Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 6/24/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam second baseman Josh Gardiner turns one of several double plays as Glens Falls' Brian Fay is forced out during their game on Tuesday evening at Shuttleworth Park.
Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 6/24/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Mohawk's manager Keith Griffin chats with Marcus Carson as he reaches third base in the first inning of their game against Glens Falls on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 6/24/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Mohawk's pitcher Zack Brown delivers a pitch to a Glens Falls batter during their game on Tuesday evening at Shuttleworth Park.
By ADAM SHINDER
Marcus Carson and Josh Gardiner both have the green light to do pretty much whatever they want on the basepaths. Put them together at the top of the Amsterdam Mohawks' lineup, and it's a terrifying prospect for the rest of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
It certainly was Tuesday night for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles. Carson and Gardiner reached base in all eight of their combined plate appearances, racking up six hits, five stolen bases, four runs scored and two runs batted in between them as the Mohawks sprinted their way to a 7-3 victory that ran their current win streak to 10 games.
"That's our job, just to get on base, steal bases," Carson said. "Get on base so other guys can knock us in."
Carson and Gardiner got the Mohawks started in the first inning with Carson scoring on the back end of a delayed double steal. The duo then put the game out of reach in the sixth in a spectacular show of Carson's speed when he took advantage of a lackadaisical relay throw from right field to score on Gardiner's routine single.
It was a measure of revenge for Carson, who an inning earlier was thrown out at the plate by Glens Falls leftfielder Garrett Bernardo while trying to score on a Gardiner single and had to hear about it from Golden Eagles catcher Brandon Purcell.
"I thought the rightfielder missed it. I was pretty surprised when I rounded third that (head coach Keith Griffin) was sending me," Carson said. "It felt good, because the catcher was talking a little trash when they got me out."
Carson had an RBI double as part of his 3-for-3 night and stole four bases, while Gardiner singled three times and was hit by a pitch to raise his phenomenal on-base percentage to a PGCBL-best .560.
JaVon Shelby, Thomas Kain, Alex DeBellis and Kevin Guthrie also drove in runs for Amsterdam (12-6), who pounded out 13 hits and have produced at least eight hits in each of their last six games.
Zack Brown picked up his second win of the season for Amsterdam, holding Glens Falls to four hits over five shutout innings. He allowed the leadoff runner to reach in his last four innings, but erased three of them with double plays and ended his outing by escaping a bases loaded jam in the fifth.
Brown has thrown 11 straight scoreless innings in his last two starts after being tagged for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in his debut against Glens Falls -- and Mohawks head coach Keith Griffin wanted Brown to have an opportunity to redeem himself against the Golden Eagles.
"We wanted Brown to face (Glens Falls), because the last time he faced them, he didn't throw so well," Griffin said. "We'll do the same thing with (Connor) Johnstone tomorrow night (against Albany). If you've got any character and you're made of the right stuff, you come back with a vengeance. ... He really did. He answered the call tonight with great stuff."
With the Mohawks out to a 6-0 lead, Glens Falls got back in the game with a three-run sixth against Amsterdam reliever Thomas Hackimer. After an RBI groundout from Nick Bernardo and a two-run single by J.Q. Folena, Andy Ward relieved Hackimer and allowed a Brian Fay single to put runners at the corners, but Ward got Purcell to ground out to second to end the threat.
Joe Randall shut the door for Amsterdam over the final three innings, striking out three and allowing only one baserunner -- Nick McNeil, who reached on a third strike passed ball and then was erased on a strange double play where Shelby dropped a diving attempt at a Danny Oliveri line drive, then stepped on second for an out. However, Oliveri never ran to first base, thinking the ball had been caught, and Gardiner got the ball and jogged over to tag first base for the Mohawks' fourth double play of the night.
It's those kind of things that've gone the Mohawks' way during the 10-game win streak that's pulled them within a half-game of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs for first place in the PGCBL East Division.
"It just feels like as soon as we step on the field, we beat them because they just feel down," Gardiner said. "It's like, we're the Mohawks (and our opponents feel), 'They can't be beat.' So, as long as we keep coming out here and playing, day-by-day, no one should beat us."
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