Mohawks roll past DiamondDawgs

AMSTERDAM – The Amsterdam Mohawks extended their latest winning streak to six games after completely dismantling an East Division rival, the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, in a 20-5 rout in their last home game of the 2014 regular season at Shuttleworth Park.

The Mohawks’ win came in front of a crowd of 1,414 fans and puts their record at 36-10, setting a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League record for most wins in a season previously set by the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2012. Amsterdam has won 30 or more games in all four seasons of PGCBL play.

The Mohawks started off slow before cruising to the win, pounding out 20 hits in the victory.

“We didn’t hit really well early. We were there, but we couldn’t hit. We’ve gotten a lot better hitting, and we really swung the bat incredible tonight,” Amsterdam coach Keith Griffin said. “The last time we played these guys, they beat us 3-1. So somewhere between 1-20 [runs] is where we are. If we do what we’re supposed to do, going into the playoffs we’ll be in great shape. We have to play like this. We don’t have to score 20, we don’t have to play this good, but if we do we’ll be OK.”

The Mohawks went scoreless in the first inning with just four at-bats before getting their offense rolling in the bottom of the second inning.

Tom Kain kicked things off with a double for Amsterdam. Alex DeBellis followed suit, hitting a double of his own and picking up the RBI with Kain sliding into home, putting the Mohawks on the scoreboard with the game’s first run. Joe Purritano brought DeBellis home with a single of his own. Not to be outdone, Marcus Carson hit a double that brought Purritano home and Jonathan Pryor scored after JaVon Shelby grounded out to first.

The DiamondDawgs put their first runs on the board in the top of the third after Michael Triller and Trey Stover scored unearned runs.

The Mohawks answered back in the bottom of the third after Alex DeBellis’ double to left-field brought Joey Aiola and Tom Kain home to put Amsterdam up, 6-2.

Carson scored off of John Razzino’s single to further extend the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. The DiamondDawgs would go on to make some noise in the fifth inning after Trey Stover’s home run brought Carcone and Triller home to help close the gap to 7-5.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Mohawks broke the game open. DeBellis scored on Carson’s fielder’s choice. Mohawk Valley pitcher Andy LaLonde discussed the call with the umpire before Mohawk Valley head coach Blake Nation argued the call and was ejected.

The Mohawks capitalized on the the drama and used the momentum to put the game out of reach. Josh Gardiner’s double earned three RBIs, bringing home Carson, Pryor and Purritano. Razzino followed up with a two-run home run.

The DiamondDawgs would never recover, going scoreless the rest of the contest. Amsterdam’s Marcus Carson scored off of Gardiner’s RBI in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Mohawks put the exclamation point on the win in the bottom of the eighth, scoring six more runs, with Aiola, DeBellis, Brendan Tracy, Pryor, Carson and Shelby all crossing home plate.

Gardiner finished the game 4-fot-5 with six RBIs and two runs scored, while Carson was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and four runs scored. DeBellis was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Razzino, Kain, Aiola, Purritano and Pryor each had two hits.

“Gardiner was incredible, Razzino was incredible, DeBellis was awesome. We got stuff out of Pryor, Marcus Carson was incredible tonight. Everybody stepped in there and swung the bat,” Griffin said. “Everybody hit the ball and that’s what happens, it can become a frenzy if things are going right, you’re doing a lot of good things. I’ve seen the other side of this, I’ve seen both sides of the coin here. I don’t like the other side. The other side won’t let us get to where we want to be, but if we play like this though, we’ll be a hard time getting beat if we play like we’re supposed to.”

Prior to the contest, Amsterdam’s Connor Johnstone and Kain were recognized for winning Pitcher of the Month and Player of the Month, respectively.

Amsterdam (36-10 overall), which is 34-4 after a 2-6 start to the season, plays its final game of the regular season on the road tonight at Albany.

“I think it helped us. I think we needed some confidence back swinging the bat. This thing is solely up to us, if we play right, we’ll win it. If we don’t, somebody else will hoist the championship when it’s all over with,” Griffin said. “If this team plays like it can and like it should and it’s ready to play and has a hunger and burning desire to be the champions, it’ll be the best team we’ve ever had.”

Mohawk Valley (24-19 overall) will play its final regular season game at Elmira on Wednesday. On Thursday, the DiamondDawgs will host the Albany Dutchmen in the opening round of the East Division Playoffs, with the winner of the contest earning the opportunity to face the Mohawks in a best-of-three series, with game one being at Shuttleworth Park on Friday.

Amsterdam 20, Mohawk Valley 5

Mohawk Valley002 030 000 – 5 10 0

Amsterdam042 160 16x – 20 22 2

DeCarlo, Esposito (5), Bolsclair (7), Hawk (8) and Strano; Randall, Ward(4), Castro (6), Breen (9) and DeBellis