Ian Blatnick squeezes for the win during the Spartan Wrestling Tournament.
The Amsterdam Mohawks turned their season around June 26 with a 5-4 victory over the Albany Dutchmen at Bob Bellizzi Field.
Perhaps the Dutchmen did the same thing for themselves with Sunday’s 9-3 victory over the Mohawks at Bellizzi Field.
Three Albany pitchers limited red-hot Amsterdam (16-12) – winners of 12 of its last 16 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League games – to three runs on eight hits, while the Dutchmen collected 12 hits and used aggressive base running to fluster the Mohawks.
“We’re getting timely hitting, and we finally took advantage of some mistakes,” said Albany manager Nick Davey.
The Dutchmen (10-14) have been a bit of a hot streak themselves. Sunday’s victory gave them three wins in their last four games and moved them within four games of second-place Amsterdam in the PGCBL East Division.
“Once we get back to .500, then we’ll see where we’re at,” said Davey.
Different players have been stepping up for Albany during its recent run of victories. It was first baseman Garren Palmer’s turn Sunday as the Georgia Southern student cracked a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning and added the go-ahead RBI single that led to a six-run rally in the sixth inning.
“I’ve been struggling a bit, but it’s good to have a good game,” said Palmer, who entered the game batting below .200 for the season.
Davey said that Palmer put in some extra batting practice before Sunday’s game to correct his problems at the plate.
“He knew something had to change, and he made it happen,” said Davey.
Andrew Deeds got Albany on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI double that drove in Steve Anderson, who walked to lead off the frame. Two batters later, Palmer deposited Kris Barone’s pitch over the left field fence to put the Dutchmen ahead 3-2.
“I thought it was out,” said Palmer of his first home run of the season. “I just thought by the feel of it that it was out, but I didn’t know [for certain].”
Amsterdam tied the game in the top of the fifth when hot hitting Luke Maile – a recent addition from the Cape Cod League – drove in Andrew Green with an RBI single. Albany starter Justin Brantley allowed another single before working out of the jam with the 3-3 tie intact.
Brantley had trouble with the top two-thirds of Amsterdam’s batting order in his five innings of work, but the Siena College pitcher got out of several jams to limit the Mohawks to three runs on seven hits.
“We were able to control their big innings,” said Davey.
Amsterdam couldn’t control Albany in the bottom of the sixth inning. Deeds and Nikko Echevarria hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and third for Palmer, who hit a stinging line drive that was slowed but not stopped by Mohawks’ shortstop Zach Shank. Deeds scored from third to give the Dutchmen a 4-3 lead, and Echevarria raced to third on the play