League Champs

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Mohawks Defeat Pioneers to Take First Place

(Photo: Matt Pirro (Wake Forest). Photo courtesy Dave Wojeski/Amsterdam Recorder)

By Bob Rotruck

Box Score

The Amsterdam Mohawks won their fourth straight and moved all alone into first place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League with a 7-1 victory over the Elmira Pioneers on Friday night at Shuttleworth Park.

Amsterdam was involved in a three-way tie for the top spot with all the teams sporting 4-2 records. But the Mohawks took sole possession with the victory due to a loss by the Albany Dutchmen and a day off for the Newark Pilots. In the meanwhile, the slumping Pioneers fell to 0-7. The game was Elmira's only appearance to Shuttleworth Park this season.

The Mohawks led 2-1 when they put the game away with a five-run rally in the fifth knocking Elmira starter Justin Bhatti (Norfolk State) out of the game. It was the most runs in a single inning for Amsterdam this year.

The Mohawks were led by newcomer Nathan Gomez (Marshall) who belted a bases-loaded double to bring home three in the fifth inning in his first game with the team. Gomez went 2-for-3 with a walk. Also making his Amsterdam debut was Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) who had an RBI double.

Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville) went 3-for-5 with an rbi and a double improving his batting average to .363.

Elmira's lone run came in the top of the fifth on a solo home-run by Aaron Nardone (Delaware State). Stephen Patterson (San Joaquin Delta) and Corey Hamula (Sullivan Co. C.C.) each had 2-for-4 performances for the Pioneers.

Matt Pirro (Wake Forest) started and threw five innings to improve his record to 2-0 to tie fellow Mohawk Matt Gage (Siena) and a couple others for the league lead in victories. Pirro allowed three hits and one run along with two walks and three strikeouts.

Scott Heath (Maine) and Kerry Doane (ETSU) each pitched two innings of shutout relief to finish the victory.

The surging Amsterdam offense has scored seven or more runs in four of their last five games as well as in three of the four games of their win streak. They defeated Mohawk Valley 8-4 last Saturday and then knocked off Cooperstown 9-3 on Sunday. The Mohawks have 11 or more hits in each of their last three games.

The Mohawks complete their weekend homestand with a Saturday night contest against the U.S. Military All-Stars at 7:00 that will not count in the standings. The game will feature a 9/11 Flag Ceremony sponsored by Tom Quackenbush and is also Red Cross Emergency Preparedness night.

Amsterdam played only three PGCBL games this week due to scheduled days off, a rainout, and a couple exhibitions. But next week won't be as easy as the Mohawks will be tested with eight games in seven days beginning with a Sunday evening game at the Watertown Wizards. The stretch will include a doubleheader on Thursday against the Oneonta Outlaws to makeup the game that was washed out at Shuttleworth Park this past Tuesday.

Elmira continues to search for their first win as they stay on the road for a game at the Albany Dutchmen on Saturday night. The Pioneers return home Sunday at 5:00 against the Cooperstown Hawkeyes.

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