Mohawks stay perfect with 4-0 victory over Dutchmen

Amsterdam Mohawks' right fielder Drew Kendall makes a sliding attempt to catch a foul ball against the Albany Dutchmen during Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League action Thursday night at Rao Family Stadium at Shuttleworth Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam Mohawks kicked off their 2019 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League campaign last Friday and have not dropped a game since. Their most recent success came Thursday night when they defeated the Albany Dutchmen 4-0 with the help of some timely hitting as well as dominant pitching at Rao Family Stadium at Shuttleworth Park to move to a perfect 4-0 record.

“It is a 50 game season and we hope to be playing our best baseball by the end of July,” said Mohawks head coach Keith Griffin. “We hope to win every game regardless of where it falls in the season but we know it’s a process and we are still trying to figure out the team but we know we have some really good ballplayers on this team.”

In order to win the games though, you need to score runs and that is something that Amsterdam has done in spades thus far. They currently have a plus-35 run differential as they have outscored their opponents 45-10.

Aiding in the scoring department was Mohawks designated hitter Julio Cortez who broke the scoring open in the fourth inning with a double off Albany pitcher Blake Bales.

Cortez is seeing the ball well in the early stages of the season and his 2-for-3 performance Thursday brings his season average to a .357

“It was a 3-2 count. I was just trying to fight things off and wait for a good pitch and fortunately I waited the right amount of time and was able to help us get the lead and momentum we needed to have that big inning,” said Cortez.

From there, the aggressive base running of Amsterdam paired with the wild pitching from the Dutchmen would plate two more runs in the inning.

“It was nice to have that big hit from Cortez but we wouldn’t have gotten as many runs across in that inning had it not been for the speed on the base paths,” said Griffin.

When there is a goose egg on the opposing team’s scoreboard, the assigned team then hopes to close out the game with the same kind of dominance.

The Mohawks starting pitcher Tyler Stuart allowed no hits in three innings of work, while the rest of the bullpen worked with similar success to close the game out.

“It feels fantastic when you know your pitcher is throwing the ball well. It gives you confidence knowing that just one run might be all it takes to come away with a win and even though we got more runs across, tonight we could have gotten away with just the one run,” said Cortez.

Next up for Amsterdam is the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs who come into the game as winners of three of their last four games. Blake Dockery gets the nod for the Mohawks, while Mohawk Valley sends out Jimmy Joyce.

Amsterdam Mohawks 4, Albany Dutchmen 0

Albany Dutchmen 000 000 000 — 0 6 0

Amsterdam Mohawks 000 300 10x — 4 3 0

Savell, Bales (4), Foggo (5), Allard (7), Delaney (8) and Henshaw; Stuart, Barraza (4), Cardona (6), Smith (8) and Franzoni.