AMSTERDAM — With the series tied one all, the Amsterdam Mohawks had to win one game as the away team to win their seventh PGCBL title. They failed to do so, giving Jamestown their first title with an 8-6 win.
Due to a schedule conflict with Babe Ruth Baseball, the Jamestown Jammers had no home field to play on in the finals. The solution was to play all three games at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam with Jamestown as the “home team” in the first and third games.
By the top of the second, Amsterdam had worked out the nerves. After Shane Muntz (Wake Forest) drew a walk, Joe Genord (South Florida) hit a shot over the left field wall, giving the Mohawks a two run lead. Justin Foscue (Mississippi State) followed this up with a home run of his own two pitches later.
Amsterdam’s bats stayed hot in the third. after Richie Barrella (Manhattan) got on base with a single, Michael Ludowig drove another ball deep to extend the Amsterdam lead to five runs.
Shane Muntz’s temper got the best of him in the top of the third. After a close strike call, Muntz began to argue with the home plate umpire, leading to his ejection. Richie Nizza (Florida Atlantic) came in to replace him but the Mohawks certainly missed his bat in the lineup.
The Jamestown Jammers stayed within shouting distance after the bottom of the third. Amsterdam’s starter Trip Lockhart (Kentucky) allowed two runners on base with a walk and a single. During the next at bat, Sterling Hayes (Vanderbilt) went yard, driving in three runs and cutting the deficit to two runs.
“I figured he would try to throw another fastball so I was trying not to do to much. Just barrel it up,” Hayes said.
Good base running would score another run for both teams in the fourth inning. After drawing a walk, two hit and run plays brought Justin Foscue back home. In the bottom half of the inning, Jeff Timko (Eastern Michigan) hit a ball into left field for a single. Two passed balls brought Timko to third Darlin Lee (UC Irvine). Lee hit a sac fly to deep right field, sending Timko home.
The Mohawks only had one more good chance to score, which came in the top of the seventh. Elvis Peralta Jr. (Marshall) hit a leadoff double to get a runner in scoring position for the top of the order. Mike Antico (St. John’s) hit a hard line drive straight at the second baseman’s glove. Elvis did not stop running so they brought the ball to second base for the double play.
Amsterdam’s interim head coach, Doug O’Brey said, “That’s something we talk about. You freeze on a line drive with one out. Unfortunately, (Antico) stung it pretty good and it could have gone through anywhere and make a big difference, but he caught it.”
After Trip Lockhart left the game in the fifth inning, Amsterdam’s relief staff had a tough time throwing strikes. Two walks set everything up for Chase Keng (UTSA) to come up and put the ball out of the park for the fifth home run of the night.
It is important to remember what these leagues are for, growth. Each of these players leaves with something new or improved. Sterling Hayes said, “This was a great summer for me because I got to see a lot of great arms, arms I didn’t see in high school.”