ALBANY - The Amsterdam Mohawks closed out a recording setting 2012 regular season on Wednesday night with a 5-3 setback at the hands of the Albany Dutchmen at Bob Bellizzi Field. Despite the loss, Amsterdam finished the regular season with the best record (35-12, .745) in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
The Mohawks, PGCBL regular season champions, will face the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs in the opening round of the 2012 PGCBL playoffs. The Mohawks and DiamondDawgs will play a best-of-three series that will begin on Friday at Shuttleworth Park.
The second game is scheduled for Saturday at Mohawk Valley's Veterans Memorial Park. If a third game is necessary, it would be played Sunday in Amsterdam.
The other opening round series in the PGCBL playoffs will pit the second-seeded Glens Falls Golden Eagles against the third-seeded Newark Pilots. The winner of the Amsterdam-Mohawk Valley series will play either Glens Falls or Newark for the league championship in a best-of-three series that is slated to begin Tuesday.
Amsterdam's 35 regular season victories are both a league and franchise record. The overall franchise record for wins, including regular season and playoff victories, stands at 36. The Mohawks won 36 overall games in Keith Griffin's first season at the helm in 2009 and captured the New York Collegiate Baseball League championship.
On Wednesday night, the Mohawks were led by centerfielder Ed Charlton (NJIT) and starting pitcher Dan Zlotnick (Marist). Charlton clubbed a two-run home run in the sixth inning to force a 2-2 tie. It was Charlton's seventh long ball of the season and first since June 30.
Zlotnick, who made his fourth start of the summer, logged seven bend-but-no-break innings. He did not allow a run in his final six frames after letting in two scores in the first. Zlotnick scattered seven hits, walked five and struck out five. The southpaw from Katonah, forced the Dutchmen to strand 10 men on base; Albany twice left the bases loaded.
Amsterdam scored an unearned run in the seventh to take a 3-2 lead. Brian Ruby (Binghamton) reached on an error with one out. Ruby stole second and a second Albany error in the inning allowed him to take third. Chase Williamson (Auburn) plated Ruby with the go-ahead run on a ground out to the right side.
Williamson, normally the closer for the Mohawks, started at second base. He made a run-saving play in the home half of the seventh. With two outs and a runner on second, Albany's Ryan Gasporra (Centenary) smashed a hard line drive to the right that had eyes for the outfield grass. Williamson made a leaping catch to snare the ball thus ending the inning.
Albany broke through in the eighth inning with a game-winning rally against Amsterdam reliever Kyle Rufer (Schenectady County C.C.). The Dutchmen scored three times in the eighth on four hits. Greg Pezzuto (Southern New Hampshire) tied the game with an RBI single, his fourth hit of the night, Rufer struck out Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina) with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning. The next batter, Jack Wietlispach (Parkland) lined a single into center field scored both Cody Ellis (Patrick Henry C.C.) and Greg Pezzuto.
Matt Snyder (Va. Tech) from Colonie earned the victory. He pitched eight innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits.
Snyder struck out four and walked none. Reliever Ricky Schafer (Cypress) struck out the side in the ninth.
Fans can tune into Mohawks playoff games with Bob Rotruck at www.ustream.tv/channel/mohawksradio.
Albany 5, Amsterdam 3
Amsterdam000 002 100 - 3 7 0
Albany200 000 03x - 5 10 2
WP - Matt Snyder (3-3); LP - Kyle Rufer (1-1).