League Champs

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Thank You For a Great 2021 Season! See you in 2022

By Jon Sargalis

Box Score

Saugerties, NY – Game 1 of the PGCBL Championship featured drama, controversy, and a walk-off win for the Saugerties Stallions.

With the game tied at 1 with 2 outs and an 0-2 count in the bottom of the ninth, Jarrett Brown (Georgia Southern) appeared to have swung. The first base umpire said he held up, which sent the Amsterdam dugout irate and caused the ejection of Mohawks head coach Keith Griffin. Three pitches later, Brown delivered the walk-off hit as the Stallions won Game 1 of the PGCBL Championship by a score of 2-1.

The game started with Saugerties jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Josh Stevenson (LSU) led off with a double and later scored on a Kip Fougerousse (Indiana) sac-fly to center field.

Mohawks starter Cole Patten (Seton Hall) settled in after that first inning and held the Stallions off the board for the next six innings. Patten recorded 10 strikeouts over 7 innings allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 1 walk.

Amsterdam finally got on the board in the seventh inning when with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Bryce Eblin reached base on a dropped third strike which allowed Davis Meche to score.

The Mohawks offence struggled all night as they only recorded 4 hits, left 13 men stranded on base and struck out 15 times. Jack Walker (Indiana) started for the Stallions going the first 5 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 walk with 8 strikeouts. Jarek Woodward (Grand Canyon) went the next inning and a third and was charged with the 1 run on 1 walk with 2 strikeouts. Michael Stanford (UC Irvine) was the winning pitcher as he went the last 2.2 innings not allowing a hit with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts.

Mohawks pitching recorded 14 strikeouts as Patten had 10, Brian Yetter (Marist) recorded 1 and Connor Brandon (Toledo) recorded 3.

The ninth inning is where the intensity really picked up. With the game tied at 1 and the Mohawks up in the top of the inning, Matt Shaw (Maryland) walked with 1 out and Brett Coker (Middle Tennessee State) was hit by a pitch. CJ Funk (Pitt) stepped in and crushed a pitch to centerfield that he thought was a home run but was caught in deep centerfield. Matt Shaw tagged up and moved to third and Brett Coker stole second. The Stallions decided to intentionally walk Bryce Eblin (Alabama) and Jake Reinisch (Wake Forest) grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Connor Brandon started the inning by hitting Cade Verdusco (Grand Canyon). Brandon bounced back and struck out the next 2 batters, but then back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Keith Griffin turned to Shane Harris for the final out. After 2 quick strikes to Jarrett Brown the check swing controversy occurred. Then on a 2-2 count with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Brown hit the Shane Harris offering over the head of CJ Funk in right field as Cade Verdusco scored the winning run to give the Stallions a 2-1 walk-off win and a 1-0 series lead.

The PGCBL Championship now shifts to Amsterdam where a winner will be decided on Tuesday. Game 2 will begin at 4:15. If Saugerties wins, then they will be crowned league champions. If Amsterdam wins it will force a Game 3 which will be played immediately following the conclusion of the second game. Whichever team wins Game 3 will be the 2021 PGCBL Champions.