Mohawks post 6-1 win over Albany

AMSTERDAM – Will Miller got the East Division-leading Albany Dutchmen off to a fast start, blasting the first pitch of the game from Amsterdam’s E.J. Ashworth over the left-field fence for a home run.

That would be the only run production for the Dutchmen as Ashworth shook off the game-opening homer to shut down the Dutchmen and lead the Mohawks to their second-straight Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League victory, 6-1.

“He [Ashworth] locked in after the first pitch,” Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said. “The guy is a very good hitter. He jumped on a first-pitch fastball and hit it out of here. I thought E.J. held himself together very well. He could have caved in a bit, but he didn’t. He did a great job.”

Ashworth allowed five hits and struck out four before giving way to John McCarron and Joe Randall to close out the win over the previously unbeaten Dutchmen.

“After the first pitch, we really threw the ball well,” Griffin said. “All three guys pounded the zone with a bunch of strikes.”

The Amsterdam bats also came alive Tuesday night as the Mohawks pounded out seven hits and forced the Dutchmen to commit four errors.

It took only a pair of innings before Amsterdam erased the Albany lead.

Luke Nethaway doubled with one out in the bottom of the second, and Connor Heady worked his way on with a walk. Jack Czeszewski doubled with two outs to deliver Nethaway and Heady to the plate and give the Mohawks a 2-1 advantage.

Amsterdam took advantage of a pair of throwing errors by Albany third baseman Dave Vaccaro to push two more runs across the plate and build a 4-1 advantage after three innings of play.

The Dutchmen put runners on base in both the top of the fourth and fifth innings, only to see the Mohawks kill their opportunities with inning-ending double plays both times.

“We kept the ball down, got ground balls and turned them over,” Griffin said. “Those four guys [JaVon Shelby, Heady, Josh Gardiner and Nethaway] are really good players for us, and I expect they will continue to do the job.”

The Mohawks outfield also showed strong defensive ability, as centerfielder Marcus Carson raced toward the fence and came up with a spectacular diving catch to rob Danny Hrbek of an extra-base hit in the top of the fifth.

“That was an unbelievable catch by Marcus Carson in the outfield,” Griffin said. “When we play those three guys [Carson, Czeszewski and Jon Pryor] in the outfield, we have a lot of speed out there.”

The Mohawks added another run in the bottom of the sixth, with Czeszewski hitting his second RBI double of the game to score Heady, while putting another on the board in the bottom of the seventh when Gardiner was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Blake Logan’s RBI single for the 6-1 final score.

“Our offense is getting better,” Griffin said. “It is still a work in progress, but it is much, much better the last two games as opposed to the first three, and we played some very good defense tonight.”

Czeszewski led the Mohawks with two doubles and three RBIs, while Heady had two hits, an RBI and two runs scored.

The Mohawks (2-3) will look to extend their win streak to three games tonight when they travel to play the Little Falls DiamondDawgs tonight.

Amsterdam’s next home game is slated for Thursday night, when it hosts the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m.

Amsterdam 6, Albany 1

Albany100 000 000 – 1 4 4

Amsterdam022 001 10x – 6 7 1

Ghiardi, Foote (5), DiLeo (8) and Hanson, Miller (4).