AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam Mohawks came into Shuttleworth Park Monday night to start the PGCBL finals. Even though they got to a hot start, they couldn’t keep it together losing to Jamestown 4-3.
The Jamestown Jammers were the top seed in the tournament so they were slotted to receive two home games. However, do to scheduling conflicts the Jammers were unable to play in their home ballpark this week. The solution was to play all three games at Amsterdam’s Shuttleworth Park, and they would receive last at bats in the first and third games.
Coach Anthony Barone of the Jamestown Jammers said, “I told my guys that it would be a neat story. We’ve sort of taken it with a grain of salt and tried to keep things positive.”
Amsterdam came in ready to play. Even though they failed to score in the first inning, Amsterdam’s two hottest hitters were due up in the second, Shane Muntz (Wake Forest) and Joe Genord (South Florida). Muntz came up first and turned on the first strike he saw for a solo home run. Next Genord came up to the plate and took the first pitch to left center field for another solo homer, making it 2-0 Amsterdam.
The Mohawks carried their two run lead until the bottom of the fourth inning. Jamestown’s lead off batter Alex O’Donnell (Mercyhurst) hit a single and stole second to put a runner in scoring position. During the next play, a close call at third base saw O’Donnell advance. Then, a sac fly to deep centerfield by Chase Keng (UTSA) cut the Amsterdam lead to just one run.
Mike Antico (St. John’s) helped get the Amsterdam lead back in the top of the fifth. After hitting a single, Antico got a great jump to steal second easily. Antico stayed on base until Michael Ludowig (Wake Forest) hit him in on a single. After Ludowig’s single the Mohawks cooled off, not getting a hit the rest of the game.
Barone said, “We have a little motto when it comes to small ballparks, just make it a solo home run. I think Connor Ryan (Mercyhurst) did a great job limiting the damage. Solo home runs don’t beat you.”
Jamestown had all of the momentum, scoring the tying runs in the next two innings. The first was scored by Ben Luvorsi (St. Louis) on Brett Migliore’s (Canisius) single. Chase Keng hit a double and advanced following two walks. During the next at bat Matt Petrosino (Indiana) threw a wild pitch in the dirt bringing Keng home to tie the game at three.
The score was still tied when the Jammers finally came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Stafflinger (NJIT) let up a walk and allowed a single to the first two batters. Blake Espinal came in to close out the game, but he walked his first batter, loading the bases. With a 2-2 count, Alex O’Donnell popped one into the right center gap to walk off, giving the Jammers a 4-3 win and a 1-0 edge in the series.
The two teams will have to play again Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park. If Jamestown wins Tuesday they will officially win the PGCBL championship.