AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Mohawks had scored 30 runs in their previous three games coming into Thursday night's game against the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs at Shuttleworth Park.
However, two Mohawk Valley pitchers made that a memory, limiting heavy hitting Amsterdam to only two runs.
Taylor Martin and two relievers were up to the challenge as they made the Mohawks' two runs stand up in a 2-1 victory.
Taylor Martin pitches in the first inning of the Amsterdam Mohawks' game against the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs on Thursday at Shuttleworth park in Amsterdam.
The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo
"I didn't really think about that two much," said Martin, who went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits. "I just went out there and keep doing what I was doing."
What he was doing was sending the Diamond Dawgs' batters back to the bench, striking out a season-high nine batters in his seven innings of work. He had struck out 12 in 16 1/3 innings, entering into Thursday's game.
"The change-up and curveball were working a lot better," Taylor said. "The guys made the plays behind me and helped me out."
He didn't allow two base runners in an inning until the fifth. With two outs, Jesse Buratt doubled and scored when Mohawks left fielder Evan Stephens made a diving attempt, but couldn't come up with a sinking looper by Luke Nethaway, the younger brother of Mohawks third baseman Josh Nethaway.
Martin blew through the top of the Diamond Dawgs' lineup with two strikeouts and a ground ball to Nethaway, but was greeted by a leadoff single up the middle by Jack Marrow to start the seventh. That brought Griffin out to the mound for a visit.
"We pitched great tonight," Griffin said. "I thought Taylor was really good. In that last inning, when he was out there with that leadoff hitter on, I went out and told him that would be it. The decision was going to be in his hands at that time. He really got tough, getting the next three out."
He got those outs in emphatic fashion with two strikeouts and a fly ball to Ed Charlton in center field.
"I wasn't thinking about them as much as what I can control," Martin said. "[I was concerned with] just being able to command my secondary pitches than in the best."
Things could have gotten dicey when Martin left the game. Kevin Archbold came in and walked Luke Nethaway, who left the game for pinch runner Joe Carcone. After Valichka moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt, Archbold hit David DelGrande in the foot with a pitch.
"With a one-run game, you can't play like that," Griffin said. "It's OK when you're winning 9-1, but in a one-run game you can't do it, so we went to our closer. We didn't want to go 1.2 with him, but we were kind of forced to."
Williamson answered the call by getting two ground balls to end the eighth inning. Then he struck out two batters and induced a comebacker to end the game for his fifth save of the season.
The Mohawks (16-3), who now lead the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League by five games over the Newark Pilots and Oneonta Outlaws, got a run apiece in the first and second innings. In the first, Stephens singled to center field and scored on Josh Nethaway's groundout to shortstop. In the following inning, DeMarcus Henderson walked and scored on Charlton's RBI single.
Then, despite loading the bases in the sixth and eighth innings, Scott Heath was retired to end both innings with deep fly balls. Both were tracked down by the outfielders on the run.
"I thought Scott Heath really hit the ball well tonight and didn't get anything to show for it," Griffin said. "He hit the ball on the button three times, twice with the bases loaded he really hit it well. he didn't have much to show for it, but that's how the game's played."
Amsterdam will head to the Duffy Fairgrounds for a 7 p.m. game against the Watertown Wizards tonight and then host the Wizards at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Shuttleworth Park. The Mohawks blanked the Wizards, 7-0, in Watertown on June 17.
"We have to keep working on our offense, trying to get better," Griffin said. "We're a little stale right now, a little stagnant. We need to get the swings better. The pitching has been good and the defense has been good."