AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Mohawks avoided their longest losing streak in nearly two years Friday night, defeating the Cooperstown Hawkeyes, 4-1, in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League contest.
Having lost four straight games, the Mohawks (2-4) used stellar pitching and timely hitting to send the Hawkeyes (3-2) home with their second straight loss after starting the young season 3-0.
The Hawkeyes arrived late to Shuttleworth Park, pushing the game start time back to 7:30 p.m. Matt Snyder, a former pitcher for Fulton-Montgomery Community College who is transferring to Temple University, got off to a shaky start. Snyder surrendered a home run to the second batter he faced, second baseman Ben Hall, and a single to the next batter, Cameron Day, before getting out of the inning. The home run by Hall would be the only run of the game for the Hawkeyes. Snyder cruised through five innings on the mound, throwing his curveball for strikes and allowing only three hits while striking out five Hawkeyes.
Amsterdam’s Josh Gardiner (10) scrambles back to first base as Cooperstown’s Ryan Donovan awaits the throw during Friday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
"Snyder was incredible on the mound," Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said. "I thought he had command of all three of his pitches."
Hawkeyes manager Dan Shwam said his team was simply "overmatched."
"We strike out way too much," Shwam said. "We couldn't catch up to a good hard fastball."
The Mohawks loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame before striking out three straight times against Cooperstown lefty Jonathan Chudy. Amsterdam scored their first run of the game in the second off the bat of Josh Gardiner, who plated two with a double to deep center field. Colin Gay padded Amsterdam's lead with a home run to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth.
A scary moment came in the top of the seventh when Mohawks reliever Christian Bartholomew hit Cooperstown shortstop Ryan Hanahan in the head. Hanahan left the game after being examined by the on-site trainer.
"He's [Hanahan] a little dinged up," Shwam said. "He'll be alright. He'll still play tomorrow."
With the score sitting at 3-1 in favor of Amsterdam, the Hawkeyes had a chance to push runs across in the top of the eighth. Hall led off the inning with a double, knocking Bartholomew out of the ballgame. Kevin Guthrie came in for the Mohawks and walked the following batter, Day. Ryan Donovan then lined out to Mohawks second baseman Josh Gardiner. Gardiner threw the ball away attempting to double up Day at first, allowing both runners to move up. With the tying run in scoring position and only one out, Guthrie retired the next two batters to preserve the lead. According to Shwam, leaving runners in scoring position has been somewhat of a trend for Cooperstown.
"We leave so many guys on base and in scoring position it's almost scary," Shwam said. "We can't do it. We've got to get better."
Amsterdam's Ed Charlton tacked on an insurance run in the home half of the eighth with his second home run of the season, a mammoth shot over the left field wall. Guthrie stayed in the game and nailed down the win for the Mohawks.
By Griffin's own admission the Mohawks have repeatedly hurt themselves defensively over the past few games. Defense was not an issue Friday.
"That was a good win tonight," said Griffin. "I didn't think we hit it particularly well tonight. What we did do well was pitch and play defense."
The Mohawks avoided a five-game losing streak, something that would have been a first for the team with Griffin at the helm. The Mohawks put an end to their longest losing streak since they lost four straight from June 21-24 of the 2011 season.
The Mohawks will look to build a winning streak today against the Adirondack Trailblazers at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam.
"We need to come out tomorrow with a good attitude and make sure we take care of Adirondack," said Griffin."
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Elmira 7, Amsterdam 6
ELMIRA - On Thursday, Amsterdam dropped a 7-6 decision at Elmira at Dunn Field.
It was the third straight win for the Pioneers.
Tanner Hawley earned the win for Elmira, allowing two hits and striking out one in six innings of work. Chad Kalousdian lined two singles and a double for the Pioneers, while Andrew Nist had three singles.
Ed Charlton finished the evening going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored for Amsterdam. Kyle Guthrie added a double and single for the Mohawks, while John Nogowski had a double.
Amsterdam 4, Cooperstown 1
Cooperstown100 000 000 - 161
Amsterdam020 010 01x - 481
Chudy, Garran (6), Tarleton (8) and Jordan; Snyder, Bartholomew (6), Guthrie (8) and Skinner..