AMSTERDAM – It was a bizarre Thursday night from start to finish in Amsterdam that ended with the Mohawks overcoming seven errors for a 9-6 rain-shortened victory over the Elmira Pioneers (8-9).
The seven errors were a season high for Amsterdam (11-9). Errors plagued the Mohawks early in the season, but they had committed just two in their last five games, all Mohawks wins.
Matt Ternowcheck got the start for Amsterdam, running into trouble early on.
Ternowcheck allowed a single to the second batter of the game, Brian Bashara, then proceeded to walk a batter before surrendering an RBI single to catcher Andrew Nist. A Ternowcheck balk forced in another run before he was able to get a strikeout for the third out of the inning. Two of the Mohawks seven errors came in the top of the second, leading to another run for Elmira.
The Mohawks got their first runs of the game in the bottom half of the inning. For the third time in two games the Mohawks mashed back-to-back home runs, this time off the bats of Jordan Ebert and Josh Gardiner, the third of the season for each player. Six different players were part of the three back-to-back feats, with John Sansone and Dylan Smith, and Ed Charlton and John Nogowski accomplishing the feat in Cooperstown on Wednesday.
The Mohawks committed two more errors in the third, once again leading to a run for Elmira. Ternowchek was able to get through four innings before giving way to reliever Zach Quayle. Ternowchek was charged with only two earned runs and gave up just two hits. He walked three and hit one batter.
The Mohawks added a run on an RBI groundout by Mark Brennan in the fifth to come within one, but Elmira took advantage of two more Amsterdam errors in the top of the sixth. Elmira singled twice in the inning with both runners coming around
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to score on Mohawks miscues.
In the middle of the sixth, rain slowly began to fall. The light sprinkle stuck around as the bottom of the inning got underway.
Down 6-3, the Mohawks bats finally came alive against Pioneers starting pitcher Tanner Hawley. Sansone, Nogowski, and Ebert lead off the inning with three straight singles. Ebert’s single, mishandled by left fielder Chris Kalousdian, allowed Sansone to score the first run of the inning. As the rain fell harder the Mohawks got hotter. Gardiner hit a sacrifice fly to right field to push across another run, bringing the Mohawks within one. Dylan Smith roped a double down the left field line to score Ebert, tying the game at six apiece.
With the rain having transitioned from a light drizzle to a torrential downpour, the umpires decided to play on with the game tied. Shane Zimmer chopped a ball back to the pitcher, who turned and caught Smith hung up between second and third. Hawley held onto the ball for a bit too long as Smith slid safely into second with Zimmer standing safely at first. Clark Pence came in to pitch for Elmira and walked the first batter he faced, Brennan, to load the bases. Pence struck out Ronnie Bernick before hitting Charlton to force in the go ahead run. John Sansone added a 2-RBI single to push the score to 9-6. The umpires immediately decided it was time to run the tarp onto the field before the players could come out for the top of the seventh.
After 20 minutes of continued downpours, the game was called off, giving the Mohawks their sixth straight victory.
Sansone registered three hits in six innings of play, lifting his average to .395 on the season.
The Mohawks will hope to dodge rain in the forecast tonight and run their win streak to seven as they welcome the Glens Falls Golden Eagles to Shuttleworth Park for a 7:05 tilt.
Amsterdam 9, Elmira 6 (6 innings – rain)
Elmira211 002 – 6 5 2
Amsterdam020 016 – 9 8 7
Hawley, Pence (6) and Nist; Ternowchek, Quayle (5), Guthrie (6) and Brenna