Jammers rally past Mohawks
Jamestown claims PGCBL title
AMSTERDAM — After Game 1 and Game 2 of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League championship series between Amsterdam and Jamestown were both decided by a single run, another tight contest was expected for the third and decisive game.
The Jammers shook off an early home run barrage by the Mohawks Wednesday to rally for an 8-6 victory after trailing 5-0.
“We really won this as a team,” Jamestown coach Anthony Barone said. “I’m really proud of them.”
The road to a first PGCBL title was a six-game, seven-day road trip for Jamestown.
Having posted the best regular-season record in the league, the Games earned home field advantage throughout the PGCBL playoffs. However, due to the Babe Ruth World Series taking place at their home field, Russell Diethrick Park, the Jammers played all of their postseason games on the road.
“I told the guys when we heard the news about being on the road for the playoffs that it would be a really neat story for years to come if we could pull it off,” Barone said. “This is the toughest group I’ve been around. They just banded together.”
The first two games saw the home team on the scoreboard rally for victories and that was the case again Wednesday.
“It was just a great series between two good teams,” Amsterdam coach Doug O’Brey said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for coach Barone and the program he’s put together. Both teams played well and every game was a battle.”
Playing as the home team for the second time in three days at Amsterdam’s Shuttleworth Park, Jamestown fell behind 5-0 early.
Amsterdam’s Joe Genord belted a first-pitch, two-run home run to left field to make it 2-0 in the top of the second.
The next batter, Justin Foscue, also sent a pitch over the left-field wall for a solo home run and a 3-0 Amsterdam advantage.
In the top of the third, Michael Ludowig smacked a two-run home run to right field, giving the Mohawks a 5-0 lead as their first three hits of the game were homers.
As they did in Game 1, the Jammers clawed their way back into the game.
In the bottom of the third, Brett Migliore drew a four-pitch, one-out walk and advanced to second on a single by Alex O’Donnell.
Sterling Hayes plated both Migliore and O’Donnell with a three-run home run to right field to make it 5-3.
Amsterdam got one run back in the top of the fourth when Foscue scored after drawing a walk on a infield single by Elvis Peralta Jr.
However, Amsterdam mustered just two hits the rest of the way as the Jammers regrouped after a rough start.
The score remained 6-4 until the bottom of the seventh when Jamestown drew back-to-back walks against Mohawks reliever Dale Stanavich to start the inning.
Tyler Stafflinger came on to replace Stanavich and retired the first two batters he faced.
However, Chase Keng hit a three-run home run to left to give the Jammers a 7-6 lead after seven innings.
“We had a couple of bad pitches at bad times that cost us,” O’Brey said. “They had guys on base when we made those pitches and that was the difference.”
Jamestown added an insurance run to make it 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth when Ben Livorsi plated Dailin Lee, who had reached on a double with a sacrifice fly.
In its final at-bat, Amsterdam got a leadoff walk from Peralta, but Jamestown reliever Ryan Boyer struck out the next three batters to seal the win.
“All credit goes to Amsterdam. It was a really good series between two good teams,” Barone said. “People saw one of the best college baseball series they could see the last three days.”
O’Donnell was 2-for-4 for the Jammers, while Lee was 3-for-4. Hayes and Keng each went 1-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and a run scored.
Ludowig was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored for Amsterdam, while Peralta was 2-for-3.
Jamestown, which lost in last year’s championship series to Mohawk Valley, claimed its first PGCBL title.
“We talked all season about being champions on and off the field, and in the community,” Barone said. “We had to be one and come together and we did.”
Amsterdam was seeking its fifth PGCBL title in the eight-year history of the league. The Mohawks have been part of the PGCBL championship series six times. The Mohawks won the league title in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
“The most important thing is that we got better as the season went on,” O’Brey said. “This was a young group of guys and I hope they all learned something an got better as the year went on. We hope we’re sending them back to their college teams as better players and as part of the Mohawks’ family.”
Jamestown 8, Amsterdam 6
Amsterdam 032 100 000 — 6 8 0
Jamestown 003 100 31x — 8 8 3
Lockhart, Stanavich (6), Stafflinger (7), DeBrino (8) and Genord; Young, Dunn (6), Boyer (7) and Livorsi.