Mohawks rally to beat Brewers, 5-4
AMSTERDAM – The last-place Utica Brewers had the division-leading Amsterdam Mohawks down to the final out and heading toward their second-straight loss.
However, the two-time defending Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League champions did not give up.
The Mohawks made the most of two hit batters, a wild pitch and a fielding error by the Brewers to load the bases before Blake Logan delivered a two-RBI single down the right field line to complete the comeback for a 5-4 victory Wednesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
“I am excited about winning the game,” Amsterdam coach Keith Griffin said. “What I don’t like is the way we are playing right now. We had one run two nights ago and two runs through eight innings tonight. That’s three runs in 17 innings. We are not swinging the bat well. Maybe this will give us the spark we need to get going in the right direction.”
The start of the game was delayed for more than an hour as storms rolled through the area, but once under way, the Mohawks were ready.
Amsterdam’s starting pitcher Zach Brown looked sharp after giving up a lead-off single to Cedric Mullins. The Mohawks turned a double play behind Brown, who finished the first inning with two strike outs.
Mullins’ hit was the only one allowed by Brown through the first five innings of play.
Meanwhile, the Mohawks put a run on the board in the opening inning with a pair of walks followed by an RBI single from John Razzino to score JaVon Shelby for a 1-0 lead.
Utica’s John McGinty stepped up his game after making repairs to the wet pitcher’s mound. McGinty held the Mohawks to three hits through the next four innings, allowing the Brewers to come back and tie the game in the top of the sixth.
After Brown struck out the first two batters in the inning, Mullins walked and came around to score on Hayden Kelly’s single to tie the game at one apiece.
The Mohawks answered in the bottom of the sixth. Brendan Tracy led off the inning with a walk and scored on Jack Czeszewski RBI double to take a 2-1 advantage.
The Brewers got to Amsterdam closer Zach Breen in the ninth with back-to-back walks to open the inning, before Breen got the next two batters on a sacrifice bunt and a strike out. Crachard Laing came through with a two-RBI single up the middle to score pinch-runner Mike Wright and Zach Torriente and putting the Brewers up 3-2. Laing scored on Adam Pexton’s single to give Utica a 4-2 lead.
Joey Aiola got the comeback started with his single to right, but the Brewers turned a double play to put the Mohawks down to their last out.
Marcus Carson then drew a walk, Thomas Kain was hit by a pitch and Josh Gardiner hit a sharp grounder to short that was mishandled by Torriente to load the bases. A wild pitch by reliever Chad Moss allowed Carson to score and move Jake Salpiertro, who pinch ran for Kain, and Gardiner into scoring position. Razzino was hit by a pitch to again load the bases before Logan delivered his two-strike single down the right field line to score Salpiertro and Gardiner for the 5-4 come-from-behind victory.
“I was just telling myself not to try to do too much with the pitch,” Logan said. “Just if he throws it outside to go with it. Sometimes I try to do too much at the plate. I just wanted to put it in play and it got through the hole. Righty-on-righty is hard, but he got it down in the zone and I was lucky enough to get the barrel on it and go the other way.”
The victory raises the Mohawks season record to 30-9, while Utica drops to 7-31.
Amsterdam will travel to take on Elmira tonight before returning to Shuttleworth Park on Friday to play the Albany Dutchmen. A fireworks display will follow the evening’s game.
Amsterdam 5, Utica 4
Utica Brewers000 001 003 – 4 7 1
Amsterdam Mohawks100 001 003 – 5 8 0
McGinty, Moss (9) and Laing; Brown, McCarren (7), Breen (9) and Logan.