21. The Mohawks are on a two-game win streak though Keith Griffin’s team is 6-7 away from home. Last year, Amsterdam logged an impressive 17-6 away record.

*PGCBL West foes Watertown and Newark complete the league schedule at Colburn Park. Two weeks from tonight, Colburn Park in Newark will be the site of the 2013 PGCBL All-Star Game. Watertown continues a week-long road trip which began on Tuesday night with a come-from-behind victory over Adirondack in Boonville. The Rams hold a 4-1 lead in the season series and have won three in a row over their counterparts from Wayne County. Watertown is 2-1 at Newark’s Colburn Park this season after the Silver and Black hung on for a 5-4 win over the Pilots on July 1. The Rams are 10-3 in their 13 and more recently 7-3 in their last 10 games. Four of those seven victories have come on the road. Watertown had 12 hits on Tuesday night, the Rams have reached at least 10 hits on 10 different occasions this season. Newark pitchers have held opponents to three runs or less seven times in their last 10 games; however in those games, the Pilots are 3-4.

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