Filed by the Amsterdam Mohawks...
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. - Jordan Ebert (Auburn) socked a solo home run, added another RBI on a sacrifice fly, and made a terrific diving catch in left field as well to help lead the Amsterdam Mohawks to a 4-2 victory over the Albany Dutchmen in Game 1 of the East Division Finals of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League playoffs. A crowd of 1,226 boisterous fans cranked up the noise level at Shuttleworth Park as Amsterdam won their 12th consecutive decision dating back to 11 straight wins to conclude the regular season.
Amsterdam had only four hits for the game but were able to make the most of them.
Three local products on the mound for the Mohawks fired a combined eight-hitter to hold the Dutchmen offense in check. Colonie native Matt Snyder (Temple) and then fellow Colonie product Chris Kalica (St. John's) leading to Schenectedy resident Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) received the win, the hold and the save respectively.
Snyder lasted into the seventh inning on a 115-pitch night. In his 6.2 innings of work he allowed just one unearned run in his final frame coming due to his own error. He scattered five hits and struckout seven against his former team. Snyder was a PGCBL All-Star Team representative for the Albany Dutchmen last year.
Kalica retired four straight in the seventh and eighth. And Urbanski worked out of a late jam in the ninth to pick up the save.
Charles Parslow (Hudson Valley C.C.) received the spot-start for the fatiged and over-worked Dutchmen staff who had worked 45 innings in the past three days leading to the opener of this series. Parslow was terrific in his six innings giving up just one earned run of the two total against him while allowing the top offensive team in the league to collect only two hits.
Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. His RBI hit in the ninth inning was the beginning of a late rally attempt. He was left stranded at second base as the tying run when Urbanski struckout Brad Noland (North Alabama) to end the game.
Jordan Ebert started the scoring with a solo home run off Parslow in the third inning. And Brian Ruby (Binghamton) singled and advanced on an error on the next play to be in position to score on a Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) sacrifice fly in the same inning as Amsterdam lead 2-0 in the third.
Albany had several threats against Snyder throughout the night but couldn't dent the scoreboard until the seventh inning when Justin Brock (Franklin Pierce) reached on an error by Snyder on a ground ball back to him. He made it to third on a passed ball and scored on a ground out by Marks.
Snyder also benefited by some timely defense behind him. Ed Charlton (NJIT) came charging in from center field to make a terrific sliding catch on a sinking line drive by Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina). Then Kyle Barrett made a spectacular diving catch in the sixth in foul territory to rob Suseck again. And Ebert hustled over towards left-center to make a great diving catch to deny Luke Nethaway (St. Rose) in the seventh.
Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Albany had the tying man at second base when Mohawks skipper Keith Griffin removed Matt Snyder in favor of Chris Kalica who then struck out Noland to end the threat and preserve the lead.
Amsterdam scored single runs in the seventh and the eighth on a sac-fly by Ebert and then an RBI double by Ed Charlton (NJIT) that plated Kyle Barrett.
Urbanski got into trouble in the ninth surrendering back-to-back singles to Luke Nethaway (St. Rose) and Justin Brock. Then Marks' two-out hit and advance on an error gave Albany a chance to equalize but Mike Urbanski spun a change through the big swing of Brad Noland to end the game.
Game 2 of the playoffs is Saturday at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany. Left-hander Rich Vrana (Marist) who tied for the league lead in wins with a 6-0 mark will make the start for the Mohawks.
If the Mohawks win Saturday then they will host Game 1 of the Best of 3 Championship Series on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park. If Albany wins then Game 3 of this playoff series will be on Sunday night at Shuttleworth Park.
Amsterdam has advanced to the league championship series for four straight seasons, all under head coach Keith Griffin. And the Mohawks have won the title in three of those past four years.
Saturday will represent the first home playoff game in Albany Dutchmen history and it is appropriate that this contest at Bob Bellizzi Field should take place against the Mohawks. The long-time skipper of the College of St. Rose with 720 from 1978-2005 was also a long-time representative in the front office for the Mohawks and was the head coach of the Schenectedy Mohawks when they won their first league championship in 1988. The Dutchmen and the Mohawks both benefited from the contributions of the late Bob Bellizzi to local baseball.
Broadcast coverage from Albany will begin at 6:45 on 1490 WCSS and on the internet on WCSS1490.com and ustream.tv Channel MohawksRadio. Game-time in Albany is scheduled for 7:05.