AMSTERDAM - What the Mohawks lacked in defense and starting pitching was made up by their offense and relief pitching as Amsterdam toppled Albany 14-9 in a wild Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Shuttleworth Park on Monday.
Through the first four innings, it was hard to tell which team really wanted to win.
Amsterdam starter Jack Fischer and the defense behind him allowed eight Albany runs, with defensive mistakes accounting for half of those runs unearned off five errors.
The Leader-Herald/Erich Neuhaus
Amsterdam’s Parker Morin (14) and Luke Maile (33) celebrate with teammates after scoring runs during the first inning of a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League at Shuttleworth Park on Monday. Amsterdam won 14-9.
Meanwhile, the Mohawks offense used Albany's starting pitcher, C.J. Sohl, as the batting practice they never had before the game. Amsterdam scored seven runs, off seven hits and five walks during Sohl's 2 innings, before getting to reliever Chase Tokunaga for four runs in the fourth to take an 11-9 lead, the sixth lead change of the game.
"Our starting pitching wasn't good enough - Jack's worst outing - then when we did get a ground ball, we didn't catch it. It was a double whammy there," Amsterdam skipper Keith Griffin said. "But fortunately, we really swung the bats well."
The Mohawks had 16 hits on the night and drew eight walks.
During those wild four innings, Amsterdam's No.1 through 5 hitters had an at-bat each inning. Leadoff hitter Andrew Green had five plate appearances in five innings.
By the time the fifth inning started, the game, which started about 15 minutes late due to heavy rain in the afternoon, was almost two hours old.
With Amsterdam in need of a Band-Aid to stop not only the lead changes, but to finish the game before dawn, reliever Will Kendall did just the job.
The left-hander was terrific after he gave up a leadoff single in the fifth to Ryan Van Amburg, striking out the next seven batters he faced, including the next three batters in the fifth and the side again in the seventh.
"I just wanted to throw strikes," the southpaw said. "I can't really control what they do, I can only control what I do, so I just wanted to throw strikes."
Kendall retired 10 straight Dutchman before handing the ball off to Derrick Brewer with one out in the eighth and has not given up a run in his past 12 innings pitched.
"I struggled a little bit toward the beginning, but I kept working on my curveball," Kendall said. "When my curveball is working, I can throw my changeup more, and my changeup is my best pitch."
"Will was outstanding," Amsterdam coach Keith Griffin said.
With Albany's offense stifled, Amsterdam scored three more runs off Luke Maile's bat. Maile hit his seventh home run in just 18 games in the sixth, unloading on a 61 mph Casey Wilson hanging breaking ball that the right-hander drilled over the left field fence for a solo home run. In the eighth, he went to the opposite-field for a double in the right-center field gap, driving in two runs.
Maile was just 2-for-2, but he was plunked in the first inning, intentionally walked in the second and third, and hit a sac-fly to right field in the fourth for his first RBI of the game. He also scored three runs.
"Luke swung [the bat] well," Griffin said.
Maile's intentional free pass in the second inning to load the bases backfired when Parker Morin hit a bases-clearing double to right-center that made the score 6-5, before Luke Nethaway doubled him home with a deep drive to center.
Nethaway returned from a sciatic nerve injury and looked OK running out an infield hit in the first inning that tied the game at 1.
"Getting him back with three hits helped," Griffin mentioned. "One on a top roller that he ran out with a bad leg, and then he really busted a ball good, but it was good to see getting him back."
Green went 2-for-4 with a double, two walks and four runs scored while Morin went 2-for-5. Matt Mack and Zach Shank also had three hits each.
The Dutchman fall to 16-22 and Andrew Deeds' solo home run in the ninth was their only run scored since tacking on a run in the fourth. Deeds finished 4-for-5 with a double, home run and two RBI. Albany scored four runs in the second off three hits and two errors, one on Matt Mack at third base, which could've been a double-play ball to end the inning, and the other on Josh Alexander in center that let a ball skip off his glove to plate two runs.
Amsterdam is a league best 25-14 and hosts Watertown tonight at 7:05 p.m.
Amsterdam 14, Albany 9
Albany 142 100 001 9 9 1
Amsterdam 340 401 02x 14 16 5
Sohl, Tonkunaga (2), Wilson (5), Novak (7) and McNabb and Welke (3); Fischer, Kendall (5), Brewer (8) and Maile.