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Golden Eagles prevail over Mohawks in extra innings

(Photo: Ed Charlton smashes an RBI double. Picture courtesy Jon Sargalis.)

By Bob Rotruck

Box Score

Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico JC) socked a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning at Shuttleworth Park to lead the Glens Falls Golden Eagles to a 4-3 victory on the road over the first-place Amsterdam Mohawks on Friday night.

The win was just the second in the last seven games for Glens Falls and moves them up a notch into third place in the competitive playoff chase for the top four spots in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The Golden Eagles are 17-15 with the victory in their first extra-inning game of the year. The first-place Mohawks fall to 25-7 overall and 1-3 against their rivals as well as 1-3 in extra frames in 2012.

Forcier's shot on a 3-2 pitch by Kevin Archbold (U. Albany) with one out and one runner on base was launched high over the right-field fence for the game-winner. Forcier took part in all four Glens Falls runs on the night in their come-from-behind victory. He scored their first two tallies in the first and eighth innings and then drove in the last two on his 10th inning long-ball.

Ross Kivett (Kansas State) had another big game for Glens Falls going 2-for-4 with an RBI in the eighth inning that tied the score at 2-2. He also tallied his league-leading 30th stolen base of the season and wowed the crowd when he made a remarkable catch on a sixth-inning foul-pop by Giuseppe Papaccio in which he jumped on top of the three-foot high brick-wall in front of the first-base box seats and then jumped up again from the wall and into the mesh for the spectacular play. The incredible play drew an appreciative ovation from the impressed Mohawks' partisan crowd.

Ed Charlton (NJIT) returned to the Amsterdam lineup for the first time since an injury on July 2 and extended his hitting streak to 16 games with an RBI double in the third. His streak breaks the previous PGCBL record 15-gamer by Tyler Townsend of Mohawk Valley last year.

The #4 nationally ranked Amsterdam Mohawks tried to rally in the bottom of the 10th with a bloop double in shallow-center falling for Giuseppe Papaccio (Seton Hall) who scored when Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) bounced a two-out grounder that was booted away. But Wes Judish (San Diego) induced a ground-out o Demarcus Henderson
(Mississippi State) to secure his first save of the season.

Both starters were extremely sound in the early innings of the pitchers duel. Mark Leiter (NJIT) for Amsterdam gave up just an RBI triple to Danny Brennan (Saint Louis) in the first inning and that was it. He last six innings giving up just the one hit and one run while racking up another nine strikeouts. Last year's strikeout king in the league with 74 now has a total of 99 on the career and is set to become the first pitcher in league history to hit the 100 K mark in his next start.

Cory Folk (Buffalo) pitched solidly as the Glens Falls starter as well. He lasted just over six innings giving up two runs, one of which was earned after he had left the game. He allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three as he worked his way out of a couple of situations along the way to hold Amsterdam in check.

Brennan's RBI triple in the first off Leiter gave Glens Falls the initial 1-0 lead.

Amsterdam equalized in the third with Demarcus Henderson reaching on an error and then scoring on Ed Charlton's double down the left-field line.

The score remained 1-1 all the way to the seventh when the Mohawks would take their only lead of the night. Jeff Limbaugh doubled and then eventually scored from third on a passed ball against Glens Falls catcher Chase Griffin (Georgia Southern). Limbaugh's double went off the very top of the Chain Monster in left-field and at first appeared to be his second home-run in as many games. Limbaugh hit the game-winning blast in the bottom of the eighth inning against Watertown the night before but had to settle for a double this time around.

The Golden Eagles quickly rebounded to tie the score in the top of the eighth with three consecutive singles off Scott Heath (Maine). Forcier started with a knock to left and then advanced to third on Danny Brennan's bouncer to right. Ross Kivett his a screamer just past the diving first-baseman Jef Boehm (Kentucky) to tie the game.

Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) entered as the new Mohawks' pitcher and induced an important 6-4-3 double-play to keep the game tied at 3-3.

In the bottom of the eighth, Amsterdam would threaten to re-take the lead as they had two runners aboard again in a tie-game for the newcomer Limbaugh. It was the exact same scenario as the night before when his three-run bomb would give Amsterdam the win. But this time, Limbaugh took a called strike-three on a call he disagreed with as Glens Falls closer Jared Cheek (Georgia Southern) was able to squak his way out of the jam.

Amsterdam also had a couple runners aboard in the ninth inning with a chance for their first walk-off win of the year. But Cheek prevailed again for the Golden Eagles and the Mohawks stranded a couple more runners in the key situation.

In the tenth, it would be a leadoff single by Buddy Putnam (South Florida) and then a sacrifice-bunt and passed ball to reach third with one-out and force the Mohawks to bring in the infielders. But Forcier made that a moot issue with his towering shot to right to win the game.

Papaccio doubled in the tenth and scored on an error but the Mohawks left the tying runner stranded at first base.

This was the fourth of eight games this year between the Mohawks and Golden Eagles who still will face each other four more times in the last 16 games of the regular season.

Amsterdam's magic-number to clinch the league crown remains at 10 and their magic number to clinch a post-season spot holds steady at seven.

The Mohawks hit the road next for a Saturday trek to the Oneonta Outlaws with Matt Pirro (Wake Forest) making the start. Amsterdam returns home Sunday at 7:00 in their last game of the season against the Watertown Wizards as Taylor Martin (Kentucky) is the probably. A pre-game 5k race sponsored by Rick's Robo Car Wash starts the evening followed by the game at 7:05. It's also Fitness Night courtesy of Alpin Haus.

Glens Falls continues their five-game road-swing playing the fourth of the long stretch on Saturday night at the Albany Dutchmen. Their next game at East Field is Monday at 7:00 when they host Amsterdam for the first time since opening weekend.

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