Mohawks finish summer ranked ninth in nation

Photo courtesy Amsterdam Mohawks/Facebook

The 2013 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League champion Amsterdam Mohawks finished the summer ranked ninth in Perfect Game USA’s Summer Top 30 poll. The final rankings, released on Tuesday, included the top 50 summer collegiate baseball teams nationwide. The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs and Watertown Rams were among a group of 30 teams that were also under consideration for the final set of summer rankings.

The Brazos Valley Bombers, champions of the Texas Collegiate League, ended the summer ranked as the number one team in the nation.

The full poll, compiled by Perfect Game’s Allan Simpson, can be found here.

Overall, Keith Griffin’s Mohawks completed the summer with a 35-18 (.660) record. Amsterdam went 31-16 during the regular season and then the Mohawks dispatched of the Albany Dutchmen and the Elmira Pioneers in the league playoffs, each in a best-of-three series, to claim their second consecutive league crown. The two-time champions finished the regular season on an 11-game unbeaten streak and the Mohawks went 26-7 after starting the summer with a 5-9 record. 

First baseman John Nogowski (Florida State) was named PGCBL Player of the Year. Nogowski tied a league record with a .497 on-base percentage and he finished in the league’s top five in six other offensive categories. Starting pitcher Matt Snyder (Fulton-Montgomery C.C.) was a finalist for the PGCBL Pitcher of the Year award. Snyder, who will pitch for Temple next spring, yielded just one run and struck out 10 over 15.0 innings in two playoff starts. He ended the summer with seven overall victories, a 1.17 earned run average and 53 strikeouts.

Seven Mohawks competed in the 2013 PGCBL All-Star Game including John Nogowski, Matt Snyder, Mike Urbanski (Binghamton), John Sansone (Florida State), Jordan Ebert (Auburn), Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) and Dylan Smith (Auburn). Smith finished the regular season tied for first in the league in runs batted in (34). He set a new PGCBL single-game record on July 30 against the Adirondack Trail Blazers with eight RBI in a 13-3 Amsterdam victory. Mike Urbanski pitched his way into the PGCBL record book. He retired 27-straight batters over five scoreless appearances between June 28 and July 17.

Offensively, Amsterdam led the PGCBL in batting average (.299), runs scored (316), hits (475), doubles (91) and hit-by-pitch (84). The Mohawks averaged 6.6 runs per game Amsterdam’s pitching staff topped the league in strikeouts (392) and finished second in team earned run average (3.33) and fewest hits allowed (357).

The Mohawks have been ranked in Perfect Game’s Summer Top 30 in each of the last four years under head coach Keith Griffin. In addition, Amsterdam has finished each of the last two summers ranked among the top 10 teams nationally. The Mohawks were ranked as high as second in the nation last year and finished third in the final poll.

Under head coach Keith Griffin, the Amsterdam Mohawks have claimed four summer baseball championships over the last five years. The Tribe, with Griffin at the helm, has won over 170 games since the start of the 2009 season. Amsterdam has advanced to the PGCBL Championship Series three years in a row and the Mohawks have won 96 regular season games in three PGCBL campaigns.

The Watertown Rams captured the PGCBL’s Western Division crown with a 29-19 (.604) record. Watertown won the division championship by 6.5 games over second-place Newark. The Rams, formerly known as the Watertown Wizards, set a franchise single-season record for wins and earned their first division title. PGCBL Coach of the Year finalist Paul Alteri guided the Rams on a 24-9 run to close out the regular season; Watertown opened the 2013 campaign 5-10. The Silver and Black posted the best home record (16-7,.696) of any PGCBL team.

Watertown starting center fielder Joe Moroney (Kansas), an All-Star Game starter, led the PGCBL in runs scored (41) and walks (33). He was the lead-off hitter for a Watertown line-up that amassed a league high 216 free passes during the regular season. Joe Moroney, Collin Theroux (Nevada), Joe Adel (South Florida) and Logan Grant (Creighton) competed in the PGCBL All-Star Game.

The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs finished second in the highly-competitive PGCBL East with a 26-19 (.578) regular season record. For the second year in a row, Mohawk Valley set a franchise record for wins and qualified for the league playoffs. The DiamondDawgs went 16-10 in the month of July to edge out both the Albany Dutchmen and Glens Falls Golden Eagles by 1.5 games for second place in the division.

Center fielder Dalton Herrington (ULM) paced the PGCBL with 34 stolen bases and he finished fifth in the league in batting average (.359) and hits (56). Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) topped the league in triples for the second year in a row; he has posted 11 in two seasons. PGCBL Pitcher of the Year candidate Keegan Long (Saint Joseph’s, Ind.) topped the Mohawk Valley mound corps. He went 4-1 with a 2.78 earned run average and 51 strikeouts in 45.1 innings pitched.

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