Mohawks earn split against Glens Falls

GLENS FALLS – The Amsterdam Mohawks split a Father’s Day doubleheader on the road at Glens Falls, getting toppled in the first game 9-2 and then bouncing back in the second game with a 3-2 victory.

The twin bill marked the first visit back at East Field since clinching the 2012 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League championship last August with a 13-6 win in a two-game series sweep.

Rich Vrana (Marist) was lights out in the second game, firing five innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits for his first win of the year. Josh Gardiner (Radford) had a pair of RBIs on bases-loaded free passes he induced.

Glens Falls was led by Braxton Martinez (St. Louis) and Ramon Laureano (NE Okla A&M) who socked their team’s first homeruns of the season in the opener. Laureano was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two stolen bases in that first game while Zach Kopf (Marist) fired the league’s first complete game of the season, surrendering two earned runs and six hits over seven strong innings.

The Golden Eagles raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of the opener off starter Logan Fullmer (Maine) and never looked back. Brandon Martinez (St. Louis) socked a two-run homer in the rally.

Amsterdam had two near-misses for double plays at different times in the inning that would have cut the rally short.

Zach Hopf (St. Peter’s) fired the first complete game of the PGCBL season, lasting all seven innings while surrendering just six hits and two earned runs, racking up five strikeouts.

The Mohawks cut the deficit to 6-2 in the fourth inning partly due to the heads-up play of John Nogowski (Florida State). Nogowski saw an opportunity to steal third when the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher. He timed his jump and Glens Falls was unable to offer a throw. He consequently was able to score on a soft single to left center by Devin Wenzel (Cincinnati) on the next pitch.

But Glens Falls iced the game away with another run in the fourth and then a two-run bomb to left by Ramon Laureano (NE Okla. A&M) for the 9-2 final.

After hitting no home runs in the first seven games of the season, the Golden Eagles socked a pair of long-balls in their eighth game.

Amsterdam bounced back behind the strong pitching of spot-starter Rich Vrana (Marist). The lefty lasted five innings of shutout mastery surrendering just two base-hits, one of which was a fluky pop-up bunt single by Emmanuel Forcier (New Mexico J.C.) that landed behind the pitcher’s mound.

The Mohawks struck in the fourth inning against Glens Falls starter Andy Cheray (Missouri State) on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch for Josh Gardiner (Radford) forcing in a run. Glens Falls kept it close though, forcing the Mohawks to strand three runners on the bases for the second consecutive inning.

Amsterdam almost doubled their lead in the fifth inning when Shane Zimmer (Canisius) hit a monstrous, towering drive well beyond the left-field fence and perhaps over a house across the street from East Field. As Zimmer was rounding the bases believing he had crushed his second long-ball of the season, he learned that the home-plate umpire had ruled the ball to be foul. The Mohawks argued the decision to no avail.

Amsterdam stretched their lead to 3-0 in the sixth with a bases loaded walk by Gardiner for his second free-pass style RBI and then an RBI groundout by Colin Gay (Maine).

Glens Falls recovered two of the runs in the bottom of the sixth in a rally that included a pair of RBI doubles by Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) and Spencer Johnson (Missouri State) off Amsterdam reliever Mike Urbanski (Binghamton).

The Golden Eagles put two runners on base in the seventh in their last-ditch rally effort, but Urbanski induced a couple of pop-outs to finish his first PGCBL save.

Game 1

Glens Falls 9, Amsterdam 2

Amsterdam000 200 0 – 2 6 2

Glens Falls501 102 x – 9 11 0

Fulmer, Gagne (5), Butler (6) and Skinner; Hopf and Sydeski.

Game 2

Amsterdam 3, Glens Falls 2

Amsterdam000 102 0 – 3 5 0

Glens Falls000 002 0 – 2 7 1

Vrana, Urbanski (6) and Skinner; Cheray, Merciez (4), Eckelman (7) and Rousseau, Folena (7).