PGCBL Daily Rundown - June 16, 2013

An Albany Dutchmen meeting at the mound on Saturday night. Photo courtesy Corey Mansfield/Broken Bat Blog

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

Albany 5 Watertown 3
Newark 6 Utica 4
Glens Falls 7 Mohawk Valley 5 (Game 1)
Adirondack 7 Amsterdam 6
Cooperstown 7 Elmira 6 (10)
Glens Falls 4 Mohawk Valley 3 (10) (Game 2)

Tonight’s Games and Pitching Probables
Newark at Cooperstown, 5:00 PM
Ethan Humbert (RIT) 0-0, 4.91 ERA vs. Jack Stover (Saint Joseph’s, Pa.) 0-0, 3.60 ERA

Amsterdam at Glens Falls (DH), 5:05 PM
Logan Fullmer (Maine) 0-1, 2.25 ERA vs. Zach Hopf (Saint Peter’s) 1-0, 3.00 ERA

Mohawk Valley at Elmira, 5:05 PM

Adirondack at Utica, 7:00 PM
Brendan Butler (Fairleigh Dickinson) 0-1, 5.40 ERA vs. Hunter McIntosh (Alabama State) 0-1, 13.50 ERA

Albany at Watertown – PPD Rain

 *First and foremost, I’d like to wish all everyone a Happy Father’s Day. Thanks to all the dads that go outside and play catch with their sons and/or daughters. Also, a special Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Jeff McGraw, who introduced me to baseball and spent countless hours either playing catch with me or Strat-o-Matic. For you youngsters that don’t know what Strat-o-Matic is, search it on Google.

*The theme of yesterday’s game notes was “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and the six games last night certainly lived up to that billing. In one evening we saw three come-from-behind victories, two extra-inning contests, six thrilling finishes and six games decided by one run or less.

*Where to even start? Well, the Albany Dutchmen are still the only undefeated team in the league after edging Watertown in front of a great crowd at “The Bob.” The Dutchmen won’t play tonight so their undefeated record will last until Tuesday when they play at home against Elmira. The best start by any team in PGCBL history was recorded by Glens Falls in 2011. John Mayotte’s Golden Eagles went 6-1 in their first seven games en route to an eventual division title.

*Newark’s Jimmy Wagner (Ithaca) turned in one of the best performances of the night by a hitter or pitcher. Wagner, a converted starter turned reliever late in the spring, came out of the Newark bullpen lats night against Utica to preserve a 6-4 lead over the Pilots. Wagner pitched 2.2 scoreless innings and struck out seven of the eight batters he faced. The seven strikeouts were in a row and the last batter he faced was the only one that put the ball in play – that ended up as a game-ending ground out.

*Another clutch performance in relief came from Adirondack’s Kevin Sweeney (NIU). Sweeney pitched out of two separate bases-loaded jams against Amsterdam in Adirondack’s 7-6 victory. Sweeney came on from Ryne Foster’s bullpen in the eighth with the Trail Blazers leading the Mohawks 7-5. The rising senior from NIU struck out the first batter he faced. An Amsterdam ground out forced home a run to cut Adirondack’s advantage to one however with the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base, Sweeney calmly struck out 2012 All-PGCBL selection Ed Charlton (NJIT) to end the inning. Sweeney worked his way back into trouble in the home half of the ninth with a one-run cushion. Amsterdam packed the sacks with no outs to set up a potential walk-off situation. With his back to the wall, Sweeney picked up a strikeout and then induced a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

*In Adirondack’s 7-6 win at Amsterdam, the Trail Blazers forced the Mohawks to hit into four double plays. Pitchers for the Boonville side also forced the Mohawks to leave 11 men on base.

*Two other PGCBL pitchers worked out of no out, bases-loaded jams on Friday night though those missed yesterday’s rundown. Cooperstown’s Jonathan Chudy (Pace) had the most impressive performance against Amsterdam. The Mohawks, playing at home, filled the bases to the brim on a hit, an error and a walk. Chudy answered by striking out the next three Amsterdam batters in a row to end the inning – two swinging and one looking. Newark’s Drew Hasler (Valparaiso) faced a bases-loaded situation on Friday night in the Renaissance City against the hot-hitting Utica Brewers. With the sacks packed on three-straight singles, Hasler fought back and retired the next three Brewers on a strikeout, a foul out and a pop out.

*One of the biggest nail-biters on Saturday night was in Elmira where Cooperstown rallied from a 6-1 deficit to shock Elmira in 10 innings by a 7-6 score. Elmira though nearly won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Elmira’s Andrew Nist (Temple) singled to center field with runners on first and second and one out but Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg) was cut down at home plate on a throw from center fielder Matt Feldt (Jefferson, Mo.). Ryan Plantier (Cornell) then attempted to score from second on a Cooperstown fielding error however shortstop Emilio Alonso (Black Hawk) retrieved the ball and gunned down Plantier at the plate to keep the game tied 6-6.

*Emilio Alonso (Black Hawk) turned out to be the big hero for the Hawkeyes. After throwing out Plantier at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the recently signed shortstop drilled a two-out double to right field in the top of the 10th. Brendan O’Reilly (New Haven) plated Alonso with the go-ahead run for the Hawkeyes as Cooperstown completed its’ comeback from down 6-1.

*Seven was the lucky number on Saturday night as three teams reached the seven-run mark in victories; two games ended by an identical 7-6 score.

*Two games on Saturday night went into extra innings – Elmira against Cooperstown and Glens Falls at Mohawk Valley. The last time two league games went extras on the same night was July 19, 2012. That evening, Oneonta won on a walk-off against Cooperstown, 3-2, at Damaschke Field and Elmira did the same at home against rival Newark.

*Cooperstown has been involved in two of the three extra-inning PGCBL games this season. The Hawkeyes are 1-1 in those games. Last season, Cooperstown recorded a 2-3 mark in extra-inning games. The Otsegans have not played longer than 10 innings since last year’s season opener against Amsterdam which went 14 frames and lasted several days because of a darkness suspension.

*Mohawk Valley’s Jordan Friend (Alabama A&M) became the second player this season to belt a grand slam in a league game. Friend recorded his grand slam in the first game of a doubleheader between Mohawk Valley and Glens Falls at spacious and pitcher-friendly Vet’s Park. Friend’s salami is the second by a league player in five days and 11th in league history. Adirondack’s Luke Emling (Villanova) clubbed the first slam of the season in an 18-15 win over Utica this past Wednesday.

*Newark and Utica combined for nine doubles on Friday night at Donovan Stadium in Utica. The same two teams played on Saturday night in Newark and combined to mash out five doubles in a 6-4 Newark win. David Vandercook (Columbia) of Newark finished the two-game series with three doubles.

*Elmira and Cooperstown saw Newark and Utica’s five doubles and raised them two on Saturday night. The Pioneers and Hawkeyes combined to hit seven doubles at the Dunn diamond. Elmira’s Ryan Plantier (Cornell) and Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg) each doubled twice.

*One of the themes of the nights was comeback wins. Both Glens Falls and Cooperstown scored seven and six unanswered runs to win games over Mohawk Valley and Elmira respectively. Glens Falls trailed 5-1 heading into the sixth inning of their opener with Mohawk Valley. The Eagles tallied three times in the sixth and then scored four runs in the seventh to pull out a surprising 7-5 victory. Cooperstown faced a similar deficit in the Southern Tier with a 6-1 disadvantage going into the final three frames. Dan Shawn’s Hawkeyes posted two scores in the eighth and then four in the top of the ninth to force a 6-6 tie. The Hawkeyes then won the game with another run in the 10th.

*Two-time New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA Player of the Year Matt Portland (Northwestern) and 2012 Philadelphia Phillies 26th-round draft pick Fernando Fernandez-Beltran (Vanier) made their PGCBL debuts on Saturday night for Glens Falls. Portland started the opening game of the double dip in Little Falls and pitched four innings. He allowed four runs on two hits, walked five and struck out four in a no decision. Fernandez-Beltran started on the mound in the night cap and limited Mohawk Valley to two runs on one hit,; he walked three and struck out two, also in a no decision.

*Newark reliever Jimmy Wagner (Ithaca) was mentioned above though it does merit mentioning that Wagner and newly-signed Newark middle reliever Tyler Wilson (Buffalo) combined to strike out 12 Utica batters in six innings of relief.

*Utica’s K’Shawn Smith (Stetson) has scored at least one run in six of seven games. He leads the league with nine runs scored.

*Despite yesterday’s loss, Mohawk Valley is one of the best teams in the running and stopping the run department this season. Roberto Vaz’s team leads the league with 19 stolen bases on 23 attempts. Dalton Herrington (ULM) has a league-best nine stolen bases. What you may have missed? The DiamondDawgs have only allowed three stolen bases and four opposing runners attempting to steal have been thrown out. Every other league team has allowed at least six stolen bases.

*The number of rain outs has really wreaked havoc on the league schedule. Most noticeable is that Newark, Albany and Watertown have all played just two home games. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Amsterdam has already played five home games while Mohawk Valley and Adirondack have completed four apiece.

*Albany’s Ben Seabrook (North Alabama) leads the PGCBL with three saves in three chances.

*You always want to make a good first impression. Albany reliever Kyle Pheland (Salve Regina) made his first appearance of the summer for Nick Davey’s Dutchmen on Saturday night. Pheland entered in relief in the seventh inning with a runner on first base and one out in a 3-3 game versus Watertown. An Albany throwing error allowed the potential go-ahead run to third and a walk put runners on the corners. Pheland pitched his way out of trouble and induced an inning-ending force out on a ground ball. Albany took the lead in the home half of the seventh and Pheland made it stand up in the eighth when he retired three of the four swingers he opposed. The Salve Regina product earned the win for Albany.

*In two games for the Albany Dutchmen, Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) has scored three runs and stolen three bases. The Dutchmen are 2-0 in those games.

Did you know? One fact about a random PGCBL player each day…
*Cooperstown’s Jonathan Chudy (Pace) is not the first member of his family to compete in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Last summer, Jonathan’s older brother Bryan pitched for the Watertown Wizards. Bryan was a starter in Watertown and went 2-2 with a 4.93 earned run average over eight starts. He struck out 29 and walked 11. Bryan recently finished his collegiate pitching career at Clarkson University.

Quick Hits on tonight’s action
*Tonight marks the first regular season meeting between long-time rivals Amsterdam and Glens Falls. The two teams played last year for the PGCBL Championship. The rivalry between the Mohawks and Golden Eagles dates back to 2004 when the Golden Eagles joined the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The last time Amsterdam was at East Field in Glens Falls, the Mohawks defeated the Golden Eagles, 13-6, to capture the 2012 league championship.

*Adirondack and Utica played a crazy game this past Wednesday in Boonville which set a league record with 33-combined runs scored in an 18-15 Adirondack victory. Even more unique was the fact that Adirondack came back from a 13-0 deficit through two innings to earn the victory. All of Adirondack’s runs were scored between the second and eighth innings – eight of which came in the sixth. They meet tonight for the re-match at Donovan Stadium in Utica. How many runs will the Blazers and Brewers score tonight?

*Newark and Cooperstown met in the 2011 divisional playoffs in a best-of-three series. The second-seeded Pilots bested the top-seeded Hawkeyes in three games and won the decisive contest at Doubleday Field. Weather permitting, the two teams meet for the first time in 2013 at Doubleday Field. An earlier scheduled game between the two teams this season was rained out. Both teams head into Cooperstown today coming off of wins. Cooperstown is undefeated at home. The Hawkeyes can inch closer to idle first-place Albany with a victory this afternoon.

*Roberto Vaz’s DiamondDawgs make one of their longest trips of the season this evening to Elmira to face off with the Pioneers at Dunn Field. This evening’s game in the Southern Tier marks the final game in a five-game home-stand for the Pios. Last night, nearly 3,400 fans jammed into the Dunn to watch Elmira’s extra-inning thriller with Cooperstown. Over 10,000 guests have already come through the Dunn Field turnstiles this season to see PGCBL action. Mohawk Valley is 3-1 away from Vet’s Park while the Pios are 2-1 on their current home-stand.

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