ELMIRA — The Amsterdam Mohawks pitching once again dominated the Elmira Pioneers in the second game of the PGCBL championship series.
With a 3-0 victory on Thursday night at Dunn Field, Amsterdam (40-5-1) swept Elmira in the best-of-three series to earn its eighth PGCBL championship and 11th title overall as an organization.
“This one was more of a relief because we just weren’t swinging the bat very well,” said Mohawks coach Keith Griffin. “We had a hard time putting up multiple runs [in an inning], but our pitching was phenomenal. [Pitching coach] Zach Breen did such a good job getting out guys ready to pitch.”
Maximilian Ramirez cruised through seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just two baserunners, each on singles.
“I’ve been there before in high school,” Ramirez said of pitching in big games. “All you can do is just try and zone in, and that’s exactly what I was able to do.”
The right-hander from Niagara University recorded 13 strikeouts, without walking a batter, on an efficient 86 pitches.
“When I started off, my slider was working really well,” Ramirez said. “I kept my changeup in my back pocket until around the third inning. When I busted it out, they had no chance.
“When you’ve got 40 guys counting on you and rooting for you, it’s kind of hard not to do the best you can.”
Jack Brodsky, a right-hander from the University of Tampa, allowed one hit over two scoreless innings of relief, to earn the save. With his four strikeouts, Ramirez and Brodsky combined for 17 strikeouts against Elmira.
“They’ve been amazing,” Cam Gurney, the series MVP, said of his team’s pitching. “When our offense has struggled a little bit, they’ve been right there to keep us in the games and close the door. That’s huge in the playoffs and to win big games, you need pitching performances like that.”
Amsterdam scored its first run in the top of the fourth inning. After Gage Miller was hit by a pitch, he came around to score on a RBI double by Gurney, who was 3 for 4 in the game.
The Mohawks tacked on two more in the fifth. With the bases-loaded and one out, Miller was hit by another pitch on the eighth pitch of his at-bat, forcing in a run.
“I had to get that run in any way possible and leaning into it, that was one way,” Miller said. “You can’t be scared of the ball, and as a leadoff hitter, you have to get on base.”
Bruer Webster, who went 2 for 3, promptly lined a single to left field to drive in another run, as the Mohawks took a 3-0 lead.
With the series sweep of Elmira, Amsterdam earned its second straight PGCBL championship after defeating the Batavia Muckdogs in three games in 2022.
The Mohawks have previously won PGCBL titles in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019. The organization won league titles in 2003, 2004 and 2009 as well.
Amsterdam 000 120 000 — 3 10 0
Elmira 000 000 000 — 0 3 0