AMSTERDAM - Ed Charlton was somewhat rude to Albany Dutchmen starting pitcher Steve Basile.
Charlton greeted him by hitting Basile's first pitch over the chain monster in left field for the Mohawks' first run. Then in the sixth inning, he chased Basile from the game by sending the Dutchmen pitcher's final pitch over the same fence as the Mohawks exploded for 10 runs in the final three innings for a 12-6 victory Monday at Shuttleworth Park.
"It was the first pitch of the game, and I wasn't thinking I was going to swing. He threw it chest high and it was right down the middle. I kind of just extended my hands and put a good swing on it."
Rocky McCord pitches for the Amsterdam Mohawks in the first inning of Monday’s game against the Albany Dutchmen on Monday at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
That swing gave the Mohawks an immediate 1-0 lead, and Amsterdam would tack on another run when Evan Stephens, who reached on a bunt single, scored on Giuseppe Papaccio's RBI single.
Following four quiet innings, the Mohawks got going again in the sixth when Tom Bernal and DeMarcus Henderson followed with back-to-back two-out doubles for the Mohawks' third run. Charlton followed with his second home run, a bomb over the left-field fence, giving the Mohawks a 5-0 lead.
"The second one felt good, too," Charlton said. "The pitch before, [Basile] threw me a changeup inside and I fought it off. I didn't think he was going to come back with that again, and he threw a fastball inside."
Between the scoring, starting pitcher Rocky McCord was brilliant, spinning six innings of two hit, shutout ball. He struck out 10, a season-high for an Amsterdam pitcher.
"Offspeed was good," McCord said. "All four of my pitches were OK. My fastball got away from me at the end there, but I had good touch on my offspeed."
McCord had some minor difficulty in the third inning when he allowed a one-out double to Morgan Phillips. But he struck out the next two batters to pin Phillips at second. He also fanned the first two batters in the fourth inning, running a streak of four straight strikeouts.
"He was good," Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said. "He threw three pitches for strikes. Velocity was 90 or 92. He had a good breaking ball and a good changeup. It was really good to see. He commanded the strike zone and both sides of the plate really good."
The only base runner McCord allowed after the third inning was on a walk to Jack Wietlispach with one out in the sixth. However, he struck out Zach Remillard with Wietlispach running for a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play, ending his night.
"We wanted to try to get six innings out of him, which we did," Griffin said. "He threw about 77 pitches. Keeping his pitch count down, I think Rocky did good, especially when you strike out a lot of people, your pitch count goes higher. He really did good."
After the Mohawks' tacked on the three runs in the sixth inning, they tacked on two more in the seventh, aided by four Dutchmen errors. Amsterdam also added five more in the eighth inning, highlighted by Papaccio's three-run double. He finished with five RBIs.
"I'm pretty confident we're going to score some runs," McCord said. "It's just a matter of time."
The bottom of the seventh inning, however, may have proved damaging. When Bernal reached on a throwing error by Dutchmen third baseman Remillard, he fell to the ground between first and second, and was tagged out by Albany first baseman Sam Few. Bernal managed to make it to his feet and hobbled off the field to the Mohawks dugout.
"We'll know how bad that is [today]," Griffin said. "That could be a big loss for us."
Hidden in the Mohawks' 12-run outburst Monday night was difficulty getting runs in. After scoring two in the top of the first, Amsterdam grounded into two force plays at home, and eventually stranded the bases loaded.
"In that first inning, the first four or five guys were good, and we had a chance to put up a really big crooked number instead of a two," Griffin said. "All of a sudden, we made easy out, easy out, easy out, and we don't get anything more, except the two."
The Mohawks had shut out the Dutchmen for 33 straight innings until Phillips' RBI single in the eighth inning.
Albany rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth when Chase Williamson had difficulty getting the final out.
Seven straight batters reached base and Phillips and Remillard each had two-run singles. Williamson struck out Fews for the second time in the inning to record the final out.
Amsterdam (13-3) maintained a three-game lead over the second-place Oneonta Outlaws in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League standings. Albany (8-8) is in a three-way tie for fourth.
"We still have a long way to go offensively," Griffin said. " You can get us out if you pitch to us, and we've got to work on that. We've got some guys who are not swinging the bat really well."
Amsterdam 12, Albany 6
Albany 000 000 015 - 6 9 4
Amsterdam200 003 25x - 12 12 1
Basile, Woodward (6) and Gasparra; McCord, Gallup (7), Williamson (9) and Colby, MacDowell (8)