AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Mohawks were able to withstand a ninth-inning rally Wednesday night at Shuttleworth Park en route to their third straight win, 9-7 over the Elmira Pioneers.
Amsterdam had two players making their Mohawks debuts Wednesday. Outfielder Jordan Ebert of Auburn University started in left field and infielder John Sansone joined Florida State teammate John Nogowski in the infield, starting at shortstop. Ed Charlton was held out of action for the second straight night due to injury. Colin Gay also missed the first of many games after exiting Tuesday's game early. Gay has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture and could be out three or four weeks.
"We've got a lot of tweaks and pulls and strains," said Mohawks head coach Keith Griffin. "This is a grind. This is a 48-game season in about 58 days. They're not used to this."
The Mohawks took advantage of horrendous Elmira defense in the home half of the first. In his first career Mohawk at bat, Sansone knocked in the first run of the ball game with an RBI single to left off of Pioneers righty Jasper Adams. Later in the inning, the Pioneers committed three straight errors that led to three more runs for Amsterdam, giving the Mohawks a 4-0 lead after one inning of play.
The Pioneers got two runs back when second baseman Parker Curry took Mohawks starter Dylan Dwyer deep in the top of the second. Control issues chased Dwyer from the ball game after only 3.1 innings of work. Dwyer walked four, including two straight to start the fourth inning. After Colby Gee hammered a ball off the center field wall, Griffin made the pitching change.
"They're all on a short leash. They just need to pitch better," Griffin said. "Dylan was better than he has been but still not good enough. He has a lot of work to do to get better."
The Mohawks carried their 3-2 lead into the fifth when a leadoff walk issued by Adams paved the way for three Mohawks runs, two coming when Brian Ruby connected on a two-run home run of his own over the triple-stacked wall in left field. It was Ruby's first home run of the season.
Kevin Guthrie pitched brilliantly for the Mohawks in the middle innings. Guthrie struck out four and didn't allow a hit in 3.2 innings of work.
Ebert picked up his first hit as a Mohawk in the sixth, knocking in Josh Gardiner with an RBI single to left. Ebert would score later in the inning on a wild pitch by Pioneers reliever Austin Hill to give Amsterdam a 9-2 lead. He added a spectacular diving catch in left field to end the seventh inning to round out his Mohawks debut. The contributions of newcomers Sansone and Ebert were visible and welcome.
"Those guys are really good baseball players," said Griffin. "They're going to be main guys for us the rest of the year."
Every Mohawks starter tallied a hit except for catcher Keith Skinner. Dylan Smith, Gardiner, Nogowski, and Sansone each picked up two hits for Amsterdam.
Pioneer first baseman Ryan Plantier tacked on another run in the eighth, taking reliever Taylor Butler deep over the tall wall in left. Entering the ninth inning with a six-run cushion, Butler continued to struggle. Butler allowed four straight base runners without recording an out, all of whom would come around to score. Chris Kalica was brought in to stop the bleeding, striking out the final two Pioneers he faced to lock up the 9-7 win for Amsterdam.
Ed Charlton is probable to be back in the lineup for the Mohawks today as they travel to Albany to take on the Dutchmen.
In addition to their regularly-scheduled game, they will also finish up the 5-5 game that was suspended due to a power outage June 5.
Christian Bartholomew will take the hill to begin the suspended game, while tall lefty Matt Snyder will take his 2.00 ERA to the mound to start the game scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The Mohawks will be back at home Friday night to take on the Glens Falls Golden Eagles, with a fireworks display scheduled to light up Shuttleworth Park after the game.
Amsterdam 9, Elmira 7
Elmira020 000 014 - 7 6 4
Amsterdam400 032 00x - 9 11 0
Adams, Hill (6), Blinderman (7), Pence (8) and Nist; Dwyer, Guthrie (4), Butler (8), Kalica (9) and Skinner