Gene Twardzik/For The Recorder Amsterdam Mohawks' Joey Aiola tags out Glens Falls' J.Q. Folena on a pickoff play Wednesday at Shuttleworth Park.
Gene Twardzik/For The Recorder Amsterdam Mohawks' Blake Logan points to the sky after hitting a home run during Wednesday's game against Glens Falls at Shuttleworth Park.
Gene Twardzik/For The Recorder Amsterdam Mohawks pitcher John McCarren delivers a pitch to a Glens Falls batter Wednesday at Shuttleworth Park.
Gene Twardzik/For The Recorder Amsterdam Mohawks' John Razzino makes contact against Glens Falls Wednesday at Shuttleworth Park.
By ADAM SHINDER
Amsterdam Mohawks relief pitcher John McCarren didn't let one bad pitch or a bizarrely-paced game faze him Wednesday night against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles.
With Amsterdam starter Brandon Whitmore laboring from the outset at Shuttleworth Park, McCarren was quickly called upon to get loose in both the first and second innings before finally entering with a three-run lead to start the third. Then, after starting the inning with two walks, he made a two-out mistake -- a hanging slider that Glens Falls' Colton Montgomery launched over the left field wall for a game-tying three-run home run.
"At this level, kids are going to hit your mistakes," McCarren said. "In that inning, I think I was just trying to do to much."
From that point, neither McCarren nor any of the other three pitchers the Mohawks used to finish out Wednesday night allowed the Golden Eagles to do any more damage, and the Mohawks took advantage of the wildness of the Glens Falls pitching staff to score three runs in the bottom of the third before their bats also went silent -- though it was enough to forge the way to a 7-4 win.
Offensively, the Mohawks (25-8) started brightly enough, as Tommy Kain and Blake Logan unloaded on Glens Falls starter Michael Harrington for back-to-back solo home runs in the second inning. Marcus Carson added an RBI double and Jack Czeszewski had an RBI single to cap the four-run rally, but the Mohawks managed just two more hits the rest of the night -- a Kain single in the third and a Carson single in the eighth.
"The offensive effort was absolutely awful," Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said. "It was about as bad as we've played in a while offensively. Hopefully, we come out and play better tomorrow."
Kain's single followed two walks to load the bases in the third and chase Harrington in favor of Sean Grieser, and Logan greeted him with a sacrifice fly to right to plate Joe Purritano to give Amsterdam a 5-4 lead. Grieser walked Alex Debellis to load the bases, then hit Joey Aiola and walked Carson to force in two more runs.
Grieser then walked the bases loaded with one out in the fourth to complete a stretch of nine walks in 3 1/3 innings between the Golden Eagles' first two pitchers before Matt Sturchio shut out Amsterdam the rest of the way.
"We just take advantage of what they can't do," Griffin said.
Meanwhile, McCarren rebounded from serving up Montgomery's third-inning blast by keeping Glens Falls off the board through the sixth inning to pick up his second win of the season. It was an odd night for the righthanded reliever, who had to hurry to get loose in the early innings, then spent long stretches once he'd entered the game waiting in the dugout through seemingly endless Amsterdam rallies as the game's first four innings took nearly two hours to complete.
"That was definitely not what I'm accustomed to," McCarren said. "You've just got to adjust to it. It's an obstacle you've got to overcome, and those have happened throughout my career. I warmed up a lot, then when I was in the dugout I sat a lot. You've just got to flip the mentality, take a break in the dugout, hydrate yourself and get focused to get back on the mound."
McCarren helped speed things up, as did Joe Randall, Andy Ward and Thomas Hackimer, each of whom tossed a scoreless inning to close the win, with Hackimer picking up his fourth save.
Despite the victory, Griffin harped on the team's lackluster night at the plate and, with the stretch run approaching, said he hoped the Mohawks would get back on the right track starting with tonight's home game against the Albany Dutchmen.
"My whole focus is getting better, and I didn't see a team get better tonight," Griffin said. "We didn't get better, and if we don't get better we won't play as well as we can in the playoffs and it'll be a disappointment."
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Gene Twardzik/For The Recorder Amsterdam Mohawks starting pitcher Brandon Whitmore unloads a pitch against Glens Falls Wednesday at Shuttleworth Park.