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Limbaugh's Launch Leads Mohawks Past DiamondDawgs

By John McGraw

Box Score

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. – Jeff Limbaugh (Parkland) smacked a two-run home run in the sixth inning and three relievers combined to allow just one run over the final five frames as the Amsterdam Mohawks defeated the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, 5-3, on Sunday night at Veterans Memorial Park.

The nationally-ranked Mohawks (34-10) improved to 10-1 against the DiamondDawgs this season. The two teams will meet one final time in the regular season on Tuesday, July 31, at Shuttleworth Park. Four of the last five games between Amsterdam and Mohawk Valley have been decided by two runs or less.

Mohawk Valley held a 2-1 lead through four innings on Sunday evening. Zak Colby (Faulkner), who plated two of Amsterdam’s five scores, drove in Keaton Flint (Sacred Heart) with a two-out single in the fifth to tie the game at two. The next inning, Brian Ruby (Binghamton) led off with a single. Two batters later, Jeff Limbaugh launched a massive home run into the center field bleachers at Vet’s Park to give the Mohawks a 4-2 advantage. D.J. Hoagboon (UAlbany) tacked on an RBI single in the seventh to push the Amsterdam edge to three.

Mohawks’ starter Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) was replaced in fifth inning by Kyle Rufer (Schenectady County C.C.). Rufer pitched into the seventh inning and held Mohawk Valley off of the scoreboard. He struck out four and yielded just one hit in 2.2 frames. Connor Kaden (Wake Forest) spelled out Rufer in the seventh with runners on first and second and two outs. Kaden forced Eric Helmrich (Marist), the league’s leading home run hitter, to fly out to end the inning.

Kaden received help from fellow New Jersey native Ed Charlton (NJIT) in the eighth. Charlton came into the game as a defensive replacement at the start of the inning. With a runner on second and two outs, Tyler Heck (Union, N.Y.) singled into center field. Charlton fielded the base hit as Joe Carcone (Bryant) attempted to score from second. Charlton gunned down Carcone at home plate to end the inning.

Chase Williamson (Auburn) retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to convert his eighth save. Williamson’s eight saves are tied for most in the league with Albany’s Trevor Lacosse (Bryant).

Amsterdam out-hit Mohawk Valley 10-5.

Zak Colby topped the Amsterdam offensive attack as he went 4-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored. Jeff Limbaugh added two hits. Zak Colby and Jeff Limbaugh as well as Jeff Boehm (Kentucky), Brian Ruby and Keaton Flint all scored one run each.

Jeff Limbaugh has hit two home runs for the Mohawks this season, both have been game winners.

Zak Colby raised his batting average to .393. He is .008 behind league leader Ross Kivett (Kansas State) of Glens Falls with three games left.

Mark Leiter Jr. did not earn a decision. He allowed just one hit and struck out three in four innings but walked seven.

Mohawk Valley left 11 runners on base. Mohawk Valley's first base coach was former Major League pitcher Tommy John.

Jack Morrow (Young Harris) went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the ninth inning. Morrow’s final frame belt was his eighth of the season which tied him with teammate Eric Helmrich for the league lead in long balls.

Tyler Heck and Chris Cruz (Cornell) also drove in one run apiece.

Cameron Sorgie (UAlbany) took the loss for the DiamondDawgs. Sorgie, who three-hit Amsterdam through seven innings not too long ago, allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out four in six innings of work.

With three days left in the regular season, Amsterdam still does not yet known whom it will face in the opening round of the 2012 PGCBL playoffs. However, Amsterdam will be at home on the opening night of the playoffs, Friday, August 3, at 7:05 p.m. At the end of Sunday’s action, the Oneonta Outlaws were in fourth place, a half-game ahead of Mohawk Valley.

The league-leading Mohawks return home to Shuttleworth Park on Monday night to face off with the Albany Dutchmen at 7:05 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Night sponsored by Judge Joe Sise. Monday night will feature an Overnight Car Giveaway sponsored by West End Auto that will conclude on Tuesday night when the Mohawks host the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. Also, Monday night will be Liberty ARC Night.

Listed to Mohawks baseball all season long with Bob Rotruck calling the action at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mohawksradio

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