Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 5/14/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam's Kyle Sherlock delivers a pitch during the first inning against Schenectady Wednesday evening at Shuttleworth Park.
Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 5/14/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam shortstop, Andrew Rouse reaches high to catch a throw as he forces out Schenectady's Mike Gibson during their game Wednesday evening at Shuttleworth Park.
Dave Wojeski/For The Recorder Amsterdam's Jared Gallup gets a lead down the third base line as head coach Brian Spagnola watches the play during their game against Schenectady Wednesday at Shuttleworth Park.
By ADAM SHINDER
With the defensive troubles the Amsterdam High School baseball team had Wednesday night against the Schenectady Patriots, Rams coach Brian Spagnola admitted he might've started bragging a little too soon about his team's prowess in the field.
"I put it on me, because the last two days I told everybody how good we are defensively and that we don't make errors," Spagnola said. "My mother said when I said that, 'You should keep your mouth shut.' She was right, I should. We do make errors -- I'm gonna go with the reverse jinx."
Wednesday, the Rams made errors -- four of them, in fact -- which all led to Schenectady runs while the Patriots rode a two-hit shutout performance from pitcher Jordan Bernacet to notch a 6-0 win under the lights on Senior Night at Shuttleworth Park.
Bernacet allowed two singles to Amsterdam's Andrew Rouse, struck out six and walked two in blanking the Rams. He also went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot in the Schenectady lineup, while No. 2 hitter Zach Schellenberger went 2-for-3 with four runs batted in.
"They made every play, (Bernacet) did a nice job on the mound and they got some big hits," Spagnola said. "They just beat us."
Things started rough for the Rams when Bernacet doubled off Amsterdam starter Kyle Sherlock on the first pitch of the game. He came around to score on a Schellenger sacrifice fly, then Giuseppe Carberg reached when Julian Gallup couldn't hang on to his flyball to deep center and scored on a Nick Schmid single.
The Patriots added another run in the second as the Amsterdam defense mishandled two bunts and loaded the bases before Bernacet ripped an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
That ended Sherlock's outing after an inning-plus, with Tony Isabel allowing three runs on four hits over the final six innings.
"Kyle had a couple tough breaks," Spagnola said. "They had some hits and we threw the ball around. It's kind of been our Achilles heel is when Julian (Gallup) isn't pitching. We've been good enough to be close in those games, but we've got to get over the hump a bit and get better in those non-Julian games."
Amsterdam's offense spent most of the night pounding grounders right at the Schenectady defense, which turned in an error-free game behind Bernacet. Both Spagnola and Rouse -- who singled in the first and sixth innings -- likened the Schenectady southpaw's style to that of Gallup, the Rams' left-handed ace.
"He's that kind of crafty lefty who throws a lot of curveballs, pitches on the outside to you," Rouse said. "He pitched a good game."
Wednesday started a string of five games in five days to close the regular season for the Rams, who will have their first chance to rebound during the stretch drive when they return to Shuttleworth today for a 4:30 p.m. game against Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.
"We want to get these losses out of our system before we get to sectionals," Rouse said. "Schenectady's a good team, tip our hats to them, but this definitely wasn't our best game and we'll see them again Friday. We've got Gibbons tomorrow, and we'll go out and get a 'W.'"
Notes: In addition to Amsterdam's Senior Night festivities, the game served as a chance for Spagnola's marketing class to take part in a competition in an attempt to earn $1,000 in prizes for the school. The class organized raffles and on-field contests for a game that drew more than 600 fans to Shuttleworth Park.
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