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Mohawks' Shephard With Another Gem

By Bob Rotruck

Box Score

Chandler Shephard (Kentucky) pitched another fine game for the Amsterdam Mohawks as the top team in the PGCBL grabbed a 3-1 victory over the Cooperstown Hawkeyes at Doubleday Field on Saturday evening. Amsterdam bounced back following the ending of their 10-game win streak the night before at the hands of Glens Falls. The first place Mohawks improved to 12-3 to maintain a three-and-a-half game lead atop the league standings.

Shephard did allow his first earned run of the year in 20 innings. But the freshman from UK had another gem as he mixed up his fastball with his breaking pitches and nicely worked in and out to constantly keep the Cooperstown batters off-balance. He struck out nine while scattering just five hits over seven solid innings of work. Shephard threw 90 pitches as he improved to 3-0 to tie teammate Matt Gage (Siena) and a couple others for the most wins in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

In three starts this season, Shephard is 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA. In 20 innings he has allowed nine hits and racked up 22 strikeouts while walking only four.

He blew back-to-back fastballs past Adam Lavelle in the seventh inning as he capped his performance with his ninth punchout.

Chase Williamson (Auburn) shut down the Hawkeyes in the ninth for his third save in the last three days and his league-leading fourth of the year tied with Jared Cheek of Glens Falls.

Nathan Gomez (Marshall) would provide all the offense the Mohawks would need with a three-run bases-clearing double in the third inning. Gomez moved into a tie for the league lead in RBI with 14.

Quinn Pippin (Tulane) would drive in Cooperstown's only run on a single in the second innings that plated Tyler Mautner (Buffalo). That run snapped Shephard's shutout streak at 15 innings.

Cooperstown's lefty hurler Cody Cooper (Northern Kentucky) spun a gem of his own as he held the hot-hitting Mohawks to only five hits. But his one big mistake in the third on the three-run double by Gomez cost him the game and pinned him with the hard-luck loss.

Cooper threw a complete game nine inning performance allowing just three hits with four strikeouts. He didn't allow a single hit in the last five innings of the game when the only blemish against him from the fifth through the ninth was a walk with two outs in innings number seven.

Evan Stephens (Wake Forest) and Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) had back-to-back singles in the third inning rally after a leadoff walk to Scott Heath (Maine) that set the table for the big shot to left-center from Gomez.

Both teams played sparking defense in the well-played game. Neither side committed an error. And both right-fielders made spectacular diving catches. Cooperstown's Jacob Hubert (Laredo CC) laid out with a full-extension dive in right-center to rob Amsterdam's Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) of an RBI hit in the third. And Boehm himself made a terrific backhand diving catch at the foul-line to deny Tyler Mautner's bid in the fourth.

Amsterdam completed a busy and hectic stretch of eight games in only seven days with an impressive 7-1 record as they improved to 12-3 overall. Cooperstown fell to 5-9.

The game was Amsterdam's last visit to Cooperstown this season. The Mohawks have gone 2-1 in their three trips to Doubleday Field. The Hawkeyes have yet to trek to Shuttleworth Park but will sojourn to the Rug City on three separate occasions in July.

The Mohawks have a well-deserved day off Sunday and then return home to play the Albany Dutchmen on Monday at 7:00. Amsterdam has home games this week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Cooperstown is back at home Sunday hosting the Glens Falls Golden Eagles at 5:00.

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