League Champs

2003 2012
2004 2013
2009 2014
2010 2016

Champions Again!

By Bob Rotruck

Box Score     ScoreCast     Audio     Photos

The Amsterdam Mohawks have repeated as champions of the Perfect Game
Collegiate Baseball League with a 7-3 victory over the Elmira Pioneers
in the deciding game of the Best of 3 Championship Series.

A raucous crowd of 1,400 packed Shuttleworth Park to cheer Keith
Griffin's fourth league title in five years as manager of the Mohawks.
It was the first time for "Griff" to celebrate a championship on his
home turf. The championship is the seventh all-time in Mohawks'
franchise history and their sixth all-time since moving to Amsterdam
(from Schenectedy) in 2003.

Handshakes and hugs were shared all around after the big pile-on
celebration following Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) inducing a
game-ending and championship clinching fly out to left fielder Jordan
Ebert (Auburn). And many last pictures in Mohawks jerseys were taken
of the new friendships and bonds that developed for the team in the
quick two-month season as the players will now head out in their
various directions to prepare for their upcoming collegiate year.

Three players on the Amsterdam team get to call themselves repeat
champions. Ed Charlton (NJIT), Brian Ruby (Binghamton) and Chris
Kalica (St. John's) all posed with the winning trophy last year when
Amsterdam finished a championship sweep at Glens Falls and did so
again on this night of celebration in Amsterdam.

"They put together a great organization both on the field and off the
field," said league President Jeff Kunion to the Shuttleworth Park
crowd in a post-game presentation. "And it gives me great pleasure
once again to present the PGCBL Championship Trophy to owner Brian
Spagnola and head coach Keith Griffin and the Amsterdam Mohawks. Let's
hear it!"

"We got off to a rough start," manager Keith Griffin said to reporters
after another Gatorade shower reflecting on the season that was. "We
didn't play very well...is an understatement. It was very difficult
trying to get them to do what we wanted them to do. But we turned the
corner and the guys did a nice job. And at the end we're the best team
in the league and all the credit goes to our players."

"It's the best thing in the world," Griffin said of winning yet
another championship.

Colonie native Matt Snyder (Temple, 2013-14) carried a shutout into
the ninth inning scattering six hits in his season swan-song and then
handed the ball off to Griff a couple batters into the ninth to a huge
ovation from the crowd and many hugs from his teammates.

Brian Ruby (Binghamton) was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. His single with
the bases loaded in the fifth inning broke a scoreless tie and was the
beginning of a big five-run rally knocking out Elmira starter Parker
Curry (Ithaca) who had kept Amsterdam off the board through his first
four innings.

Kevin Guthrie (Brown) grounded out to plate another and Kyle Barrett
(Kentucky) later singled to left bringing in two more and making it
4-0. John Nogowski (Florida State) reached on an error allowing
another run to score and Amsterdam held a seemingly comfortable 5-0

But the Mohawks had just held a 5-0 lead on the road at Elmira almost
24 hours earlier in Game 2 and were unable to close out the victory.
This time, just a half-inning after Amsterdam's five-run rally in Game
3, it appeared Elmira yet again entertained ideas of pulling off a
similar comeback.

The Pioneers had the bases loaded in the top of the sixth with one out
and were just one base-hit away from climbing back into contention in
the ball game. Chris Knott (East Strousburg) had singled, Ryan
Plantier (Cornell) had doubled and Dave Hoffman (Siena) drew a walk
for the big threat. But Brian Bashara (Old Dominion) hit a spinning
hopper to the first-base side of the pitchers' mound. Matt Snyder made
a lunging effort for it but fell down in the process. While rolling
into a sitting position and without much leverage, he barely got a
weak one-hop throw to the side of the plate which catcher Kevin
Guthrie (Brown) was able to handle for the force-out. Then Snyder
induced a threat-killing fly out of Colby Gee (Ithaca) as Elmira left
the bases loaded.

After that it was just a matter of time. Brian Ruby collected RBI
singles in the sixth and eighth innings to stretch the lead to 7-0. A
close play at first on an infield single by Amsterdam's Josh Gardiner
(Radford) drew the rage of Pioneers shortstop Parker Curry (Samford)
and their manager Matt Burch with both receiving ejections as they
expressed their frustration on the last night of the year.

Mike Urbanski allowed three unearned runs in the ninth inning after
replacing Snyder for the 7-3 final. And then it was onto a giant
pile-on in front of the pitchers' mound with Keith Griffin racing in
when he deemed things a little bit safer so he could similarly flop
himself onto the top of the craziness.

It is a tremendous ending to another terrific season of collegiate
summer-league ball in the Rug City. A contingent of players mostly
unfamiliar with each other coming from all different areas of the
country started off the season two months ago with a 2-6 record that
would later be later 5-9. But under Griff's guidance, the team gelled,
improved, and got together after that. Since June 22, the Mohawks went
30-9 which included a 4-2 run in the post-season.

The Mohawks finished the regular season with the best overall record
in the league at 31-16 including a 10-game streak of wins at the end
and a 14-1 run to climb from fourth place in the division all the way
to the top spot. Amsterdam's overall mark on the year was 35-18
including the six post-season games.

Under Keith Griffin, the Mohawks have won three previous titles on the
road at the Glens Falls Golden Eagles (2012), at Elmira Pioneers
(2010) and at the Hornell Dodgers (2009). This was his first title at
home. Other Mohawks championships came in 2004 and 2003 (both against
the Hornell Dodgers) and in 1988 as the Schenectedy Mohawks over the
Cohocton Red Wings.

And with that, the Mohawks celebrate their fourth title in five years
and the off-season officially begins. The Amsterdam Mohawks players
and staff send their collective thanks and appreciation to the
tremendous support of the fans and community cheering for the team all
season long. The roar of the crowd for the final out to clinch the
championship surely goes down as one of the loudest moments in
Shuttleworth Park history. Thank you so much for everything you do in
making the Shuttleworth Park experience so special and incredible.

Just 10 months from now, we will have an Opening Night to begin the
2014 season of Amsterdam Mohawks baseball. And the new version of the
team will be looking to continue the tradition of success and
championships in their efforts to make it a Three-Peat!

ELM - 000 000 003 - 3 8 3 (8)
AMS - 000 051 01x - 7 11 2 (7)

W - Matt Snyder (2-0)
L - Jasper Adams (1-1)
S - None


ELM - Colby Gee, Ryan Plantier
AMS - Jordan Ebert

Time - 2:45
ATT - 1400

Amsterdam wins PGCBL Championship Series over Elmira 2 games to 1

Mohawks Championship Series History Under Keith Griffin
2013 - Win 2 games to 1 over Elmira Pioneers
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
2013 - vs. Elmira Pioneers
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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