Mohawks run win streak to 11 games

Oneonta first baseman Connor Wasilnak stretches for the throw as Amsterdam’s Matt Gorski legs out an infield single in the bottom of the second inning of Thursday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

AMSTERDAM — For the second game in a row the Amsterdam Mohawks had to come-from-behind to get a win and, for the second game in a row, they ended the game with Eric Rivera hitting a walk-off home run with two outs to upend the Oneonta Outlaws, 7-6.

“I’m not surprised,” Mohawks Coach Keith Griffin said. “He’s a very good baseball player.”

Rivera’s heroics help extend the Amsterdam win streak to 11 games and push their record to 17-6.

Oneonta scored the first run of the game in the second inning. Ian Fair singled up the middle and Matt Tsukroff had a base hit that put runners at first and second. Marcus White laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. After Parker Heberstroh drew a walk, Dorien Jenkins hit a deep fly ball to right field for the second out but Fair came home to put the Outlaws ahead 1-0.

Amsterdam promptly answered with three runs in the bottom of the second.

Jake Mueller led off the inning with a single and went to second when Matt Gorski bunted and beat the throw to first and Anthony Gonnella walked to load the bases. Dylan Reynold hit the first pitch for a two RBI double to center field scoring Mueller and Gorski giving the Mohawks the lead. Dan Maynard hit to short and was thrown out at first but Gonnella was able to score on the play to give the Mohawks a 3-1 lead heading into the third inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Gonnella drew his second walk of the night and Will Holland cracked a double to left field. Reynolds hit a sac fly to deep center and that brought Gonella home to put the Mohawks ahead 4-1.

Oneonta cut into the Amsterdam lead by plating two more runs in the top of the sixth inning.

White accounted for the first run with a solo home run to start the inning. With two outs, Connor Wasilnak beat the throw to first, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Brendan Brundage hit the ball through the infield on an error, allowing Wasilnak to score, cutting the Mohawks lead to one.

Amsterdam struggled defensively at times tallying five errors on the night.

“We make a lot of mistakes and we get ourselves in trouble,” Griffin said. “They’re talented enough to overcome the problem but if we could eliminate our mistakes and make the other team beat us, we could be pretty good I believe.”

The eighth inning saw Oneonta take the lead by scoring three runs.

Haberstroh got on base when his hit down the first baseline was mishandled and Jenkins doubled to center field to put runners at second and third. Ben Rhodes hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Haberstroh to tie the game at four. Brundage followed with an RBI single to right scoring Jenkins and the Outlaws lead by one. Brundage scored the third run when Stone Pellegrino hit the ball deep but was thrown out at third to end the inning.

With Amsterdam trailing by two going into the top of the ninth, Justin Reed came on to pitch for the Mohawks. After walking Ben Dubas and striking out Fair, Reed got Tsukroff to hit into an inning ending double play.

Griffin talked about Reed’s effort saying, “The beauty of what he did in that ninth inning is that he kept us in the game and he gave us a chance to win.”

The Mohawks took advantage of that opportunity quickly in the bottom of the ninth.

Holland singled to left field and Reynolds was walked on four straight pitches. A passed ball moved the runners to second and third.

Holland scored when John Valente hit to second base and was thrown out at first. With Reynolds still on base and two outs the Mohawks still trailed by one.

Enter Eric Rivera.

Rivera looked at just two pitches before he sent the ball deep over the left field wall for another walk-off home run giving Amsterdam a 7-6 victory in the East Division match-up.

The Outlaws fall to 6-17 and will try to get on the winning track today when they host the Saugerties Stallions in a double header.

Amsterdam heads to Glens Falls today to take on the Dragons and try to push their win streak to 12 in a row.

Amsterdam 7, Oneonta 6

Oneonta 010 002 030 — 6 9 0

Amsterdam 030 100 003 — 7 9 5

Winkler; Workman (6); Deans (9) and White; Lane; Anderson (5); Knapek (7); Reed (9) and Maynard.

By Paul Wager

Leave a Reply