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Mohawks score 13 in seventh to win wild slugfest over Pilots

(Pictured: Zak Colby smashes a single in the fourth inning. Photo courtesy Jon Sargalis.)

By John McGraw

Box Score

NEWARK, N.Y. – The fourth-ranked Amsterdam Mohawks defeated the Newark Pilots, 16-12, in a re-match of the 2011 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series on Wednesday night at Colburn Park. The game marked the first time this season that the Mohawks and Pilots have met since the 2011 PGCBL playoffs. The Mohawks (24-6) won their 13th-straight road game and increased their lead in the league standings to 7.5 games over second-place Oneonta and Mohawk Valley.

The Mohawks carried a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning. Starting pitcher Rocky McCord (Auburn) spun a two-hitter through six frames and struck out four while fifth-inning RBI from Jeff Boehm (Kentucky) and Brian Ruby (Binghamton) combined with a wild pitch provided the Mohawks’ offense. Amsterdam’s defense also proved strong as Boehm threw out a runner at home plate in the fifth and Zak Colby (Faulkner) combined with Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) to snuff out an attempted double steal in the sixth to end the inning.

The game changed dramatically in the seventh inning as the Mohawks opened the frame with a league and franchise record 13 runs on 10 hits and two Newark errors. Amsterdam marched up 19 batters to the plate and hit through batting order twice. Eight of the 13 runs were recorded with one out and five came when there were two outs. Seven different Mohawks drove in at least one run and four of those seven had two RBI.

Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) led off the inning with a double down the left-field line and he smashed a two-run double in his next at-bat later in the frame. Brian Ruby came up twice and drove in three runs as he walked with the bases loaded and later smacked a two-out, two-run single. Zak Colby (Faulkner) scorched a pair of RBI singles and Demarcus Henderson (Miss. State) smacked an RBI single and drew a bases-loaded walk.  The Mohawks also took advantage of three bases-loaded walks  and four total free passes in the inning.

When the dust settled, Amsterdam had amassed a 16-1 lead before the seventh-inning stretch.

Reliever Matt Gage (Siena/Gloversville) had started to warm up for the bottom half of the inning to replace Rocky McCord (Auburn) with the score still relatively close. A cooled-down Gage took to the mound after a long wait through Amsterdam’s 13-run explosion and a pesky Newark offense pounced on him with eight runs on just three hits and five walks to make the score 16-9 after seven innings. Overall, the seventh-inning featured a PGCBL record 21-combined runs.

The Pilots (15-16) took advantage of several Amsterdam defensive miscues over the final two innings to cut the Amsterdam lead to 16-12. Down four, Newark had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth with one run already in and the potential tying run at the plate in the form of Phillip Flach (Samford). Amsterdam closer Chase Williamson (Auburn), in his second frame of relief, struck out Flach swinging to end the three hour and 15-minute marathon.

Overall, the nationally-ranked Mohawks tied a season high with 16 runs on 18 hits while Newark mustered 12 runs on 11 hits. Each team committed three errors and eight total pitchers were used in the game. Amsterdam has scored 16 runs in two of its last three games.

Zak Colby, one of the reigning PGCBL Co-Players of the Week, recorded his second five-hit game in four days. Colby, who began the game as the Amsterdam catcher and moved to third base, went 5-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBI. Seven Mohawks overall recorded at least one hit and six boasted multi-hit efforts.

Evan Stephens (Wake Forest), who was lifted after the top of the seventh, finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. His .456 batting average continues to lead the PGCBL.

Chase Green (SIU Edwardsville) went 4-for-6, scored three runs and drove in another.

Brian Ruby led the Mohawks with four RBI. He was 2-for-4 and scored once.

Jeff Boehm smashed his 11th double and finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI. Boehm, the starting right fielder, also added an outfield assist in the fifth inning when he threw out Newark’s Chris Doyle (UC Davis) who was attempting to score from third on a fly out.

Rocky McCord pitched six strong innings to improve to 4-0 on the summer. He yielded one run on two hits, walked two and struck out four. The rising sophomore from Auburn University did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and he shut out the Pilots through the first five frames. His shutout bid was quashed by an RBI ground out in the sixth.

The Mohawks return to Shuttleworth Park on Thursday, July 12, to face the Watertown Wizards at 7:05 p.m. It will be “All You Can Eat Night” at the ball park as well as Craft Fair Night and Beer Mug Night sponsored by Bartyzel Inc. and The Rocklyn House.

Listen to every Mohawks home game and select road games at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mohawksradio

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