PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 20, 2013

The Utica Brewers donned purple jersey's on Friday night in support of Alzheimer's Awareness. Photo courtesy Utica Brewers

For all of the latest news stories on the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and television highlights, go to our “Press” page here.

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
Cooperstown 6 Albany 2 (Resumed from June 30)
Albany 4 Cooperstown 3
Elmira 2 Glens Falls 0 (Resumed from July 10)
Glens Falls 4 Albany 3
Mohawk Valley 6 Utica 2 (Game 1)
Mohawk Valley at Utica (Game 2) – Cancelled, Rain
Watertown 6 Amsterdam 2 (7)
Newark 2 Adirondack 2 (10) – Suspended, Rain

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

*Not including today, there are 11 days remaining in the 2013 PGCBL regular season. Today is the seventh Saturday of the league season and the second-to-last.

*After a very hot and very dry week, the rain returned across the league last night. Thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain and lightning ended a streak of eight-straight days without a weather-related cancellation, suspension or postponement. Overall this summer, 50 games have been postponed, suspended or cancelled because of rain, unplayable field conditions and/or flooding. The number of games impacted by the weather now outnumbers the amount of games scheduled, 48, for each PGCBL team.

*Friday’s rain-related suspensions including a halted game in the 10th inning at Newark, a rain-shortened game in Amsterdam and a rain out in Utica. Glens Falls and Elmira finished the second game of a non-traditional doubleheader at East Field just before rain hit. The Newark-Adirondack game will not be resumed and will not show up in the league standings however because the teams played a regulation number of innings, the statistics accrued in the game do count.

*The rain-suspended game between Newark and Adirondack featured the most dramatic ninth inning of the night. The Pilots and the Trail Blazers entered into the ninth inning tied, 1-1. A walk, a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt put Trail Blazer runners on second and third with one out. Dominic Fazio (High Point) broke the 1-1 stalemate with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Matt Chaidez (Cal State Stanislaus) from third. However, Adirondack was forced to strand a potential insurance run on third. In the bottom of the ninth, Newark was down to its final out when Josh Ludwig (Rochester) smashed a double into left field. The next batter, Scott Matthews (Washington, Md.) singled home Ludwig to tie the game at two. Matthews was stranded on first to end the inning. With two outs in the tenth, the skies opened up.

*All of the offense in the Newark-Adirondack game was produced by four players. Both Adirondack runs were scored by Matt Chaidez (Cal State Stanislaus) on sacrifice flies hit by Dominic Fazio (High Point). Newark’s Scott Matthews (Washington, Md.) doubled home Josh Ludwig in the second and then Ludwig’s two-out double in the ninth set up a game-tying RBI single from Matthews.

*The majority of the Newark-Adirondack game featured a pitchers’ duel between Adirondack’s Alec Choleva (Utica) and Newark’s Drew Hasler (Valaparaiso). Hasler spun a two-hitter over eight innings, walked two and struck out five. He faced four batters over the minimum and retired the side in order five times. Choleva did not allow an earned run in his first start for the Trail Blazers. He conceded one unearned run on six hits over eight innings and struck out seven.

*Cooperstown’s Eann Cox (Black Hawk) became the second PGCBL pitcher this summer to throw a nine-inning complete game, sort of. Cooperstown defeated Albany, 6-2, yesterday in the conclusion of a suspended game from June 30. On the day the game started, Eann Cox was the starting pitcher for the Hawkeyes. He struck out nine over four innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits. Between the first and fourth innings, Cox struck out eight batters in a row. However, the game was suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning due to rain. When the game resumed on Friday, Cox remained Cooperstown’s pitcher. He worked all five innings on Friday and conceded one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out five. Because the statistics reverted back to June 30, Cox received credit for a complete game. He ended the game with 14 strikeouts – a league season high.

*Only one player in PGCBL history has hit more than two home runs in a game. Watertown’s Erick Gaylord hit four in one game at Amsterdam in 2011. Albany’s Matt Dacey (Richmond 2013-14) mashed three on Friday – one in the completion of the suspended game from June 30 and then two in Albany’s 4-3 night cap win. All three of Dacey’s home runs came in the final four innings of each game. The former Don Bosco Prep star belted a solo home off of Cooperstown’s Eann Cox (Black Hawk) in the ninth inning of the suspended game. In the regular game, Dacey dinged solo home runs in back-to-back at-bats in the sixth and ninth innings. His ninth-inning belt provided the Dutchmen with the eventual game-winning run. Dacey became the sixth player this season to hit two home runs in a completed single game.

*With yesterday’s “split” at Cooperstown, Albany recorded its 21st victory of the season. The Dutchmen are one win away from tying a franchise single-season record for wins. Albany won 22 games last season. Albany has improved its win total each season that Nick Davey has skippered the team. Over four seasons, Nick Davey has helmed the Dutchmen to 77 wins.

*Albany’s Thomas Belcher (Indiana) earned another high-pressure save on Friday at Cooperstown. The side-winding closer entered in the ninth with one run already home, no outs and runners on the corners in a 4-2 game. Cooperstown’s Ryan Hanahan (Marietta) successfully squeezed home Bryce Anglin (Wofford) from third to cut Albany’s lead to one. The Dutchmen elected to intentionally walk Ben Hall (Central Alabama) to set up a potential game-ending double play. Belcher was on the receiving end of that double play. Cooperstown pinch hitter Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) lined out to Albany’s Derrick Armstrong (Mississippi State) in right field. Armstrong then doubled off Hall at first to end the game.

*The second combined one-hitter in the league this season was finished off on Friday in Glens Falls by the Elmira Pioneers. Glens Falls and Elmira were suspended in Elmira on July 10 with no score in the bottom of the seventh inning. At the time, Elmira’s Danny Britt (Trinity Christian) had allowed just one hit. Play resumed on Friday in Glens Falls. Elmira’s Clark Pence (Morehead State) retired three of the four men he faced in a scoreless eighth and Parker Curry (Samford) sat down the side in order in the ninth to complete the combined one-hitter. With the game statistics reverting back to July 10, the Pioneers are now credited with back-to-back shutout wins over Glens Falls (July 10) and Newark (July 11) for a string of 18-straight scoreless innings.

*Taylor Hillson (Mansfield 2013-14) was the hero for the Elmira Pioneers in the completion of the July 10 suspended game. Hillson, a recent graduate of Mansfield H.S. drove in the only two runs of the game in a 2-0 Elmira victory. Hillson batted with two outs in the eighth inning and runners on second and third. Hillson blooped a single into center field that scored both Brian Bashara (Old Dominion) and Andrew Nist (Temple). The single was Hillson’s lone hit of the game and just one of six total hits in the contest.

*Josh Anderson (Florida International) powered the Golden Eagles to a “split” with the Pioneers. Anderson finished the regularly-scheduled game against Elmira 2-for-4 with one RBI but both hits proved to be crucial. With the score tied, 2-2, in the sixth, Buddy Putnam (South Florida) led off with a base hit. The next batter, Anderson, roped a double that moved Putnam over to third. Anderson’s double set Putnam up at third and he eventually scored on a Raphael Gladu (College Lafleche) ground out to the right side. Anderson returned to the plate in the seventh with runners on second and third and two outs. The 2011 All-PGCBL first team selection smacked his second hit of the game, an RBI single into left field, to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead. Anderson’s seventh-inning single proved to be the difference in a 4-3 win.

*Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) of the Golden Eagles became just the third pitcher in league history to record six wins. Hopf struck out nine over seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits in a 4-3 win over Elmira. Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) of the Amsterdam Mohawks holds the current league record for victories; he went 7-0 last summer. The only other PGCBL pitcher to reach six wins was Newark’s Dominick Ruscitti in 2011. Both Ruscitti and Shepherd won the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year Award.

*Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) opened Friday night’s game against Elmira as a strikeout machine. Hopf fanned five of Elmira’s first six batters and then struck out three in a row between the third and fourth innings. Elmira pushed one run across in the third but Hopf ended the rally with back-to-back strikeouts; he then struck out the first batter of the fourth.  

*Elmira was 90-feet away from tying Friday’s night cap at Glens Falls in the eighth inning. The Pioneers scored one run in the eighth and put Parker Curry (Samford), representing the potential tying run, at third base with two outs. Matt Eckelman (Saint Louis) came out of the Glens Falls bullpen and forced a fly out to center field to strand Curry on third and end the inning.

*Reigning PGCBL Pitcher of the Week Jared Dye (ULM) of Mohawk Valley recorded his second seven-inning complete game in a row on Friday night in a win over the Utica Brewers. Dye twirled a three-hitter over eight innings, conceded two runs and struck out eight. Dye was perfect through four innings and he struck out five of the first 12 Utica batters. The Calhoun, La., native lost his bid for a perfecto in the fifth inning when Utica’s Ryan Valdes (Florida State) smacked a one-out single into center field. Dye ended the game exactly like he ended his last complete game victory, with a strikeout. Over his last two starts against Albany and Utica, Dye has gone 2-0 with a 1.93 earned run average and 21strikeouts in 18.0 innings pitched.

*Mohawk Valley pitchers have allowed just four Utica hits in the last two completed games between the two teams. Keegan Long (Saint Joseph’s, Ind.) and Tyler Bray (ULM) pitched a combined one-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over the Brewers in the second game of a doubleheader on June 20. Friday night, Jared Dye spun a complete game three-hitter.

*Friday night, Watertown won at Amsterdam’s Shuttleworth Park for the first time since July 16, 2011. The win was Watertown’s second at Shuttleworth in the PGCBL era.

*Watertown’s Chase Heslep (Lower Columbia) and Logan Grant (Creighton) combined to hold Amsterdam to two runs and five hits. Heslep retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, allowing just one base runner on a hit-by-pitch. The 6-foot-8 hurler conceded two runs on three hits in the third but stranded two runners on base to hold a Watertown lead. Grant allowed back-to-back base hits in the fifth but still managed to retire nine of the 11 Amsterdam batters he faced in 2.2 scoreless innings.

*The middle of both Watertown and Amsterdam line-ups produced on Friday night. Seven of the eight RBI compiled in the game were recorded by hitters three-through-six in each batting order. Watertown’s Trevor Marino (VCU), J.J. Wagner (Pacific), Collin Theroux (Nevada) and Bryce Greager (Nevada 2013-14) all had one RBI apiece for the Rams.Amsterdam’s fifth and sixth-place hitters – John Sansone (Florida State) and Dylan Smith (Auburn) each had one RBI. 

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…

*Watertown’s Henry McAree (Shoreline C.C.) allowed three hits total in his final two starts of the collegiate season at Shoreline Community College. McAree spun a three-hit shutout for 11.0 innings against Skagit Valley College on May 4 and earned a no decision. The Shoreline, Wash., native returned to the mound one week later and tossed a complete game no-hit shutout in a 4-0 win over Olympic. He walked two and struck out eight in a 72-pitch gem. The rising sophomore from just north of Seattle was named to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College’s All-North Region first team.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…

*Playoff implications abound tonight in a twin bill between PGCBL East powers Amsterdam and Albany. Entering into this evening’s doubleheader, just two games separate first place from fourth place in the division. The Dutchmen currently hold second place and trail first-place Glens Falls by just a half-game. Defending league champion Amsterdam is on the outside of the playoff picture looking in after Friday’s loss to Watertown. The fourth-place Mohawks are a half-game behind third-place Mohawk Valley. Second-place Albany and fourth-place Amsterdam are separated by 1.5 games. Albany is 4-1 against Amsterdam this season with all five games in the series being decided by one run. Three of the five games have ended on a walk-off hit. The last time Amsterdam traveled to Albany, the Dutchmen walked off with wins in both ends of a non-traditional doubleheader. Over the last week, Albany has played parts of eight games and that includes four doubleheaders. The Dutchmen have won four in a row at home. The Mohawks had a four-game win streak snapped on Friday night by Watertown. Amsterdam has won three of its last four road games but has not won at Bob Bellizzi Field since July 2, 2012.

*Two PGCBL West playoff contenders square off tonight at the Smith Sports Complex in Boonville as the Adirondack Trail Blazers host the Elmira Pioneers. If the playoffs started today, Elmira and Adirondack would meet in the opening round at Elmira’s Dunn Field. However, Adirondack’s lead on fourth-place Newark is a half-game; the Trail Blazers also have just a one-game lead on fifth-place Utica.  This will be just the second meeting of the season between Elmira and Adirondack. The Blazers doubled up the Pioneers, 10-5, at Dunn Field on June 23. The Blazers average over six runs per game at the Smith Sports Complex and have scored 133 times in 20 home games. The Boonville Bashers have also launched 27 home runs at home. Elmira split at Glens Falls on Friday and the Pioneers bus into Boonville with a .500 record overall and a 4-4 mark in their last eight games. After tonight, the two teams will not meet again until the final night of the season.

*The Newark Pilots and the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs are scheduled to play four times over the final two weeks of the regular season. That stretch of games begins tonight at Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls. The same two teams will meet for a doubleheader next Thursday in Newark and then the Pilots and DiamondDawgs will play at the Vet on the final night of the regular season. Mohawk Valley is one of the hottest teams in the league. The DiamondDawgs are 6-2 in their last eight games and they have used that run to vault into third place in the PGCBL East, a half-game ahead of rival Amsterdam. Mohawk Valley currently holds the third and final playoff spot in the division. Newark sits in fourth place in the PGCBL West, a half-game behind third-place Adirondack. The Pilots do however have a game at hand on the Trail Blazers and a head-to-head tiebreaker in the season series. Due to inclement weather, this will be just the second game of the season between the Dawgs and Pilots. Newark edged Mohawk Valley, 2-1, on June 12 at the Vet behind eight strong innings from starter Will Spitzfaden (Southeast Missouri State). Mohawk Valley is 6-2 in its last eight home games. Newark’s five trips to the area this season (Utica-Adirondack-Mohawk Valley) have yielded a total of 50 runs. In four of those five games games, the Pilots scored at least five runs.

*The PGCBL West-leading Watertown Rams return home to the friendly confines of the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds tonight to host the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. Watertown holds the best home record (11-3) in the league and the Rams are just a half-game behind Glens Falls in the race for the best regular season record. Watertown is 8-2 in its last 10 games though it should be noted eight of those 10 games were away from home.   In a recent four-game winning streak, the Silver and Black have outscored opponents, 19-10. The Watertown offense has recorded at least four runs in 12 of its last 13 games. The Rams are undefeated against the Hawkeyes this season and most recently swept a Doubleday Field doubleheader in Cooperstown on July 11. The Hawkeyes split a non-traditional doubleheader at home with Albany on Friday afternoon. Cooperstown will log a good amount of miles on the bus and on the field this week. The Hawkeyes play tonight in Watertown and then head down to Elmira for a Sunday doubleheader that includes the resumption of a suspended game from earlier this season.

*A look at tonight’s schedule concludes in Hometown U.S.A where the nationally-ranked Glens Falls Golden Eagles host the Utica Brewers at East Field. The Golden Eagles dropped the front end of a non-traditional doubleheader with Elmira on Friday night but managed to retain the top spot in the PGCBL East with a one-run triumph over the Pioneers in the night cap. Glens Falls currently leads Albany by a half-game for first place in the division though the Dutchmen have a game at hand on their rivals from up the North Way. The Eagles have bounced back from a losing skid at the end of last week to win three of their four regularly-scheduled games this week. In those four games, the Eagles have struck for 23 runs. But, pitching has been the story at East Field this year where the Eagles have yielded just 49 runs in 14 games and the pitching staff boasts a 2.58 home ERA. The season series between the Green and Gold and the Sons of Saranac has favored the team from Hacksaw Jim’s Duggan’s hometown. Two of the last three in the series have been decided by two runs or less.

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