League Champs

2003 2012
2004 2013
2009 2014
2010 2016

Mohawks Win Game 1 of Championship Series

By Bob Rotruck

Box Score     ScoreCast     Audio

The Amsterdam Mohawks are now one victory away from back-to-back
titles in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and Keith
Griffin is on the verge of four championships in the last five years.
Amsterdam won 6-3 over the Elmira Pioneers in the opener of the Best
of 3 PGCBL Championship Series at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam on
Tuesday night.

The Mohawks will try to clinch the title on Wednesday night at Dunn
Field in Elmira. If the Pioneers win on Wednesday to force a Game 3
then the two teams will return to Shuttleworth Park on Thursday night
for the finale. Amsterdam is in the league championship series for the
fifth consecutive season as they try to make it 4-for-5.

Dylan Dwyer (Kentucky) struck out a Mohawks season-high 11 batters in
his six innings of work while John Sansone (Florida State) and Keith
Skinner (Raritan Valley C.C.) both delivered two-run knocks in the
come-from-behind effort. Skinner finished the night 3-for-4 with a
two-run double.

Dwyer was having some difficulty with his control but another visit to
the mound by head coach Keith Griffin helped get him on track.

"He told me I needed to start getting ahead which is true and I just
couldn't find it out of the wind-up," Dwyer said. "So I started going
out of the stretch. Some of those times you just can't find it but you
really just have to get ahead in the count. When I was ahead I just
kept pounding off-speed because they just weren't hitting it. And when
it was 0-0 or 0-1 it was like working backwards which is what really
got them off-balance."

"We pitched well. I thought Dwyer was good and our bullpen was good,"
Keith Griffin said. "It was a good win for us."

Elmira held a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning thanks to a strong
performance from starter Victor Diaz (Old Dominion) who had retired 10
in a row before Amsterdam put together a two-out rally in the sixth
with a couple of little breaks along the way. Two different times,
great efforts by Elmira infielders almost got them out of the inning
with the lead preserved. But they fell just short of recording the
final out as Amsterdam rallied for three runs in the pivotal frame.
Sansone's two-run hit to give Amsterdam the lead was almost caught on
a tremendous leaping try by second baseman Brian Bashara (Old

Diaz finished with 5.2 innings allowing seven hits and three earned
runs while striking out five in the no decision.

Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg) socked a solo home run in the fourth
inning for the Pioneers and went 2-for-4. Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan)
had a double and a run scored.

Knott's homer in the fourth staked the visiting Pioneers to the
initial 1-0 lead. And Taylor Hillson (Mansfield) would reach on a
fielder's choice in the fifth, steal second base, and then score on a
single by Parker Curry (Samford) pushing Elmira's advantage to 2-0.

The Mohawks finally got to Victor Diaz in the sixth. With two outs and
Diaz having retired the last 10 straight, John Nogowski (Florida
State) hit a sharp grounder that kicked off the glove of third baseman
Hillson for an infield single. Then pinch hitter Devin Wenzel
(Cincinnati) blooped a single to shallow right which set up Josh
Gardiner (Radford) beating out an infield hit on a sharp grounder to
the hole at short that was almost turned into the final out on a fine
effort by Parker Curry.

But Gardiner was safe on the single allowing Nogowski to score the
first Mohawks' run and a wild throw on the play advanced the runners
to second and third.

After Ed Charlton (NJIT) drew a walk it was John Sansone's turn. His
line drive was almost caught by second baseman Brian Bashara who timed
his leap perfectly and got a glove on the screamer. But Sansone's
knock had too much on it for him to handle to record the final out as
the ball glanced off his and went into the outfield for a two-run

Elmira came back to the score at 3-3 in the top of the seventh inning
beginning with a two-out double by Chris Kalousdian who would score on
a single to left by Parker Curry. Chris Kalica (St. John's) replaced
Zach Breen (Schenectedy County C.C.) to strike out Ryan Plantier
(Cornell) for the final out of the Elmira seventh as the Pioneers left
two more potential go-ahead runners on base.

The Mohawks broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI
single by John Nogowski playing Kyle Barrett (Kentucky) who had
reached on a fielder's choice and stolen second.

Amsterdam gave themselves a little breathing room in the eighth after
walks by Ed Charlton and Brian Ruby set up Keith Skinner's two-run
double to the left-field corner that plated both runners. After
Charlton had stolen second base, Elmira skipper Matt Burch opted to
intentionally walk Ruby to set up a lefty-vs-lefty matchup with his
pitcher Zach Bican (Ithaca) against Skinner. But Skinner wasn't
bothered in the least and delivered the big hit to give the Mohawks a
lead larger than one for the first time all night.

"I've always been pretty good at hitting lefties, Skinner said. "My
Dad is a lefty so I've been seeing lefty batting practice my entire
life. It's not that much different than righties."

"I wasn't really that big of an offensive part of the team the first
half of the season," Skinner said. "I was joking around in the last at
bat with my coach. I said 'if he throws me a fastball I'm gonna put it
over the fence.' I didn't put it over the fence but I'll take what

Hard-throwing righty Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) put away the Pioneers
in order including back-to-back strike outs at the end to earn the

The Mohawks look to complete the championship series sweep on
Wednesday night at Dunn Field in Elmira. Chris Kalica (St. John's) has
been announced as the starter. Normally a reliever, Kalica has
appeared in all four of the Mohawks' post-season games so far.

Amsterdam swept a two-game championship series over Elmira on August 6
and August 7 of 2010. The Mohawks won Game 1 at Shuttleworth Park 17-0
that year and then clinched at Dunn Field 4-0. The Mohawks will try to
clinch at Dunn Field again exactly three years later.

EP - 000 110 100 - 3 8 2 (7)
AM - 000 003 12x - 6 10 0 (7)

W - Chris Kalica
L - Brandon Diorio
S - Mike Urbanski

EP - Chris Knott

EP - Chris Kalousdian
AM - Keith Skinner

Time - 2:45
ATT - 1062

Amsterdam Mohawks lead Best of 3 Championship Series 1 game to 0.

Mohawks Championship Series History Under Keith Griffin
2012 - Win 2 games to 0 over Glens Falls Golden Eagles
2011 - Lose 2 games to 1 vs. Newark Pilots
2010 - Win 2 games to 0 over Elmira Pioneers
2009 - Win 2 games to 0 over Hornell Dodgers

Mohawks Championships
2012 - vs. Glens Falls Golden Eagles
2010 - vs. Elmira Pioneers
2009 - vs. Hornell Dodgers
2004 - vs. Hornell Dodgers
2003 - vs. Hornell Dodgers
1988 - vs. Cohocton Red Wings (as Schenectedy Mohawks)

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