Dave Wojeski/For The Recorder Amsterdam's Jake Salpietro, left, is congratulated by teammate Josh Gardiner after scoring against Albany on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park in the city.
Dave Wojeski/For The Recorder Amsterdam second baseman Josh Gardiner stretches for a throw as Albany's Danny Hrbek slides under it on a steal attempt during their game on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park in the city of Amsterdam.
Dave Wojeski/For The Recorder Amsterdam's Joe Purritano watches the ball after making contact during a game against Albany on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
Dave Wojeski/For The Recorder Amsterdam's Taylor Blatch delivers a pitch to an Albany batter during their game on Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park.
By ADAM SHINDER
When the weather was clear, John Razzino saved a run with his arm. When the rain came pouring down, he saved the Amsterdam Mohawks' win streak with his bat.
Razzino's spectacular throw to the plate on the fly while backed against the leftfield fence cut down an Albany Dutchmen run in the top of the fifth inning. Two innings and a considerable amount of precipitation later, Razzino's line drive single up the middle off Dutchmen reliever Austin Foote plated Marcus Carson with the go-ahead run, and about 30 minutes of waiting after that, Razzino's RBI single became the final act of the Mohawks' 3-2 win Tuesday night at Shuttleworth Park -- the team's eighth straight and 18th in its last 19 games.
"I knew we needed to get this run in, and we did," Razzino said. "I got a pitch I could hit and I put it right up the middle."
Razzino's game-winning hit was the crescendo to a bizarre seventh inning for the Mohawks (20-7). After Albany had tied the game in the top of the seventh on Nick Jewett's pinch-hit RBI single, with the rain already falling Tommy Kain started the bottom of the seventh by ripping a double off Albany reliever Mike Kaelin.
Kaelin's night ended after facing just one batter in relief of starter Justin Curry, as Albany coach Nick Davey brought on the southpaw Foote to face Amsterdam's left-handed trio of Brendan Tracy, Jack Czeszewski and Marcus Carson.
Foote struck out Tracy, but Albany catcher Demetrius Webb dropped the third strike and lost the ball between his own legs. Tracy reached first, and Kain tried to score all the way from second, but Webb located the ball just in time and laid down the tag as Kain was diving for the plate.
Foote struck out Jack Czeszewski for the second out of the inning, but Pryor worked a 3-2 count before being hit by a pitch to turn the lineup over to the right-handed Razzino.
"It was a nice comeback. We had some really good at-bats," Mohawks head coach Keith Griffin said. "I thought our left-handers stayed in there well -- really good at-bat by Pryor -- and then we rolled it over to Razzino who singles up the middle and we get out of here with a win."
With Razzino at the plate, assistant coach Doug O'Brey suggested to Griffin that they use the speedy Carson -- who had gotten the night off from the starting lineup -- to run for Tracy and it paid dividends as Carson came home on Razzino's sharp single without a throw.
"Doug O'Brey said, 'Hey, let's run for him,'" Griffin said. "He pointed that out. He was smart enough to see that. I don't know if I saw it. It was a good job by Doug. We've got a good coaching staff. These guys do a good job, and Doug picked that up, we got (Carson) in and he scored the winning run."
Josh Gardiner then stood in to bat and worked a 3-2 count before Foote complained about the mound surface. While the mound was being prepared, the two light towers in leftfield went out and the rain intensified, causing a delay.
About 30 minutes of waiting later, with thunder and lightning in the area and no sign of the rain slowing, the game was called and the Mohawks had a thrilling, if rather bizarre win.
"It was interesting," Razzino said. "We knew the rain was supposed to be coming pretty early, so we were just thinking we wanted to get a lead before the storm hit us."
The Mohawks struggled to produce much against Albany starter Curry, managing just two hits in six innings, but plated runs on Pryor's RBI groundout in the third and a throwing error by Dutchmen shortstop Justin Brock in the fifth.
Albany got its lone run against Amsterdam starter Taylor Blatch on a Cameron Miller RBI single in the fourth inning before tying the game on Jewett's single off Joe Randall in the seventh. Blatch struck out seven and scattered five hits over five innings and had a run saved courtesy of Razzino's exceptional throw on what turned out to Blatch's final pitch of the night.
The Dutchmen had runners on second and third with one out when Danny Hrbek drove a flyball to left that drove Razzino all the way back to the fence. He settled under it, made the catch and fired a 280-foot laser that reached catcher Blake Logan on the fly in time to tag out Webb, who was attempting to score from third.
"I was just thinking that if I could get behind the ball, I could put a good throw on it," Razzino said. "I knew when it came out that it felt good, and I got it right on the plate."
"Best throw I've ever seen," chimed in reliever John McCarren.
The Mohawks are back in action on the road tonight against the Utica Brewers. First pitch at Murnane Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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