PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 13, 2013

Sunset over Newark's Colburn Park on Friday night. Photo courtesy Newark Pilots/Peg Pelletier (@guita_p)

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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 3 Glens Falls 2 (Game 1)
Albany 3 Glens Falls 2 (Game 2)
Adirondack 3 Amsterdam 2
Utica 11 Watertown 4
Mohawk Valley 8 Cooperstown 1
Newark 16 Elmira 1

Tonight’s Games
Newark at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
Amsterdam at Utica, 7:00 PM
Mohawk Valley at Elmira, 7:05 PM
Watertown at Albany, 7:05 PM
Glens Falls at Cooperstown – PPD, 7/25

*Tonight’s previously scheduled game between Glens Falls and Cooperstown has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader at Glens Falls on July 25.

*Not including today, there are 18 days remaining in the 2013 PGCBL regular season. The final day of the regular season is July 31. The league playoffs are scheduled to begin on August 2.

*Friday night’s action included a pair of one-run thrillers between Glens Falls and Albany, Albany picking up its fourth walk-off win of the season, several pitchers working out of bases-loaded jams in the final inning to seal wins, a second 10-run explosion in as many days and several strong individual performances.

*The last five games between Albany and Glens Falls have been decided by one run. Three of those five games were decided on walk-off hits. One game took 16 innings to decide. Following Friday night’s doubleheader, the two teams are separated by a half-game in the divisional standings. Albany has three games at hand on Glens Falls though one suspended game between the two teams has Glens Falls ahead, 4-0, through four. The Eagles and Dutchmen next play on July 21 in Albany.

*Dating back to last season, seven of the last eight games between the Dutchmen and Golden Eagles have been decided by two runs or less.

*Tyler Orris (Millersville) plated Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning in Albany’s 3-2 night cap triumph over Glens Falls. It was the first walk-off hit of the season for Orris and the fourth for the Dutchmen this season. Four different Albany players have had walk-off hits – Orris, Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina), Nate Rupiper (Memphis) and Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina). Albany leads the league in walk-off wins; no other team has more than two.

*Thirteen league games have now been decided on a walk-off play. That is one shy of last year’s total of 14.

*Albany’s Thomas Belcher (Indiana) was called upon to close out the opening game of Friday night’s doubleheader against Glens Falls. Belcher, Albany’s side-arming closer from Jacksonville, Fla., entered in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out. He opposed Braxton Martinez (Saint Louis) with the potential tying run 90-feet away. Belcher forced Martinez to hit a comebacker to the mound that turned into a 1-2-3 double play.

*Both Friday games between Glens Falls and Albany featured solid pitching. Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) opposed Bryan Carr (Saint Rose) in the opener. Hopf went the distance in the seven-inning affair and allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits and struck out six. He was handed his first loss of the season. Albany’s Carr spun 6.1 frames and yielded two runs on nine hits. Carr forced the Eagles to leave seven men on base. The night cap saw Kevin Cowan (William Paterson) of the Eagles go up against former PGCBL Pitcher of the Week James Davitt (Bryant). Cowan gave up one earned run, two overall, on five hits and struck out three over five innings. Davitt, who tossed a two-hitter earlier this season against Glens Falls, struck out seven batters in 5.2 innings and conceded two runs on nine hits. No pitcher in either game was charged with more than two earned runs.

*One key ingredient in Albany’s night cap win over Glens Falls that you won’t see the in the box score was a hustle play by Derrick Armstrong (Mississippi State) and Jack Wietlispach (Parkland). Armstrong stood on third and Wietlispach at second with one out in the seventh and the game tied, 2-2. Luke Nethaway (Saint Rose) hit a grounder to the left side that was fielded and thrown home in an attempt to retire Derrick Armstrong attempting to score. While Armstrong was ultimately tagged out, he got into a rundown which allowed Wietlispach to take third. The next batter, Tyler Orris, singled and scored Wietlispach with the winning run.

*The night cap of the Glens Falls-Albany doubleheader saw the two teams trade sacrifice flies in back-to-back innings. Bradley Noland (North Alabama) gave the Dutchmen a 2-1 lead with a fifth-inning sac fly that scored Luke Nethaway (Saint Rose). The next inning, Garrett DeGallier (Tacoma C.C.) equalized for the Eagles with a fly out to center field that brought home Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico J.C.).

*Two days in the PGCBL, two teams scoring 10 runs in one inning. Thursday, Adirondack erupted for 10 runs in the fifth inning against Utica in a 12-2 victory. The Trail Blazers scored 10 runs on eight hits and one Utica error. Friday, Newark nearly copied the script completely though there were some minor changes. The Pilots struck for 10 runs in the second inning against Elmira in a 16-1 triumph. Newark’s 10 runs scored on eight hits and three Elmira errors. Due to the fielding miscues, all 10 runs in the inning were unearned.

*Breaking down Newark’s 10-run inning…the Pilots marched 14 batters up to the plate. Eight different batters drove in one run. Jacob Russell (Kentucky), Samm Wiggins (Houston Baptist) and Josh Ludwig (Rochester) all scored two runs during the inning. Josh Ludwig and Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer) both had two hits. Fox was the lone Pilot to drive in multiple runs; he capped off the rally with a two-RBI single. Much like with Adirondack’s 10-run explosion on Thursday, Newark’s Friday rally did not include a home run. The lone extra-base hit of the rally was a double by Max Rosing (Cortland State).

*Overall, nine Pilots scored at least one run on Friday night. Of those nine, eight had at least one hit. Each Newark player to record a hit scored a run. Nine Pilots had one RBI each. Max Rosing (Cortland State) and Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer) paced the Pilots with three hits apiece. Rosing finished 3-for-5 with three RBI, two doubles and two runs scored while Fox was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Jacob Russell (Kentucky) went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Chad Adams (Saint Rose) topped Newark with three runs; Max Rosing, Jacob Russell, Josh Ludwig (Rochester) and Samm Wiggins (Houston Baptist) each scored twice.

*The Pilots have flown into double-digit runs twice this season. Newark recorded a league single-game record 22 on June 26 in a 22-7 rout of Adirondack on the road. Last night, the Pilots scored 16 in a pummeling of the Elmira Pioneers. Combined between the two games, Newark scored 38 runs. The two games account for more than 25-percent of Newark’s 136 runs this season.

*A fine performance by Newark’s Justin D’Amato (St. John Fisher) was overshadowed by the offensive fireworks. D’Amato hurled a four-hit shutout over five innings in his second win. The southpaw walked two and struck out five. He has 20 strikeouts in 21.0 innings pitched this season and is tied for the team lead in K’s.

*Albany’s Thomas Belcher inherited a bases-loaded situation with one out in the seventh inning of a seven-inning game. Adirondack’s Austin Bartley (Shippensburg) pitched himself into a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the ninth inning of Friday night’s game versus Amsterdam. The Mohawks, trailing 3-2, loaded the bases in the ninth against the Blazers closer. Bartley struck out Ronnie Bernick (Canisius) for the first out and then induced a fly out to left field from Kyle Barrett (Kentucky). Bartley struck out Josh Gardiner (Radford) to end the game. He stranded five Amsterdam runners on base in the final two innings to garner his fourth save.

*Adirondack’s Alex Simone (West Alabama) was the hero for the Trail Blazers on Friday night. Simone hit a three-run home run in the second inning and that was all of the offense Adirondack needed in a 3-2 win. The home run was Simone’s second of the season.

*Adirondack earned its first win of the season on Friday night when recording fewer than five hits. The Trail Blazers notched just three hits off of Amsterdam starter Trey Wingenter (Auburn) but that was enough. Adirondack had had at least eight hits in 12 previous wins and that included a stretch where the team posted double-figure hits in eight-straight wins.

*Amsterdam’s Trey Wingenter (Auburn) deserved a better fate on Friday night at the hitter-friendly Smith Sports Complex. The 6-foot-7 starter pitched seven innings for the Mohawks and allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits. He walked one and struck out eight. He faced five batters over the minimum. Following a second-inning home run by Alex Simone, Wingenter seated 15 of the next 18 batters he faced.

*Mohawk Valley and Cooperstown pitchers combined to record 24 strikeouts on Friday night. Mohawk Valley’s mound men compiled 16. Starter Keegan Long (Saint Joseph’s, Ind.) struck out eight batters over 5.2 innings. Middle reliever Tyler Bray (ULM) struck out six in 2.1 frames and Zach Williams (UC Davis) recorded strikeouts against two of the three men he faced in the ninth. Cooperstown starter Jack Stover (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.) notched four strikeouts in five innings. Relief pitchers Cody Smith (Black Hawk) and Paul Henshaw (Kenyon) had two strikeouts apiece.

*Keegan Long (Saint Joseph’s, Ind.) has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the PGCBL this season. The rising sophomore from Saint Joseph’s College is 4-0 with a 2.30 earned run average. He has struck out 39 and walked eight in 31.1 innings pitched. Long has limited opposing hitters to a .246 batting average. He is unbeaten in each of his last four starts; a stretch that began with a nine-strikeout, one-hit performance over six innings in a 2-0 win over Utica. His four wins have been over four different teams – Utica, Adirondack, Amsterdam and Cooperstown. The Edon, Ohio, native is a former co-PGCBL Pitcher of the Week.

*After going a combined 1-for-6 in two games against Glens Falls, his former team, Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) had a breakout game for Mohawk Valley on Friday night. Rodrigue went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored in an 8-1 win over Cooperstown. Rodrigue had hits in four-straight at-bats and was not retired until his final at-bat in the eighth. The Destrehan, La., native connected on RBI singles in the first and third innings and then drilled an RBI double in the fifth. Rodrigue scored his first run in the same inning on a Joey Tracy (Albany) infield hit. He recorded his fourth hit in the seventh and came around to score on a David Peretti (Union, N.Y.) single.

*Mohawk Valley’s Dalton Herrington (ULM) added two more stolen bases on Friday night. The speedster from the Bayou now leads the PGCBL with 26 stolen bases. He is 12 shy of breaking the league’s single season record.

*Utica’s Matt Hendricks (Rollins) made his first pitching appearance of the summer on Friday night. Hendricks, a two-way player at Division II Rollins (Fla.), had been starting games at first and third base for the Brewers. In his first mound start of the summer, Hendricks pitched four innings and held Watertown to one run on six hits. He walked none and struck out three. During the spring, Hendricks had the third-lowest ERA of any Rollins pitcher. As a high school senior in Illinois, he struck out 70 batters in 69.0 innings.

*Utica has had Watertown’s number this season. The Brewers are now 4-1 against the division-leading Rams. Three of the four wins have come at Donovan Stadium.

*K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) scored three times for the Sons of Saranac on Wednesday night. He now leads the league with 30 runs scored. Smith became the first PGCBL player this season to reach the 30-run plateau.

*The top of Utica’s line-up card bedeviled Watertown pitching on Friday night. The top five hitters on Keith Strickland’s line-up card – K’Shawn Smith (Stetson), Jay Gonzalez (Auburn), Michael McClellan (Ga. Southern), Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) and Ryan Valdes (Florida State) – combined to go 10-for-18 with seven RBI and seven runs scored. Gonzalez and McClellan each drove in three runs. Smith led the Brewers with three hits while Gonzalez, Pierson and Valdes had two hits apiece.

*Utica has combined for 21 runs in its last two games. The Brew Crew’s offense has been buoyed by a switch up in the batting order. K’Shawn Smith continues to bat lead-off however Michael Pierson (Appalachian State), the league’s leading hitter, has been moved to the clean-up slot. Pierson moved down two slots and pushed Jay Gonzalez (Auburn) into the second spot and former clean-up hitter Michael McClellan is now third in the line-up.

*There was no shortage of hits on Friday night in Utica. The Rams and Brewers combined for 24 hits – 12 apiece.

*Kellen Hackett (Fresno Pacific) has been utilized this summer as a short reliever for Utica. He accumulated just 7.2 innings during the spring for the Sunbirds of Fresno Pacific. Friday night, the Fresno, Calif., native was called upon in long relief and he came through. Hackett lasted five innings and struck out six. He held Watertown to three runs, two earned, on six hits. The 19-year-old earned his second win of the summer. Prior to last night, Hackett had pitched just 8.2 innings over five appearances.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*During the 2013 baseball season, Newark first baseman Max Rosing (Cortland State) has committed just four errors in 685 defensive chances. That equals out to a .994 fielding percentage. This past spring, Rosing was the starting first baseman for the NCAA Division III Cortland State Red Dragons. Max was charged with two errors in 410 chances. He recorded 379 putouts and 29 assists for a .995 fielding percentage. This summer, Rosing has totaled 275 chances for the Pilots. He has 251 putouts, 22 assists and just two errors.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…

*Two of the hottest teams in the PGCBL square off tonight at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany as the Albany Dutchmen host the Watertown Rams. Following last night’s doubleheader sweep of Glens Falls, the Dutchmen have won five games in a row. Watertown has gone 13-4 since starting the season 5-10 and the Rams have recent winning streaks of seven and four games. This will be just the second game between the two teams this season. Albany edged Watertown, 5-3, on June 15 behind a two-out, two-RBI single from Matt Dacey (Richmond 2013-14) in the eighth inning. Albany will not travel to the North Country until July 30 for a doubleheader; a previous trip was postponed due to rain. In Albany’s current winning streak, all five games have been decided by three runs or less. The Dutch have played four one-run games in a row; one of those four was a resumed contest against Amsterdam. Nineteen of Albany’s 27 games have been decided by two runs or less. Watertown’s high-powered offense leads the league with 5.84 runs per game while Albany’s pitching staff has allowed a league low 3.78 runs per game.

*The only two teams in the PGCBL this season to score 10 runs in a single inning get together tonight at the Smith Sports Complex in Boonville. Adirondack erupted for 10 runs in a single frame against Utica at home on Thursday as part of a doubleheader. Friday, Newark scored 10 times in the second inning against Elmira. The Trail Blazers are 6-2 in their last eight games. One of those six victories was a walk-off win over the Pilots on July 7. In that game, Chris Divarco (Northern Illinois) hit a walk-off home run in the 11th. The season series between the Pilots and Blazers is tied at one win apiece. The two teams have combined for 44 runs in two games. Newark set a PGCBL single-game record with 22 runs against Adirondack on June 26 in a 22-7 victory. Adirondack pulled off a 9-8 win about two weeks later. Following a 22-run explosion at Adirondack on June 26, the Pilots scored no more than two runs in their next four games.

*Defending league champion Amsterdam makes the short drive to Utica’s Donovan Stadium tonight for a date with the Brewers. The Sons of Saranac mashed the Tribe, 12-7, on June 29. Utica scored 12 times in the first five innings of that game and then held off a late Amsterdam comeback. Another game between the two teams in Amsterdam earlier this season was suspended due to rain in the second inning. That game will not be completed until July 26 as part of a non-traditional doubleheader. The Brewers have scored 21 runs in their last two games and won both of them. Utica’s Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) and Jay Gonzalez (Auburn) enter the night 1-2 in the chase for the league batting championship. Pierson leads all qualifying PGCBL swingers with a .440 batting average. The Mohawks have followed up a two-game win streak with a two-game losing streak. Amsterdam is 5-6 in its last 11 games. The most current losses have been in one-run games.

*Mohawk Valley makes the long voyage from Little Falls to the Southern Tier tonight to make on Elmira in another crossover clash. The DiamondDawgs are 1-0 against the Pioneers this season with a 7-6 win at Dunn Field on June 16. In that game, Mohawk Valley scored five times over the final three innings to earn a come-from-behind victory. Due to the weather, the Dawgs have played just three games since last Saturday – two of those three were against nationally-ranked Glens Falls. Mohawk Valley enters into Elmira on the heels of an 8-1 romp against Cooperstown on Friday night. However, Roberto Vaz’s Dawgs are 5-8 in games following a win this season. The Dawgs have won no more than three games in a row. A surging Elmira team was cooled off on Friday night in Newark. The Pioneers are still 6-4 in their last 10 games. Due to the weather and scheduling, tonight’s game for Elmira will be its first against a team other than Newark since July 7. The Pioneers played the Pilots on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Elmira enters the evening just two games behind division-leading Watertown. 

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