Rams top Huskies, advance to Class A semis

Amsterdam’s Brendan McGillin dives back to the base as Gloversville first baseman Trevor Mee applies the tag during Friday’s Section II Class A quarterfinal game at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

AMSTERDAM — It took two days to complete the game, but the Amsterdam baseball team punched its ticket to the Class A semifinals.

The second-seeded Rams posted a 4-1 victory over seventh-seeded Gloversville on Friday at Shuttleworth Park in the conclusion of Thursday’s weather-suspended contest.

Brendan McGillin started the game Thursday and finished it Friday, allowing just four hits, striking out 12 and walking two in seven innings of work.

McGillin ran into trouble in the seventh when he walked Raymond Strauser to start the inning and an error put two runners on for Nate Thompson, who belted a double to left centerfield. Thompson’s double made it 4-1. However, McGillin regrouped, striking out Broderick Royal and Tyler Quinones before getting a groundout from Aaron Dona to end the game.

“It was his game. I know he was getting tired, but he wasn’t coming out,” Amsterdam coach Brian Spagnola said. “He was going to win it or lose it, and he did a great job.”

When the game was stopped Thursday, the Rams held a 2-0 lead after scoring one run in both the first and second innings.

Jeffrey Brennan scored in the first inning and Robby Spagnola scored in the second inning for the Rams.

When the game resumed Friday, Gloversville was forced to pull starter Anthony Ponticello due to the pitch-count rules.

Aaron Dona pitched all five innings on Friday, allowing six hits, walking three and striking out four.

The game remained 2-0 into the sixth inning when Amsterdam added two runs to its advantage.

Ryan Bradt had an RBI single for the Rams in the inning, while Max Spagnola added an RBI double just inside the left field line.

Max Spagnola finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for Amsterdam, while Robby Spagnola was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Gloversville scored its lone run in the top of the seventh, but the Huskies’ late rally attempt came up short.

“The guys fought back and made it interesting,” Gloversville coach Mike DeMagistris said. “We played right with them. We just couldn’t come up with the timely hit.”

It was the third victory in three games for Amsterdam against its Foothills Council South Division rival. The Rams won 3-0 at Shuttleworth Park on May 1 and 7-1 at Husky Field in Gloversville on May 3 to sweep the regular-season meetings.

“When we play Amsterdam, it’s always a good game,” DeMagistris said. “Credit to Amsterdam. They played well. McGillin is a good pitcher and he pitched well against us.”

This marks the fourth straight year that the Rams have reached the Class A semifinals. However, the Rams have gone 0-3 in their last three trips to the semifinals, losing at the College of Saint Rose’s Plumeri Sports Complex in Albany each time to the eventual Class A champion.

“We’re hoping to finally get past that semifinal hump,” coach Spagnola said. “We know it’s going to be a challenge. Hopefully, we’ll come ready to play.”

Amsterdam (13-5 overall) will face third-seeded Mohonasen in today’s semifinals at Plumeri Sports Complex in Albany at 1 p.m. The Warriors posted a 12-6 victory over sixth-seeded South Glens Falls in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

“I don’t know much about them,” coach Spagnola said. “We’re going to go out and see if we can fight our way to the championship game.”

In today’s other semifinal contest, No. 8 seed Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake will face fourth-seeded Scotia-Glenville.

The semifinal winners will meet in Wednesday’s championship game at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy at 7 p.m.

Gloversville finished its season with a 5-13 overall record.

“I’m proud of my guys,” DeMagistris said. “Hopefully, our juniors and sophomores are ready to get right back after it next year.”

Amsterdam 4, Gloversville 1

Gloversville 000 000 1 — 1 4 1

Amsterdam 110 002 x — 4 8 1

Ponticello, Dona (3) and Becker; McGillin and Rocas.

By Paul Wager

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