AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Mohawks pulled within one game of first place in the East Division of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League after walking off winners against Glens Falls in Amsterdam on Wednesday night, 7-6.
Amsterdam (20-15) trailed Glens Falls by two games for the top spot in the division coming into Wednesdays contest. Glens Falls (20-13) hitters couldn't touch Amsterdam starter Dylan Dwyer early.
Dwyer struck out six Golden Eagles through four and didn't give up a base hit until the fifth inning. The only base runner Glens Falls had through four innings was the result of a Brian Ruby throwing error in the third.
Amsterdam’s John?Sansone connects with a pitch during Wednesday’s Perfect?Game Collegiate Baseball League contest against Glens Falls at Shuttleworth Park in?Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
Cory Folk was on the mound for Glens Falls but wasn't there for long.
Dylan Smith got the Mohawks on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Kyle Barrett.
Amsterdam picked up two more runs in the second. After Shane Zimmer reached on an error and Brian Ruby singled to center, Keith Skinner bunted them over to set up back-to-back RBI singles by Barrett and Jordan Ebert. Folk lasted just two innings, exiting having given up three runs on four hits.
The Mohawks were able to take advantage of reliever Kevin Cowan with two outs in the third. With two down, Cowan walked John Sansone and surrendered back-to-back singles, the second of which was an RBI base hit off the bat of Ruby that put the Mohawks up 4-0.
Dwyer finally ran into some trouble in the fifth after walking leadoff hitter Braxton Martinez. Emmanuel Forcier grounded to John Nogowski at first base who bobbled the ball while trying to throw to second. All runners were safe on the error. Dwyer gave up his first hit of the ball game to the next batter, Blake Sydeski, as Martinez came around to score Glens Falls first run. After surrendering his only walk of the game to load the bases, Dwyer struck out Justin McAllister for the first out of the inning. Raphael Gladu then smacked an RBI single to center to cut the Mohawks lead to 4-2 before Dwyer was pulled in favor of Christian Bartholomew. Bartholomew induced an inning ending double play on his first pitch. Dwyer gave up just one earned run on two hits while striking out seven through 4 1/3 innings.
The Mohawks got both runs back in the sixth off Cowan thanks to some timely play by a couple of Mohawks All-Stars. Ruby was hit by Cowan to start the inning. Barrett, an All-Star for Amsterdam, singled to center and slid hard into second to break up what could have been a double play off the bat of Ebert, another All-Star. Nogowski, who is also an All-Star, followed with a 2-RBI double that went to the wall in the left-center field gap.
The Golden Eagles mounted another comeback in the top of the seventh off Bartholomew. Glens Falls strung together four straight hits to start the inning, the fourth being a 2-RBI double down the left field line by Raphael Gladu. The Mohawks caught a break when the ball disappeared under the fence, halting Gladu at second and forcing one runner to retreat back to third base. Chris Kalica came in for Amsterdam and allowed another 2-RBI double to Buddy Putnam that tied the game at six apiece before getting out of the inning.
Rich Vrana got Glens Falls to ground out three times in the ninth, giving Amsterdam a chance to walk off winners in the bottom of the inning. Dylan Smith, the second batter of the inning walked in between strikeouts of Nogowski and Ed Charlton. With Charlton at the plate with a 3-2 count Smith broke for second. The ball hit off Smith and went into the outfield, allowing Smith to reach third with two outs. With Sansone at the plate Zach Merciez threw a pitch in the dirt that got past Glens Falls catcher James Smith, allowing Smith to scamper home for the winning run.
"These last two games were very important for our future going forward," head coach Keith Griffin said. "These are games we wouldn't have won a month ago but we found a way to win."
Smith, not known for his wheels, laughed at the thought of pulling the Mohawks within one game of Glens Falls in the standings using his legs.
"That's what good teams do: win one-run games," said Smith. "Even when you don't play great you play good enough to win."
Barrett had four singles on the night, knocked in a run, scored a run, and stole three bases.
The Mohawks are off tonight but will be back in action Friday in Amsterdam as they take on the Watertown Rams in a game scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Amsterdam 7, Glens Falls 6
Glens Falls000 020 400 - 6 8 3
Amsterdam121 002 001 - 7 10 2
Folk, Cowan (3), Merciez (6) and Smith; Dwyer, Bartholomew (5), Kalica (7), Fullmer (8), Vrana (9) and Skinner