Mohawks use early lead to take down Dragons

Dragons outfielder Owen Wosleger swings at a pitch during a game on Tuesday, July 25 against the Albany Dutchmen. Photo: Aidan Joly/518 Sports

It took just five pitches into the game for Amsterdam to grab two runs and they didn’t look back after that as they beat the Glens Falls Dragons at East Field Thursday night by a final tally of 7-5.

The first three Amsterdam hitters got on base to start the night, two of them scoring off of Dragons starting pitcher Lake Robertson in just five pitches. John Valente singled to start the game, Jake Mueller tripled on a ball that just missed the diving Dalton Ney, and then Eric Rivera singled in Mueller to make it a quick 2-0.

“It was tough given the circumstances. Our (regularly scheduled) starting pitcher had something come up where he couldn’t make it today, so we were kind of flying on the go. Two runs made it tough,” Dragons manager Cameron Curler said.

Robertson, who is used as a relief pitcher, went three innings giving up four runs on five hits and struck out three Amsterdam Mohawk batters.

The Dragons managed to scratch across a run in the second inning on an RBI single from Cullen Cicotte, but Amsterdam answered in the fourth with two more runs to make the game 4-1 after two pitches got past Cicotte, who was catching for Glens Falls.

Glens Falls made it 4-2 in the bottom half of the inning courtesy of a wild pitch from Amsterdam starter Thomas Lane, who went 3.2 innings and gave up two runs on one hit while striking out seven. He gave way to Shenendehowa alumni Ben Anderson who was great for nearly the rest of the way, going 4.1 innings and giving up two runs on five hits and struck out four of his own.

For Glens Falls, Andrew Aikens came in after Robertson was removed and pitched three shutout innings to keep the team in the game during the middle innings.

“It was a gutsy outing for him. Three zeroes kept us in the ballgame and took some pressure off some other guys, so it was big,” Curler said of Aikens.

Things stayed the same until the seventh inning when Dalton Skelton hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 and Rivera hit a two-run homer one inning later to make it 7-2.

The Dragons made it interesting late in the game, scoring two in the eighth off doubles from Nick Jacques and Owen Wosleger and a sacrifice fly from Jared Drizin in the ninth.

Another story of the night was Anthony Butler, who is a catcher, tossed 1.1 perfect innings for the Dragons late in the game. He struck out Amsterdam’s Dan Maynard to begin his outing then induced a three-pitch inning in the ninth, a very clean outing for a catcher.

With the win, nationally-ranked fourth in the nation Amsterdam improves to 33-12 on the year as they inch closer to the East Division title and look for their seventh league title in nine years. They will be back in action on Friday as they take on the Adirondack Trail Blazers at home at Shuttleworth Park, with a start time of 6:35 p.m.

The Dragons fall to 15-31 on the season and have been eliminated from postseason contention. They will also play again on Friday as they face the Oneonta Outlaws at home. That game will begin at 7 p.m.

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