Golden Eagles use four-run eighth to fly past Hawkeyes

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Blake Sydeski (South Florida) broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning and the Glens Falls Golden Eagles went on to score four two-out runs in the eighth to pull away from the Cooperstown Hawkeyes for a 6-2 victory on Thursday evening at Doubleday Field. The nationally-ranked Golden Eagles (21-13) took sole possession of first place in the PGCBL East with the victory and moved a half-game ahead of the idle Albany Dutchmen.

The Hawkeyes (12-19) and the Golden Eagles entered the eighth inning tied, 2-2. Raphael Gladu (College Lafleche) reached first safely with one out on a Cooperstown fielding error. Braxton Martinez (Saint Louis) fouled out to right field for the second out but his fly ball was deep enough to advance the potential tiebreaking run, Gladu, to second base. Cooperstown closer Travis Tarleton (Point) replaced Paul Henshaw (Kenyon) to face Blake Sydeski however the pitching change did not pay off for the Hawkeyes. Sydeski, the designated hitter for the Golden Eagles, smashed a single into left field that allowed Gladu to cross the plate with the tiebreaking tally. Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico J.C.) immediately followed with a double that pushed Sydeski to third. James Smith (Saint Peter’s) kept the two-out rally going with a two-RBI single into right field that increased the Eagles’ lead to 5-2. Garrett DeGallier (Tacoma C.C.) singled Smith to second and Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) capped off the four-run, five-straight hit outburst with an RBI single.

Jared Moore (Kansas State) of the Golden Eagles pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up his second win in three appearances. Matt Eckelman (Saint Louis) spun a perfect ninth to help the Eagles finish off their 21st victory and first over Cooperstown this season. Starter Rick Morales (Siena) pitched well but did not figure in the decision. Morales worked six innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on nine hits.  He walked one, struck out three and compiled nine ground-ball outs. Morales additionally forced Cooperstown to hit into two double plays, one in the first and one in the second.

The Golden Eagles pounded out 14 hits and five players recorded multi-hit games. Braxton Martinez and Garrett DeGallier each had three hits and drove in one run. Martinez slammed a lead-off solo home run in the fifth to level the score at 1-1 and DeGallier notched an RBI double later in the inning that scored Blake Sydeski to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.

Eighth-inning hero Blake Sydeski finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Raphel Gladu added two hits and James Smith went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. Smith also threw out one of two Cooperstown runners attempting to steal. Smith, a catcher from Saint Peter’s College, leads the league with 18 runners caught stealing.

Cooperstown starter Jack Stover (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.) nearly mirrored Rick Morales. He worked six innings and limited the Golden Eagles to two runs on eight hits. Glens Falls was held scoreless through the first four frames. Stover struck out four and walked none in a no decision.

Brendan O’Reilly (New Haven) paced the Cooperstown offense with two hits, one RBI and one run scored. O’Reilly drove in the first run of the game for the Hawkeyes in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out RBI single that plated Nate Lotze (Kenyon). He then forced a 2-2 tie in the sixth when he dashed home to score from third on a wild pitch. Ryan Hanahan (Marietta) also recorded two hits for the Hawkeyes.

The Glens Falls Golden Eagles return to action on Friday, July 19, against the Elmira Pioneers at East Field. The action begins in Glens Falls at 6:00 p.m. with the resumption of a game halted in Elmira on July 10. The game will be resumed in the seventh inning with no score. A regular nine-inning game between the Eagles and the Pioneers will follow. The Cooperstown Hawkeyes will face a similar situation on Friday at Doubleday Field. The Hawkeyes host the Albany Dutchmen beginning at 2:00 p.m. with a resumed game from June 30. The suspended game will be picked up in the fourth inning with Cooperstown ahead, 3-1. A regular nine-inning game will follow.

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