The Amsterdam Mohawks swept a Sunday evening doubleheader from the Newark (NY) Pilots at Shuttleworth Park 6-5 and 3-0 as the defending league champions extended their weekend win-streak to three straight.
The first game was Amsteredam’s first walk-off win of the year on a Brian Ruby two-single with the bases-loaded in the bottom of the seventh. And the second game was Amsterdam’s first shutout of the season with 6’7″ righty Trey Wingenter (Auburn) going most of the way with six terrific innings of four-hit ball racking up six strikeouts.
The twin-bill was a matchup of the first two champions in the history of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The Newark Pilots grabbed the title in the debut season of the PGCBL in 2011 with a 2 games to 1 edge in the final series over Amsterdam. And the Mohawks were the 2012 champions 2 games to 0 over the Glens alls Golden Eagles.
Josh Gardiner (Radford) hit a home run in each game of the doubelehader for the Mohawks, his first two of the season.
Newark was led by Steve Laurino (Marist) who went 3-for-4 in the opener with two RBI. Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer) was a combined 3-for-8 on the day with a run scored and one RBI.
The Pilots rapped out 14 base-hits in the first game but stranded 12 runners on base.
Tyler Wilson (Buffalo) was the hard-luck losing pitcher with a complete game in the finale. He gave up three runs in the first inning and then was terrific after that retiring the last 13 batters in a row to face him.
Amsterdam improved to 8-9 with the back-to-back W’s. The Newark Pilots fell to 7-8.
Game 1 was a back-and-forth affair with the two teams trading the lead multiple times. David Vandercook (Columbia) tripled and scored in a two-run second inning for Newark off Mohawks’ starter Rich Vrana (Marist). And Newark pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth with Coleman Lukas (Pomona-Pitzer) eventually scoring after delivering one of his three hits in the game.
Amsterdam surged back in the fourth beginning with a solo home run by John Nogowski (Florida State), his first of the year, followed by a three-run blast by Josh Gardiner that gave the Mohawks a 4-3 lead. Gardiner was inserted into the lineup in the fourth by Keith Griffin as a pinch-hitter and quickly rewarded his head coach for the mid-game substitution with hi first long-ball of season.
Newark re-took the lead in the sixth with a couple of runs making it 5-4. Sam Fox and Jacob Russell (Kentucky) had doubles to start the rally and Steve Laurino plated Russell for the go-ahead run.
The Mohawks came back in the bottom of the seventh for their first walk-off win of the year. With the bases loaded and two outs and 2-2 count to Brian Ruby (Binghamton), the Mohawks third-baseman singled in the tying and winning runs on a line-drive that was barely good enough to win the game. Newark second-baseman Jeff Edwards (Valporaiso) times his leap perfectly for the line-drive and was able to get a glove on the ball in his attempt for a terrific game-winning catch. But the drive glanced off the edge of his mitt and rolled away and turned into the game-winning hit for the hosts instead.
Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) pitched the sixth and seventh innings to earn his first win.
In the second game, all of the scoring would take place in the first inning as Amsterdam would build their 3-0 lead and then hang onto that margin the rest of the way. Ed Charlton (NJIT) and John Nogowski (FSU) singled and doubled respectively. jordan Ebert (Auburn) drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice-fly.
And Josh Gardiner would launch his second home-run of the day with a drive over the Chain Monster to make it 3-0. Gardiner had only one home-run at Radford all season but was able to double that output in a single day with the Mohawks. He also had two very long fly-balls to center in his net two at-bats on close calls to driving out a third dinger.
Amsterdam loaded the bases in the second inning but Newark hurler Tyler Wilson (Buffalo) worked out of it. And that began a stretch of 13 straight batters retired by Wilson until the end of the game in his complete game stint.
But Trey Wingernter (Auburn) was too much for the Pilots. He allowed just a couple of singles to Taylor Hinshaw (Georgia Southern) through the first five innings. As he wore down a little in the sixth, the Pilots loaded the bases and had a late chance to get on the board. But Wingenter induced a ground-out from Steve Laurino to end the threat as well as his solid stint.
A Seattle Mariners draft selection in 2012, Wingenter lasted six innings allowing four hits, no runs, one walk while racking up a season-high six strikeouts.
Amsterdam won three straight games this weekend in a little over 24 hours. The streak began with a 10-inning victory at Mohawk Valley at Saturday night.
Amsterdam and Newark both have the day off Monday,
The Mohawks play home games at Shuttleworth Park this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Tuesday will be Logan Fullmer (Maine) taking the mound against the Watertown Rams.
The Newark Pilots are back at Colburn Park Tuesday night at 7:05 hosting the Elmira Pioneers.