AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Mohawks are within striking distance of the top spot in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League East.
Led by Zack Brown's standout performance on the mound and the speed of Marcus Carson and Josh Gardiner on the base paths, Amsterdam recorded its 10th-straight victory and pulled to within a half-game of division-leading Mohawk Valley with a 7-3 victory over Glens Falls on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
"Brown was phenomenal on the mound," Amsterdam coach Keith Griffin said. "We matched these guys up because we wanted Brown to face them again. The last time we faced them he didn't do so well. If you have any character and you are made of the right stuff, you come back with a vengeance. 'I didn't pitch good. I am going to pitch better. and show them what I am made of.' He really did and answered all night with great stuff."
Amsterdam’s Marcus Carson dives around Glens Falls catcher Brandon Purcell to score in the bottom of the first inning in Tuesday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Shuttleworth Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Brown set the tone in the first inning. Normally a contact pitcher who gets his fielder's in the game, Brown struck out two of the three batters he faced in the first inning.
Marcus Carson and Josh Gardiner got the Mohawks off and running in the bottom of the first.
Carson singled and stole second. Gardiner singled through the right side to advance Carson to third. Gardiner took off for second, drawing the throw from Glens Falls catcher Brandon Purcell. The throw was cut off by second baseman Mark Powell, who threw back to Purcell but could not gun down Carson, as he dove into home for the Mohawks first run of the game.
JaVon Shelby followed with an RBI single to score Gardiner and give the Mohawks a quick 2-0 advantage.
Under threatening skies, Amsterdam built on its first-inning momentum in the bottom of the second.
Jon Pryor doubled and Blake Logan legged out an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out. Kevin Guthrie laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Pryor, and Carson doubled to right to score Logan and stake the Mohawks to a 4-0 advantage.
The Mohawks extended their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth, with Carson leading off with a single and stealing second before advancing to third on Gardiner's single. Carson attempted to score on the play but was tagged out on a close play at the plate. Gardiner came around to score on Thomas Kain's double. Kain later scored on a single by Alex DeBellis to push the score to 6-0.
The Golden Eagles fought back with three runs off reliever Thomas Hackimer in the top of the sixth to cut the Mohawks' lead in half, 6-3.
Again, Carson and Gardiner teamed up for an Amsterdam run.
Carson was hit by a pitch and showed no effects from the play as he raced from first to home on Gardiner's single through the right side to up the score to 7-3.
Joe Randall came on to pitch for the Mohawks and shut down the Golden Eagles through the last three innings to secure the victory.
"Except for a little slip in the bullpen, our pitchers stopped them all night," Griffin said. "Joe [Randall] was tremendous the last three innings."
Carson and Gardiner both were 3-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs apiece. Carson added three stolen bases to his credits, while Gardiner and John Razzino had one apiece.
"[Carson] set the table for us all night and Gardiner did well," Griffin said. "Those guys played really well for us. It is good to see."
Brown finished with four strikeouts and allowed four hits in five innings of shut-out ball.
The Mohawks infield also did their part behind their pitchers, turning four double plays in the game.
Amsterdam will travel to face the Albany Dutchmen tonight before returning to Shuttleworth Park on Friday at 6:35 p.m. for a showdown with the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs.
Amsterdam 7, Glens Falls 3
Glens Falls000 003 000 - 3 7 0
Amsterdam220 021 00x - 7 13 0
Harrington, Cowan (5), Fowler (8) and Purcell; Brown, Hackimer (6), Ward (6), Randall (7) and Logan.