AMSTERDAM - The 2012 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League champion Amsterdam Mohawks didn't exactly start the season in championship form. The Mohawks were just 5-9 entering action on Saturday, but Amsterdam won its fourth straight game Tuesday night, a 17-0 thrashing of the visiting Watertown Rams, to improve to 9-9 overall.
The Mohawks, in what was their most explosive offensive outburst of the season, pounded out 20 hits on their way to the shutout.
Kyle Barrett led off the bottom of the first with a single to center field for Amsterdam. After John Sansone was hit by Watertown starting pitcher Anthony Magovney, Jordan Ebert singled home the first run of the ballgame. Josh Gardiner doubled to left center to drive in two more runs. Magovney hit two more Mohawks before getting out of the inning by inducing a ground-ball double play off the bat of Devin Wenzel.
Amsterdam’s Kyle Barrett looks to bunt during Tuesday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League contest against Watertown at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
Each successive inning seemed to be more of the same for Amsterdam. A hit batsman followed by four straight singles, including two bunt singles down the third baseline, led to three more runs for Amsterdam.
Magovney walked Shane Zimmer to start the third and surrendered two more singles before being taken out of the game. Reliever Logan Grant promptly gave up back-to-back hits, a two-run double by Sansone and a two-run single to John Nogowski. When all was said and done, Anthony Magovney was charged with nine earned runs on nine hits, with four hit batsmen through just 2.1 innings of work.
Carrying a 10-0 lead into the fourth, the Mohawks had their biggest inning of the game. After back-to-back RBI singles, again by Sansone and Nogowski, Ebert connected on a towering three-run shot to left field, putting the Mohawks up 15-0. Ebert, who was hitting just .227 on the season, tallied four hits and six RBI in the contest.
"The way I've been swinging the bat lately I was just praying for a hit," Ebert said. "I had some good luck tonight. It just feels good to get a couple hits and show my teammates and coaches that I can actually hit a little bit."
The Mohawks added four more hits and two more runs before it was all said and done.
The Mohawks had Dylan Dwyer on the mound to start the game. Dwyer cruised through five innings, allowing five hits and striking out four.
The two through five spots in the Mohawks order were lethal Tuesday. Sansone, Nogowski, Ebert, and Josh Gardiner combined for 13 hits and 16 RBI. The foursome reached base in an astounding 15 of 20 plate appearances. When presented with the gaudy numbers, head coach Keith Griffin expressed no surprise.
"I say this and I mean this honestly, I would think they would," Griffin said. "They're really good baseball players. You just gotta be focused and be ready to play and provide some energy and when they do that we're really good."
With the game well in hand by the sixth inning, Griffin took the opportunity to give some of his players a chance to showcase their versatility. Outfielder Ebert moved to shortstop, pitcher Rich Vrana moved out to left field, and the hottest hitter on the team, Nogowski, hurled one scoreless inning. Griffin says Nogowski could come out of the pen more often.
"He pitched in high school in a very good program in Florida," Griffin said. "What I think he can do is give us some innings and eat up some innings for us. We got in a situation where it was a non-pressure game and it was good to see."
Nogowski, the team leader in hits entering Tuesday's action, added three hits and four RBI to his one inning of work on the mound. Nogowski hasn't pitched in over two years, but is anxious to help out the team in any way he can.
"I just think he wanted to see what I can do. [I'm a] crafty lefty," Nogowski smirked. "Any time you can have depth in the bullpen I think it helps."
Nogowski was named PGCBL Player of the Week last week, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
"It's been hot," Nogowski said of his first half of the season." "If you set attainable goals for yourself things kind of fall in place. I try to not give any [at bats] away and just keep trying to find the barrel."
The four straight wins by Amsterdam have the entire team hoping they have finally hit their stride.
"We're at .500 now and the season starts from here on out," Nogowski added.
The Mohawks look to continue their recent hot streak as they travel to Cooperstown today to take on the Hawkeyes. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Doubleday Field.
Amsterdam 17, Watertown 0
Watertown000 000 000 - 0 7 2
Amsterdam334 511 00x - 17 20 0
Magovney, Grant (3), Reitzler (4), Heslep (6), Amann (7), Kulp (8) and Theroux; Dwyer, Nogowski (6), Guthrie (7), Gagne (8), Butler (9) and Brennen