AMSTERDAM - It didn't matter who was pitching for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes.
The Amsterdam Mohawks roughed him up, pounding out 16 runs on 23 hits against four pitchers in a 16-8 win Sunday night at Shuttleworth Park.
"We're hunting the fastball a lot more," said Zak Colby, who was one of two Mohawks to have five hits in the game. "Guys are having great ABs, getting on base early in the innings, so we're able to drive them in."
Amsterdam Mohawks baserunner DeMarcus Henderson is tagged out by Cooperstown Hawkeyes catcher Patrick Hyde during Sunday’s game at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam.
The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo
The last time the teams squared up at Shuttleworth Park, the Hawkeyes snuck out of Amsterdam with an extra-inning victory. This time, Amsterdam put the game out of reach early, jumping all over Cooperstown starter Josh Anderson from the first batter of the game.
"I thought we had really good at-bats all night long," Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said. "I thought our guys really competed. We got some big hits early and we kept adding."
DeMarcus Henderson singled and took third on Jeff Boehm's hit-and-run single. Although, he was erased when Boehm got hung up between first and second, Colby put the Mohawks on the board with a two-run bomb to dead center field, giving Amsterdam an early 2-0 lead.
"Whether it's a home run or scoring a couple of runs early on, it definitely gives you a boost in the game," Colby said. "It gives you momentum going into it."
The Mohawks added another run in the second when Scott Heath reached on an infield single and scored on a wild pitch.
Matt Pirro, who is coming off an injury and had his pitch count limited to about 75 pitches, went five innings for the win. He only had two rough innings - the third when the Hawkeyes fought back to tie the game at 3-3, and the fifth when Boehm lost Jacob Hubert's two-out fly ball in the Amsterdam twilight, leading to two runs.
Pirro allowed five runs on seven hits. He struck out four.
"I thought Matt was really good tonight," Griffin said. "His fastball was really quick. I thought his slider was good. His changeup was good. I thought in the third inning, he tried to throw too hard, but I thought he was really good."
After Barron's two-run double, he came around to score on Hubert's groundout to tie the game.
Then, the Mohawks lit up the scoreboard, dropping a six-spot on Anderson and two other pitchers to assume control of the game.
After Anderson retired Chase Green to start the inning, Colby got things started with a single. After he stole second base, Brian Ruby, who has five RBIs since joining the Mohawks Thursday, brought him home with a single up the middle. Then, with the bases loaded, Cooperstown's second pitcher, Eric Gregory, hit Matt MacDowell to force in the Mohawks' fifth run.
"We've been getting in good counts," Colby said. "Guys are taking good hacks. You can't ask for more. We've got a bunch of good hitters on this team."
Henderson put an exclamation point on the inning with a booming three-run double to deep center field. Then, Boehm chased Henderson home with a double of his own, this one to left field.
"I really thought we swung the bat better than any inning we had all year," Griffin said.
Henderson finished with four hits, three RBIs and two runs scored and Boehm had five hits with two RBIs, and three runs scored.
Josh Nethaway plated Colby and Ruby in the fourth inning, then scored when Hubert's throw sailed into left field on a stolen-base attempt, giving the Mohawks a 12-3 lead. Nethaway had two more RBIs in the next inning with a single to center field.
"I thought Zak Colby was absolutely locked in," Griffin said. "I thought DeMarcus Henderson did a nice job at the top of the lineup. Nethaway had some nice at-bats. Boehm has some nice at-bats."
The Hawkeyes (9-18) picked up three in the eighth inning, all with two outs. Tyler Mautner was hit by a pitch from Boehm and eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Colton Beatty hit a two-run double.
In the bottom of the inning, RBI hits by Boehm and Colby plated two more runs, giving the Mohawks a season-high 16 runs.
After losing two straight games at the halfway point of the season, the Mohawks (23-5) have won three in a row, and have scored at least seven runs in each of their last seven games, including those two losses. They lead the Glens Falls Golden Eagles and Newark Pilots (both 15-13), who are tied for second place, by eight games.
Now, heading into the final stretch of the season, they have all phases of the game clicking. The Mohawks are off today, and will host the Albany Dutchmen, who are tied with the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs for fourth place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball.
"We kind of had that midseason slump for one or two games," Colby said. "You just have to find it and get grinding again. We're back on the horse and I definitely think we have all three phases going now."
Amsterdam 16, Cooperstown 8
Cooperstown003 020 030 - 8 10 1
Amsterdam216 320 02x - 16 23 3
Anderson, Gregory (3), Haggarty (3), Elrod (7) and Hyde; Pirro, Zlotnick (6), Archbold (7), Boehm (8), Gage (9) and MacDowell