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Mohawks Take Game Three, Advance to Championship

By Cody Marshall

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With all the excitement and nerves surrounding a decisive Game Three, it was the Amsterdam Mohawks who remained focused and calm. After surrendering a 3-0 lead before losing 4-3 in Game Two, the Mohawks rebounded to take a 4-1 win over the Albany Dutchmen and claim the final spot in the PGCBL Championship Series on Friday night.

Austin Keen (Kentucky) pitched six innings against a Dutchmen team that managed just two hits and an unearned run. Keen struck out eight before turning the game over to the bullpen.

Meanwhile, the Amsterdam offense went to work in the bottom of the first. Andruw Gazzola (Stony Brook) worked a nine-pitch walk to start the game and back-to-back balls in play allowed him to move to third with two outs. Joe Genord (South Florida) put the home team on the board when he took an 0-1 pitch the opposite way to right field and out for a two-run home run. It proved to be all that Amsterdam needed.

Keen retired thirteen straight batters from the second inning until the sixth. Amsterdam added another run in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Patten (Delaware) added a long ball that was crushed to left field to make it 3-0 Mohawks.

Albany finally broke through in the top of the sixth. Cole Malloy (Butler) reached on an error by Tristen Carranza (New Mexico State) and scored two batters later on J.J. Shimko’s (USC Upstate) double to left to make it 3-1.

Amsterdam responded in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Gazzola singled and stole second. Chris Givin (Xavier) doubled down the left field line to drive in Gazzola and the lead was back up to three.

Mike Bonaiuto (Fairfield) and Chase Haney (Florida State) kept the Dutchmen at bay the rest of the game. Haney picked up the save after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings in which he allowed one hit and struck out four.

The win went to Keen, while the loss was charged to Albany starter Kale Morton (Azusa Pacific). With the win, the Mohawks will represent that East Division in the 2016 PGCBL Championship Series, which begins Saturday night. The Mohawks will travel to Murnane Field at Donovan Stadium to face the Utica Blue Sox, who defeated the Elmira Pioneers 5-2 in another decisive Game Three that took place Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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