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11th-Ranked Mohawks Blow By Dutchmen

(Photo: Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) swings at a pitch against Albany on Wednesday night.)

By Bob Rotruck

Box Score

A couple of key wind-blown fly-balls that fell for Amsterdam helped spark a five-run rally in the eighth inning as the Mohawks came from behind to win at Bob Bellizzi Field over the Albany Dutchmen 9-3 on Wednesday night.

The win was the fourth straight for the first place Mohawks and also their 14th out of their last 15 as they improved to an overall record of 15-3 in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Amsterdam pushed its lead in the PGCBL standings to four games over second place teams Newark and Oneonta.

Amsterdam is rated #11 in the nation in the latest national Perfect Game Summer Top 30 poll.

The Albany Dutchmen's loss on Wednesday night dropped them out of a fourth-place tie to a record of 8-10. It was a frustrating loss for the Dutchmen who had designs of pulling off their first win of the year over Amsterdam. The Dutch are an impressive an 8-5 against the rest of the league but have gone 0-5 against the Mohawks this year.

Amsterdam was down 3-1 in the seventh inning and 3-2 in the eighth before the big comeback rally. Josh Nethaway (Univ. Albany) had the game-winning RBI's on a two-run single into center in the eighth that gave Amsterdam the lead at 4-3 and sparked the five-run surge.

Matt Gage (Siena) came out of the bullpen to fire four innings of one-hit, shutout ball with seven strikeouts on his way to becoming the first pitcher in the PGCBL to reach four wins. The Gloversville native now has a season punchout total of 32 to rate second in the league.

Cody Tollison (Middle Tennessee State) was equally impressive as the starter for Albany in preserving his team's lead as he lasted 6.1 innings while striking out 10. He allowed an RBI triple in the third to Evan Stephens (Wake Forest) when the Mohawks took the initial 1-0 advantage but after that retired the next 10 Amsterdam batters in a row on his way to a 10-strikeout evening.

Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, the Mohawks were able to get back into the game against the Dutchmen bullpen. Chase Green's (SIU-Edwardsvville) RBI double scored Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) who had singled making it 3-2.

And then the five-run eighth off a pair of Albany hurlers would push the Mohawks in front.

It was a frustrating night for an Albany team who had the lead for the majority of the game as they were aiming for their first win against the top team in the league.

Matt MacDowell (Dartmouth) started the rally with a single and was removed for pinch-runner Scott Heath (Maine). Ed Charlton (NJIT) hit a fairly routine pop to left-field. But the strong wind gusting out to right made several fly-balls more dangerous tonight. Charlton had misjudged a fly in center field earlier in the game allowing an Albany batter to reach. This time, his pop would get pushed to left-center and glance off the glove of Cody Ellis (Patrick Henry) to give the Mohawks the opening to rally.

Evan Stephens popped a bunt single into the air but Albany third-baseman Morgan Phillips' (Charleston) diving attempt to catch it before touching the ground for a certain double-play fell just short.

That's when Josh Nethaway delivered with his clutch bases-loaded single lined into center to plate two and give Amsterdam the 4-3 lead.

The game was still tight when Demarcus Henderson (Mississippi State) lifted a fly to right that had Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) charging in and then leaping and racing back when the wind soared the ball over his head.

Jeff Boehm had a two-run single in the top of the ninth for the Mohawks to complete the scoring.

Matt Pirro (Wake Forest) started the game for Amsterdam but only threw two innings as he continues to work his way through his injury. Dan Zlotnick (Marist) and Matt Gallup (Stony Brook) also saw relief work with Gallup surrendering three runs in the fifth including a two-run double by Albany's top hitter, Zach Remillard (Lasalle Institute).

But it was Gage who excelled on the mound for the Mohawks in notching another win.

The Mohawks also had to battle through some unusual alignments defensively as they were limited in what they could do after Zak Colby (Faulkner) was ejected shortly after entering. Josh Nethaway played at third base for the first time this year and D.J. Hoagboon (Albany) had to try his hand at first before moving to catcher as Scott Heath entered over at first base. But the Mohawks persevered through the new playing assignments to secure the win.

Amsterdam is back at home on Thursday against the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dogs. Taylor Martin (Kentucky) (1-1, 3.86) is scheduled to start for Amsterdam.

Albany is off Thursday and then travels to Cooperstown on Friday.The next home game for the Dutchmen is Sunday at 5:00 against Glens Falls.

Saturday is Night at the Beach with the Amsterdam Mohawks as Shuttleworth Park is turned into a Waterpark with a water-slide and slip-and-slide and more. Be sure to wear your swimsuit! Waterpark Day begins at 4:00. And the Mohawks game vs. Watertown that night is at 7:00.

It is anticipated that Mark Leiter, Jr. (NJIT) will make his first start of the season for Amsterdam in the Saturday game. He was a PGCBL All-Star selection last year while setting an all-time Mohawks record for strikeouts.

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