ALBANY -- The Amsterdam Mohawks extending their win streak to seven games without a problem in the opener of Monday's doubleheader with the Albany Dutchmen. Getting to eight in a row -- well, Mother Nature had her own ideas about that.
The Mohawks stormed to an 8-0 win in the opening game of their twin bill at Bob Bellizzi Field, but thanks to rain delays that game took nearly four hours to get through seven innings, and when the rain picked up again in the fifth inning of the nightcap, the decision was made to suspend the 2-2 game until Friday, when the teams have their next meeting in Albany.
In the opener, Josh Gardiner returned from missing nearly a week due to injury by going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and a run batted in as the Mohawks (19-7) won for the 17th time in their last 18 games. JaVon Shelby and John Razzino added two hits apiece for Amsterdam, while Jonathan Pryor ripped a triple and drove in two runs.
Amsterdam pitchers Ryan Clark, Thomas Hackimer and Kevin Guthrie combined on a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. Clark lasted only three innings, thanks to the rain delay, with Hackimer coming in after the delay to throw two hitless innings and pick up his third win of the season before Guthrie tossed the final two innings to close out the victory.
The Mohawks pounced on Dutchmen starting pitcher Drew Tolson early with RBI doubles from Gardiner and Shelby in the first inning, then took advantage of a key error by Albany first baseman Nick Jewett in the third inning that allowed two runs to score and opened the floodgates for a five-run inning.
In the nightcap, the Mohawks again jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, as Marcus Carson and Razzino both came around to score in the top of the first against Albany starter Jamie Young. The Dutchmen clawed back runs on RBI hits from Adam Lee in the first and Justin Brock in the third before the game was eventually called with a runner on base for the Mohawks with two outs in the top of the fifth.
With the opening game win and the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs' rainout, Amsterdam extended its lead in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League East Division to two games.
The Mohawks and Dutchmen will meet again tonight at Shuttleworth Park, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35. Monday's suspended seven-inning game will be completed prior to the teams' scheduled Friday meeting in Albany. The regularly-scheduled game will be nine innings.
-- Staff report