PGCBL Daily Rundown - July 27, 2013

Fireworks Night at Mohawk Valley's Veterans Memorial Park. Photo courtesy Michael Spellman/WUTR Sports

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
Amsterdam 8 Utica 3 (Resumed from June 6)
Amsterdam 5 Utica 0
Newark 3 Watertown 2
Mohawk Valley 14 Adirondack 0
Elmira 11 Albany 9

Tonight’s Games

Cooperstown at Adirondack (DH), 4:30 PM
Amsterdam at Glens Falls (DH), 5:05 PM
Watertown at Utica, 7:00 PM
Mohawk Valley at Albany, 7:05 PM
Elmira at Newark, 7:15 PM

*Including today, there are five days remaining in the 2013 PGCBL regular season. The final day of the regular season is July 31.

*If the playoffs started today…East 1) Amsterdam bye, 3) Glens Falls at 2) Mohawk Valley…West 1) Watertown bye, 3) Newark at 2) Elmira. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on August 1.

*Games played-games remaining…Adirondack (43-5), Albany (42-6), Amsterdam (43-5), Cooperstown (39-5), Elmira (41-6), Glens Falls (41-7), Mohawk Valley (40-5), Newark (43-5), Utica (39-5), Watertown (43-5).

*There was something in the water along the Mohawk River on Friday night. Amsterdam’s Rich Vrana (Marist) pitched a two-hit shutout over six innings and was nearly perfect in a win over the Utica Brewers. The southpaw seated 17 of the 19 men he faced. Up the river in Little Falls, Mohawk Valley’s Michael DeCarlo (Herkimer County C.C.) hurled a two-hit shutout over seven innings and struck out seven in a win against the Adirondack Trail Blazers. DeCarlo conceded a lead-off single in the first and did not give up another hit until the seventh.

*Friday marked great Fireworks Night crowds in Elmira (4,471), Amsterdam (1,487) and Mohawk Valley (1,286). Elmira’s crowd of 4,471 was a season high. It was the third largest crowd in PGCBL history. The league record for a single game is 4,847 which Elmira set in its home finale last year against Mohawk Valley.

*While Amsterdam’s offense has garnered the headlines, Mohawks pitchers have allowed just six hits combined in their last two games. Coupled in with Friday’s resumed game against Utica; Tribe hilltoppers have given up all of 10 hits in their last three outings.

*Utica’s Michael Pierson (Appalachian State) maintained his league lead in batting average with a pair of hits in the regularly-scheduled game on Friday night against Amsterdam. However, he saw his season-opening 17-game hitting streak decrease by one. Statistics from the resumed game between Amsterdam and Utica reverted back to June 6 which for Utica would be the second game of the season. Pierson did not record a hit on June 6 or in the completed portion of the game on Friday. The 17-game hit streak began for Pierson in the season opener, the June 6 game was Utica’s second.

*Watertown has the best home record in the league however Newark has taken over the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in its last two trips up to the North Country. The Pilots shut out the Rams, 3-0, last Sunday. Friday night, Samm Wiggins (Houston Baptist) smashed a two-run home run in a 3-2 comeback victory for Newark. Wiggins’ two-out home run in the eighth inning erased a 2-1 Watertown lead.

*The wildest game on Friday night was in the Southern Tier where Albany and Elmira nearly wore out the scoreboard in a high-scoring affair. The game overall featured 20 runs on 27 hits. There were two lead changes and three ties. Elmira rallied from deficits of 3-2, 7-3 and 9-7. The sixth-inning alone featured eight total runs – each team scored four in the inning - the game went from 3-3 to 7-7. Nine total players recorded at least two hits. There was at least one run scored in seven of eight full innings. The fourth was the only frame in which neither team scored. Both teams also combined for nine doubles. The 20 runs in the game were scored by 16 different players.

*Taylor Hillson (Mansfield 2013-14) played a key role in each of the final two scoring innings for Elmira. With the Pioneers behind, 9-7, in the seventh, Hillson smashed a lead-off double. He came around to score on a two-out double by Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg), cutting Elmira’s deficit to one. The Mansfield, Pa., native returned to the plate in the eighth with the game tied, 9-9, and a two-out runner on first base in Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan). Hillson singled into right field and an error on the play allowed Kalousdian to score from first on a mad dash around the bases. The Elmira shortstop then recorded the Pios final run of the night on a two-out double by Spencer Henderson (UC Davis).

*Eight of Elmira’s 11 runs scored with two outs.

*Elmira catcher Dave Hoffmann (Siena) helped slow down Albany’s running game. The Elmira backstop cut down two runners attempting to steal second base. In the fourth, the Dutchmen attempted a double steal; Hoffmann’s throw to second was taken by shortstop Taylor Hillson (Mansfield 2013-14) and his return throw to Hoffmann was good enough to retire Albany’s Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina) at the plate.

*Heading into the final five days of the regular season, three players are tied for the league lead in runs batted in. Amsterdam’s Josh Gardiner (Radford) and Mohawk Valley’s Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) and Dalton Herrington (ULM) all have 33 RBI. Gardiner plated two scores on Friday night in Amsterdam’s 5-0 win over Utica. Herrington drove in four runs in Mohawk Valley’s win against Adirondack and Thibodeaux added two RBI. Each team has five games remaining in the regular season. 

*Watertown’s Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi) drove in both Ram runs on Friday night without the benefit of a hit. Joe Moroney (Kansas) scored on a Dominic Lopez fielders’ choice in the first inning to force a 1-1 tie. Lopez brought home Watertown’s second run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly that scored Bobby Indeglia (Holy Cross). Lopez leads all Ram hitters with 28 RBI.

*Newark’s Andrew Sanders (Ithaca) and Watertown’s Anthony Magovney (Buffalo) had the best pitchers’ duel on Friday night. Sanders, the All-Star Game starter for the West, did not allow an earned run in seven innings. He conceded two unearned scores on seven hits, walked two and struck out two. Magovney yielded one run in the first and did not allow another run in the next five frames. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five in a no decision.

*Donald Frew (Young Harris) of the Pilots is one save away from becoming the third pitcher in PGCBL history with at least 10 saves. Friday night, Frew pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his ninth save. Newark’s Mark Scott led the PGCBL in 2011 with 11 saves. His finals counterpart, Abram Williams of Amsterdam recorded 10. No other pitcher has posted double-digit saves. The league high in 2012 was eight.

*Breaking down Mohawk Valley’s offensive explosion against Adirondack – the DiamondDawgs scored 14 runs on 16 hits. Eight of nine starters had at least one hit and six starters logged multi-hit games. Trey Hunt (Point Loma Nazarene) paced the DiamondDawgs out of the eight-spot with three hits and three runs scored. Jordan Serena (Columbia), Willie Shaw (William & Mary), Dalton Herrington (ULM), Landon Thibodeaux (LSU Eunice) and Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) all had two hits. Herrington and Shaw each drove in four runs, Serena scored four runs. The Dawgs totaled six extra-base hits. All 14 Mohawk Valley runs crossed the plate in the first four innings.

*Mohawk Valley’s 14 runs at home on Friday night marked the highest total of runs scored for the team at home in the PGCBL era.  The DiamondDawgs scored 18 runs in a single game last season against Cooperstown on the road at Doubleday Field.

*Amsterdam’s Rich Vrana (Marist) and Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) of Glens Falls are tied for the league lead with six victories apiece. Vrana has four wins over the last two weeks.

*Josh Gardiner (Radford) extended his hitting streak to six-straight games in Amsterdam’s 5-0 win over Utica on Friday night. Over his last six games, all Amsterdam wins, Gardiner has compiled 16 hits in 21 at-bats for a .762 batting average. He has scored 14 runs and driven in 13. The RU product has increased his batting average to .344.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*Recent Watertown signing Matthew Thaiss (Jackson H.S.) was a 32nd-round selection (953rd overall) of the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Thaiss, from Jackson, N.J., opted out of signing with the Red Sox. He will attend the University of Virginia in the fall. The lefty-hitting catcher graded out at a 10.0 rating at Perfect Game’s 2012 World Showcase.

Quick hits on tonight’s games…
*The playoff chase in the PGCBL East takes center stage tonight as all four teams vying for three spots go head-to-head in a pair of Saturday showdowns. Amsterdam and Glens Falls played for the league championship one year ago. This season, the Mohawks and the Golden Eagles are in the same division and are currently separated by three games with Amsterdam in first and Glens Falls in third. The Golden Eagles were off on Friday after being swept in a twin bill on Thursday night at home versus Cooperstown; Glens Falls will also be off on Sunday before finishing the regular season with five games in three days between July 29 and July 31. Amsterdam meanwhile will be concluding a stretch of 31 innings of baseball in two days. The Green and Gold hold a slim half-game lead over Albany for the third and final playoff spot; Glens Falls is also just 1.5 games behind second-place Mohawk Valley. Amsterdam has opened up a 1.5-game lead at the top of the division and at 27-16 boasts the best record and winning percentage in the PGCBL. The Eagles have had the number of the Mohawks this season; Glens Falls has a 4-2 record against Amsterdam. Though it was the Mohawks coming away with a 7-6 walk-off win the last time the two teams met on July 17 at Shuttleworth Park. Amsterdam and Glens Falls split a doubleheader earlier this season at East Field.

*The other PGCBL East clash is in the Capital District where the Albany Dutchmen host the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Albany’s loss at Elmira on Friday night pushed the Dutchmen back into fourth place, a half-game behind third-place Glens Falls. The good news for Albany is that the Dutchmen still have a game at hand on the Golden Eagles and the two teams will meet in a non-traditional doubleheader on the final night of the season, potentially for the third and final playoff spot in the East. Mohawk Valley has grabbed a solid hold on second place in the division with its current 10-3 run though with just 3.5 games between first place Amsterdam and fourth-place Albany, anything is still very much possible with five days left in the regular season. Since a 19-1 win at Adirondack, the Dutchmen have compiled a 3-6 record. The Dawgs are 14-7 on the road while the Dutchmen are 13-9 at home. Mohawk Valley holds a 3-1 lead in the season series; the Dawgs swept a doubleheader on July 14 at the Vet and also won, 6-4, at Bob Bellizzi Field on June 26. Mohawk Valley has won three straight in the season series.

*A potential playoff preview takes place in the PGCBL West where second-place Elmira buses up to swing against third-place Newark. The Pioneers need one more win or one more Adirondack loss to mathematically become the second PGCBL team this season to clinch a playoff spot. Elmira leads third-place Newark by 3.5 games and can still potentially catch Watertown in the race for the division regular season championship. Newark has used a 4-1 stretch to pull two games ahead of fourth-place Adirondack for the third and final playoff spot. Elmira has a 7-2 lead in the season series between the two western-most teams in the league. The two teams have not played since July 17, an 8-2 Elmira win in which the Pioneers scored six times in the seventh-inning to break a 2-2 tie. The last two games in the series have been split, Newark pounded Elmira, 16-1, on July 12 in Newark – Elmira’s last trip to Colburn Park. This will be the 30th all-time regular season meeting between the Pioneers and Pilots.

*A Route 12 rivalry of sorts resumes tonight in Utica where the Utica Brewers host the Watertown Rams. The Rams have already clinched a playoff spot though the still up for grabs for the Silver and Black are the PGCBL West regular season championship and the top overall seed in the upcoming PGCBL playoffs. Utica meanwhile is in a must-win situation; the Brewers need to win all of their five remaining games to have a chance at passing Newark for the third and final playoff spot. The Sons of Saranac have been a proverbial thorn in the side of their North Country counterparts. Utica has accumulated a 4-2 record against Watertown this season. The Rams have yet to win at Dononvan Stadium and have not done so since 2004. Utica concluded a stretch of four road games in two days on Friday at Amsterdam. The Brewers still have a doubleheader on Sunday remaining with the Elmira Pioneers. Nine of Utica’s 14 wins have come in the Renaissance City. Watertown is 11-12 on the road – Saturday’s game will be Watertown’s first on the road in over a week. The Rams enter into the game on a two-game road winning streak.

*A doubleheader at the Smith Sports Complex between the Adirondack Trail Blazers and the Cooperstown Hawkeyes concludes a look at Saturday’s schedule. Due to a rain out earlier this season, the trip to Boonville will be the first-ever for the Hawkeyes. Adirondack opens the final Saturday of the regular season two games behind third-place Newark with five games to play. While the Trail Blazers are not yet in a must-win situation, every win counts for skipper Ryne Foster’s team. Adirondack has dropped four in a row since a wild 5-4 win over Elmira last Saturday night. The Blazers have been their best this season at home with 11 of their 16 wins coming at the Smith Sports Complex in Boonville. Cooperstown was off on Friday and will be playing its second doubleheader in three days – the Hawkeyes spoiled a Thursday twin bill for the home team in Glens Falls on Thursday night with a doubleheader sweep of the Golden Eagles. Cooperstown outscored Glens Falls, 10-3, on Thursday and kept the Golden Eagles scoreless in 12 of the 14 innings played. The season series between the Blazers and Hawkeyes is tied at one win apiece. Cooperstown won a thriller, 2-1, in 12 innings at home on June 21 behind a game-winning squeeze bunt from Emilio Alonso (Black Hawk). Adirondack pulled level in the series with a 7-1 Doubleday whipping of Cooperstown on July 10.

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