PGCBL Player of the Week Danny Brennan (Saint Louis) leads off from second on Monday night versus Watertown. Also pictured is Watertown's Peter Rajkovich (San Joaquin Delta). Photo courtesy GF Golden Eagles.
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Last Night's Scores
Oneonta 11 Cooperstown 3
Amsterdam 1 Albany 0
Glens Falls 5 Watertown 3
Mohawk Valley 13 Elmira 2
Today's Games and Pitching Probables
Cooperstown at Albany, 6:05* p.m.
Cody Cooper (Northern Kentucky) 2-6, 7.52 vs. Cody Tollison (MIddle Tenn. State) 0-3, 5.84 ERA
*Regularly-scheduled game will follow a resumed game from July 12
Newark at Oneonta, 7:00 p.m.
Austin McAuliffe (NJIT) 4-2, 4.75 ERA vs. Nathaniel Abel (Virginia) 2-2, 2.76 ERA
Glens Falls at Watertown, 7:00 p.m.
Cory Folk (Buffalo) 2-0, 5.31 ERA vs. Brian Burns (Plattsburgh) 0-1, 7.04 ERA
Mohawk Valley at Amsterdam, 7:05 p.m.
Jesse Buratt (Baton Rouge C.C.) 2-1, 4.50 ERA vs. Chris Kalica (Fairfield) 0-0, 1.29 ERA
*Final two days of the regular season. There are still two playoff spots up for grabs among three teams.
Albany - vs. Cooperstown (x2), vs. Amsterdam
Amsterdam - vs. Mohawk Valley, at Albany
Cooperstown - at Albany (x2)
Elmira - at Newark
Glens Falls - at Watertown, vs. Oneonta
Mohawk Valley - at Amsterdam, at Watertown
Newark - at Oneonta, vs. Elmira
Oneonta - vs. Newark, at Glens Falls
Watertown - vs. Glens Falls, vs. Mohawk Valley
Playoff Picture: There are two spots left for three teams - Glens Falls, Mohawk Valley and Oneonta. Both Amsterdam and Newark have clinched spots though Newarks' actual seed still needs to be determined. The magic number to clinch for Glens Falls is one, as in one win or one Mohawk Valley loss. Glens Falls can punch its' playoff ticket tonight in Watertown. However, if the Eagles drop their final two games to Watertown and Oneonta and both Oneonta and Mohawk Valley win out, the Eagles would miss the playoffs. Oneonta's magic number is 2. The Outlaws need to win their final two games, have Mohawk Valley lose their final two games or one Oneonta win has to combine with one Mohawk Valley loss. However, if Oneonta splits its' final two games and Mohawk Valley goes undefeated then the DiamondDawgs would skip over the Outlaws into the final playoff spot. Mohawk Valley can also split its final two games and make the playoffs if Oneonta goes 0-2. Albany was eliminated from the playoff chase with last night's loss to Amsterdam. The best the Dutchmen can finish is 23-23. As for actual seeding scenarios in the playoffs, well, we'll know more after tonight.
*Elmira played in front of the largest crowd in the two-year history of the PGCBL last night with 4,827 fans in attendance for the season finale at Dunn Field against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Elmira finished its home schedule, 22 games, with a total attendance of 66,478 for an average of 3,021 fans per game. Both numbers are league and Elmira summer collegiate franchise records. Elmira's previous high attendance this season was 4,182 against Newark on June 9. The previous franchise summer collegiate single-game record was 4,683 set last season on August 1 against Watertown.
*Not only did Elmira play to its largest house of the season on Monday but so did the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. A total of 1,207 fans took in Cooperstown's home finale yesterday evening against local rival Oneonta. It was the largest crowd of the season for the Hawkeyes. The previous single-game attendance mark for the Cooperstown nine was 1,037 and that came last year in mid-July against the Amsterdam Mohawks.
*Talk about a pitchers' duel last night. Amsterdam's Taylor Martin (Kentucky) and Albany's David Stagg (Heartland C.C.) nearly mirrored one another for seven innings. Martin fired a three-hit shutout, walked none and struck out six. Stagg yielded one run on three hits, walked one and struck out nine. Martin at one point retired 15 batters in a row. Stagg retired the final eight batters he faced. Both left the game after the seventh inning. All three relievers in the game - Amsterdam's Kevin Archbold (UAlbany) and Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) and Albany's Ricky Schafer (Cypress) - retired the side in order in one scoreless inning.
*Last night's 1-0 result between Amsterdam and Albany was the first 1-0 game in the PGCBL this season and fourth in league history. The previous low score this year was also recorded by Amsterdam and Albany in a 2-0 Mohawks' victory at Shuttleworth Park on June 18. There has not been a 1-0 result in the league since Albany defeated Cooperstown, 1-0, in a rain-shortened game on July 8, 2011, at Bob Bellizzi Field. Amsterdam earned two 1-0 victories last season, one over Albany at Bellizzi Field on June 12 and another in a seven-inning game at Mohawk Valley on July 2. The only two 1-0 results in nine-game innings have been in contests between Albany and Amsterdam.
*Amsterdam recorded its' fifth shutout of the season on Monday night which set a league record. Amsterdam has earned just two shutout wins at home and three on the road. The Mohawks have shut out three opponents this season - Albany (x3), Watertown and Mohawk Valley. Eight Amsterdam pitchers have pitched in part of a shutout this season - Taylor Martin (Kentucky), Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky), Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) and Kevin Archbold (UAlbany) each have pitched in parts of two shutouts. Don't forget that the All-Star Game, with Amsterdam Mohawks pitchers participating, also ended in a shutout at Shuttleworth park on July 24.
*Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) of Amsterdam has hit three home runs this year and all three have been game winners. Limbaugh has hit home runs in back-to-back wins for the Mohawks over the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs and Albany Dutchmen. In each game, Limbaught's belt brought home the eventual game-winning tally. He also had a decisive home run at home in an 8-5 win over Watertown.
*Mohawk Valley cranked out 13 hits on Monday night at Elmira. Of those 13, just one was an extra-base hit, a three-run home run by Chris Cruz (Cornell). The Dawgs had 12 singles and also benefitted from eight walks and three HBP. All nine Mohawk Valley starters had at least one hit, eight scored at least one run and five had one RBI or more.
*In an interesting twist, the top of the Mohawk Valley line-up did a lot of the run producing while the bottom of the line-up scored most of the runs. Tyler Heck (Union, N.Y.), David Del Grande (Sacramento State) and Chris Cruz (Cornell) combined for 10 RBI and those three were the top three on the MV line-up card. Del Grande led the trio with four RBI. Mark Stuckey (Marist), Eddie Sorondo (Delaware State), Tom Valichka (Young Harris) and Joe Carcone (Bryant), batters six through nine, combined to score nine runs. Sorondo had the most with three.
*Mohawk Valley's Chris Cruz (Cornell) likes playing in the Southern Tier. The rising junior from Ivy League champion Cornell has played two games at Elmira's Dunn Field this summer. In those two games, Cruz has blasted three home runs and totaled eight RBI.
*Oneonta's Cody Hough (UC Riverside) clubbed the fourth grand slam of the season last night in the ninth inning of Oneonta's game at Cooperstown. Cody Hough and Zach Lucas (Louisville) are the first teammates to hit a grand slam in the same season. Hough's slam last night came at Doubleday Field came exactly two weeks after Lucas hammered a grand slam against the Albany Dutchmen at Damaschke Field. Both grand slams were hit in Otsego County. Incidentally, the final score of both games is similar; 12-3 against Oneonta and 11-3 versus Cooperstown.
*Oneonta, Amsterdam and Cooperstown each have hit two grand slams over the last two years. Watertown and Albany each have one. Cooperstown has been involved in five games that have included a grand slam.
*Wild game last night in Glens Falls involving the Golden Eagles and the Wizards. A pitchers' duel through the first six innings turned into a wild slugfest late with all eight runs in the game crossing the plate in the final two innings. Starters Bryan Chudy (Clarkson) and Wes Judish (San Diego) traded scoreless frames through the first six innings. Watertown broke through with an unearned run in the seventh only to watch Glens Falls score three times right after the seventh-inning stretch. The Wizards immediately tied the game in the top of the eighth but a two-run double from Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) broke the short-lived 3-3 tie.
*So, who had the better night? Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) of Glens Falls or Zac Johnson (Illinois State) of Oneonta. Rodrigue accounted for four of five Glens Falls runs. He smashed his league-leading sixth triple in the seventh with brought home the game-tying run (1-1) and then scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. The next inning, Rodrigue broke a 3-3 tie with a two out, two-run double. Down at Doubleday Field, Johnson outscored the home-standing Hawkeyes by himself. Johnson doubled with two outs in the first and then scored on a Zander Wiel (Vanderbilt) double. He walked and scored in the fourth and then slugged a two-run home run in the seventh. Johnson's night ended in the ninth when he singled and then scored on a Cody Hough (UC Riverside) grand slam.
*Speaking of Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice), he set a new league record last night with his sixth triple. The previous record was five, set last season by Newark's Jacob Starnes. Rodrigue, a late arrival, has six doubles and six triples in 30 games. He is batting .328 with 38 hits overall and 25 runs scored.
*Mohawk Valley has the top three home run hitters in the PGCBL this season. With two games left, Eric Helmrich (Marist) and Jack Morrow (Young Harris) are tied for the league lead with eight apiece. Chris Cruz (Cornell), with a home run last night, has seven for the season which is third in the league. No other player from any other team has more than six.
*Barring a massive strikeout number over the next two days, Albany's David Stagg (Heartland C.C.) will win the league's strikeout championship. Stagg seated nine Amsterdam batters via strikeout last night to raise his team and now league-leading total to 61. The next closest pitcher to Stagg is Newark's Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph's, Pa.) with 53. None of the pitchers in the top five, all with at least 50 strikeouts, are scheduled to start today or tomorrow. Stagg also leads the league in batters struck out looking (21).
*Just eight scheduled games left in the 2012 PGCBL regular season which has already featured over 200 contests. Four regularly-scheduled games on the docket today plus the completion of a game from earlier this month.
*Two teams in the league's top four square off tonight at Damaschke Field in what essentially amounts to a playoff game. While Newark has clinched a playoff spot, the Pilots still have yet to clinch home-field advantage in the opening round which would mean the first and possibly third game in a best-of-three series at Colburn Park. Meanwhile, Oneonta has not clinched a playoff spot at all and needs to win at least one of its final two to make it into the league postseason. Newark was off on Monday following a 3-1 win on Sunday over Elmira while Oneonta clobbered Cooperstown at Doubleday Field yesterday evening. This will be the sixth and final game of the season series between Newark and Oneonta who could very well meet again in the playoffs. Oneonta leads the series 3-2; four of the five games have been decided by a score of 4-3. Oneonta's first PGCBL game was at Newark's Colburn Park. The only game in the series not settled by a 4-3 score came at Colburn Park in early July when the Outlaws grounded the Pilots with a 10-1 decision. The two teams have not played since July 18, a 4-3 Newark victory at Colburn Park in which the Pilots won in walk-off fashion. Oneonta holds a walk-off win over Newark as well. The Pilots have won five in a row and 10 of their last 13 but are overall .500 (11-11) on the road. Oneonta has scored five wins in its last six games and total 47 runs overall in those six contests. The Orange and Black has played well at home with a 14-9 record and triumphed in the last three at Damaschke Field.
*Mohawk Valley ended a five-game losing streak and a 1-8 stretch on Monday night with a victory in front of nearly 4,900 at Dunn Field in Elmira. A three-game road trip and the push to the playoffs continue for the DiamondDawgs who find themselves on the outside looking in with two games left. Mohawk Valley can split its final two games and still get into the PGCBL postseason though the Dawgs would need some help. The Dawgs, who were on the western edge of the league on Monday night, now bus to the other side of the state to face off with the nationally-ranked Amsterdam Mohawks in the final regular season game at Amsterdam's Shuttleworth Park. This will be the 12th and final meeting this season between Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley. The league regular season champions have a 10-1 lead in the series though four of the last five have been decided by two runs or less. The Dawgs do hold a victory over the Mohawks at Shuttleworth Park this season and the MV offense reached double digits on Monday for the first time in a nine-inning game since July 14. The Dawgs scored runs in bunches during their 11-game win streak which included seven double-digit games. In a recent 1-8 stretch, Mohawk Valley scored no more than eight runs. Mohawk Valley is 12-10 on the road this year while Amsterdam is 18-5 at Shuttleworth Park.
*The Glens Falls Golden Eagles undertake one of their longest road trips of the season up to Watertown in hopes of clinching a playoff spot with a victory tonight at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. The Eagles, with a magic number of 1, can grab a postseason berth with either a win in Watertown or a loss by Mohawk Valley to Amsterdam. There is still a possibility however that the Eagles, even with the second-most wins in the league, could miss out on the postseason with two-straight losses. Tonight's game is the back end of a home-and-home series between the Golden Eagles and the Wizards. Glens Falls earned a wild 5-3 win last night at East Field. The last night the Green and Gold bused up to Watertown, the team came away with a 14-4 victory. The Eagles have won two in a row over the Wizards since dropping three straight to the Purple and Gold to open the season series. Since the departure of Ross Kivett (Kansas State), the Eagles are 4-2 with two losses to the Amsterdam Mohawks in a doubleheader this past Friday. Looking back further, since sitting at .500 (17-17), the team has won nine of its last 12 games. The Eagles have been great at home and so-so on the road with a 10-14 road record. The Eagles will finish the season with 25 road games because a scheduled home date was rained out and the game was moved to another site (Amsterdam). Watertown has a winning record (3--2) against Glens Falls this season and looks to play the role of spoiler. With wins against Glens Falls and Mohawk Valley over the next two nights, Watertown could possibly finish in a tie for sixth with Albany. In its last two games against former PGCBL West rivals Newark and Elmira, the Wizards have scored 12 runs. It should be noted that Watertown and Glens Falls were members of the same division in the NYCBL from 2004-2005 and 2007-2010.
*A non-traditional doubleheader in Albany rounds out a look at tonight's schedule. Albany and Cooperstown will finish a suspended game beginning at 6:05 p.m. and then hopefully will start their regularly-scheduled game around 7:05 p.m. The first game originally began on July 12 at Cooperstown's Doubleday Field. The contest was suspended after seven innings due to darkness with Cooperstown leading 15-11. Because Albany did not have a return date scheduled to Cooperstown, the game was deemed to be finished tonight in Albany, the site of the only remaining scheduled game between the Dutchmen and Hawkeyes. Cooperstown will be the home team for the final two innings of the suspended game. The Hawkeyes have a scheduled day off tomorrow so they will finish their season tonight in the Capital District. Albany closes the season tomorrow at home against Amsterdam. The Dutchmen were eliminated from the playoff race last night with a loss in Amsterdam. However, the Dutchmen can still clinch a .500 record (23-23) with three-straight wins. There is also a possibility Albany could pull into a fifth-place tie with Mohawk Valley. Regardless of being in the playoff race or not, Albany has already set a franchise single-season record for wins (currently 20). The team will possibly boast the league's strikeout champion (David Stagg) and last month, the Dutchmen had two players drafted; one being current utility man Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina-2012-13).