In a game that turned around in one inning, up-and-coming players of the East Division defeated those of the West Division in the PGCBL Prospect Game on Tuesday afternoon at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam by a final score of 12-9 in an offensive showcase.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the East team trailed 4-1 and were looking to turn things around. They did it in a huge way, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring nine of them en route to taking a 10-4 lead. Mitch Calandra of Utica got the rally started as he reached on error after a quick two outs had been made. The next batter, Eric Rivera of Amsterdam, doubled and that is when the rally really began. Ben Rhodes of Oneonta reached on an error, and two batters later, Russ Olive of Mohawk Valley doubled which gave the East division the lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the afternoon.
That was not all, though. Calandra doubled again in his second at-bat of the frame. Then it was Nick Gallo of Albany grabbing a hit and Rivera getting his second hit of the day, part of a 3-3 day for him including a home run and 3 RBIs. Rivera ended up being named the game’s MVP.
The West Division had gotten the first lead of the game in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a two-run home run off the bat of John-Michael Boswell of Adirondack that gave them a 2-0 advantage. Later in the inning, Will Allocca of Newark doubled to make it a three-run lead. Webb Little of Onondaga hit another home run one inning later that made it 4-1 in favor of the West Division at the time.
The West staged a comeback in the final innings, but after PGCBL officials cut the game to eight innings instead of the originally scheduled nine after the sixth inning, the West rally fell short after the East scored two more runs in the seventh.
The West scored four runs in the eighth inning off of Trace Norkus of Albany, but it was not to be as the West fell.
This game was the first-ever Prospect Game for the PGCBL, as Shuttleworth Park and host Amsterdam Mohawks dubbed the day as the “PGCBL Baseballfest.” The day and host for the 2018 date is not yet known.