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Charlton and Mohawks Rally to defeat DiamondDawgs

(Photo: Ed Charlton in action earlier this season at Glens Falls. Picture courtesy Jon Sargalis.)

By John McGraw

Box Score

LITTLE FALLS, N..Y – Ed Charlton (NJIT) smashed a two-run triple in the ninth inning and Chase Williamson (Auburn) struck out the top two home run hitters in the league back-to-back to preserve the lead as the Amsterdam Mohawks rallied to defeat the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, 6-5, on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Mohawks (31-10) improved to 9-1 against the DiamondDawgs this season and tied a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League single-season record with their 31st win. The Mohawks last reached 31 victories during the regular season in 2003 under head coach Nicolas Enriquez. The 2003 Mohawks, in their first season at Shuttleworth Park, posted a regular season record of 31-11 and then went on to capture the New York Collegiate Baseball League championship - the second league title in franchise history.

An unearned run in the eighth inning sent the host DiamondDawgs into the final frame with a 4-3 lead.

Scott Heath (Maine) started the ninth against Mohawk Valley closer Sal Lisanti (Bryant) with a base hit. He was removed for pinch runner Dan Zlotnick (Marist). Zlotnick went to second on an errant pick-off throw and then advanced to third on the second of three Mohawk Valley errors in the inning. With two runners on base and one out, Ed Charlton sent a smash into the spacious outfield at Vet’s Park that scored both Zlotnick and Brian Ruby (Binghamton) to give Amsterdam a 5-4 lead.

Ed Charlton was put out at home plate on a Demarcus Henderson (Mississippi State) fielders’ choice. Henderson, who had given Amsterdam a 3-2 lead in the seventh with an RBI double, then stole second with Zak Colby (Faulkner) at the plate. With two outs, Colby slugged a grounder to the right side that resulted in Mohawk Valley’s third error of the inning and Amsterdam’s sixth run.

Mohawk Valley, looking for its first home win over Amsterdam, rallied in the ninth with back-to-back base hits to start the inning and then a sacrifice bunt to place both runners in scoring position. Chase Williamson, in his third inning of relief, struck out Jack Morrow (Young Harris) for the second out of the inning. A wild pitch scored Tyler Heck (Union, N.Y.) from third and put the tying run 90-feet away. But that is as close as the runner would come because Williamson struck out Eric Helmrich (Marist), the league’s leading home run hitter, to end the game.

Williamson earned the victory in relief of starter Chris Kalica (Fairfield). Kalica, in his first Amsterdam start, logged six innings of a five-hitter. He allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits, walked three and struck out four. Williamson was charged with three runs, two earned, but he still managed to collected his third victory of the summer.

Offensively, designated hitter Scott Heath paced Amsterdam’s nine-hit attack with three singles in four at-bats. Ed Charlton went 2-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored. Demarcus Henderson and Brian Ruby each  drove in one run and scored another; Ruby collected two hits.

Six different Mohawks accounted for six runs.  

Tyler Heck (Union, N.Y.), Chris Cruz (Cornell) and Mark Stuckey (Marist) all had two hits for the DiamondDawgs.

Mohawk Valley matched Amsterdam with nine hits but left nine runners on base.

Starter Jesse Buratt (Baton Rouge C.C.), who defeated Amsterdam earlier this month, allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Reliever Taylor Wright (Brown) retired all four men he faced in his league-leading 21st appearance.

Amsterdam has won three of its last four against Mohawk Valley in the final inning and all three wins were decided by one run or less. Two of the three wins have come by the score of 6-5.

Two of the Mohawks’ nine wins over the DiamondDawgs have come about through late-game comebacks at Vet’s Park. Amsterdam scored nine times in the final two innings in Little Falls on July 1 to come away with a 12-4 victory.

The scoring on Wednesday night started early. Mohawk Valley used aggressive base running in the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Tyler Heck stole second after starting the bottom of the first with a single. Later in the inning, a throwing error on a delayed double steal allowed Chris Cruz to safely reach second and Heck to score from third.

Amsterdam immediately drew even in the top of the second. A pair of one-out walks to Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) and Josh Nethaway (UAlbany) along with a passed ball gave the Mohawks runners on second and third. Brian Ruby singled home Jeff Limbaugh to draw Amsterdam even.

Mohawk Valley went back ahead in the fourth inning on a Joe Carcone (Bryant) RBI double.

The late-game offensive fireworks began in the seventh inning with Amsterdam trailing 2-1. The inning, much like the ninth, started with a Scott Heath single. A two-out single by Ed Charlton moved Heath over to third. A wild pitch scored Heath to tie the game and then Demarcus Henderson belted a line drive over the head of right fielder Chris Cruz to plate Charlton with the go-ahead run.

A one-out double in the home seventh by David Del Grande (Sacramento State) tied the game at three.  Eric Helmrich (Marist), who reached on an error to start the eighth, eventually scored on a wild pitch to give Mohawk Valley its final lead of 4-3.

Weather permitting, the Mohawks are scheduled to return to action on Thursday night against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles at East Field. Fans can listen to the game on USTREAM with Bob Rotruck at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mohawksradio.

The next home game at Shuttleworth Park is scheduled for Friday, July 27, against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. There will be a Spectacular Post-Game Fireworks Show presented by St. Mary’s Hospital. It will also be Lazarou Insurance and Financial Services Night with free tickets and give-aways including a giant flat-screen television. There will also be a Happy Hour with live entertainment from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. as well as $5 Haircuts for charity sponsored by Bella Vita Salon. Friday night will also be Quackenbush for Assembly Night sponsored by Tom Quackenbush.

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