The dog days of summer at Shuttleworth Park

It was “Bark in the Park” night on Tuesday at Shuttleworth Park. The event, sponsored by Country Feed of Amsterdam, gave fans and their canine companions a chance to take center stage at the historic park and join in the Amsterdam Mohawks pre-game and between inning fun. As part of the event, Rick’s Robo Wash sponsored the Canine 1K run that started at home plate, made its way around the infield, and then around the park pathways. Skip Beck and his dog Dewey were the first place finishers. Dewey really wanted to hang on to the medal when awarded before the end of the game.

Dogs weren’t the only four legged friends on the Mohawks turf. Dream Pony’s of Charleston, NY brought some of their show horses to the festivities and gave many of the young fans in attendance something to talk about. Tuesday night was also veterans night with all veterans admitted for free. The Mohawks honored veterans and members of the 1954-1955 Schenectady Little League teams, who were part of the city’s Little League World Series champions. The Mohawks also recognized members of the Electric City Chargers and Gloversville Little League youth teams with the kids getting involved in the between inning fun.

As for the game, the Amsterdam Mohawks continued their winning ways picking up a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) record 38th win, 6-4 over the Albany Dutchmen. Amsterdam pounded out 12 hits including a three hit night from third baseman Justin Yurchak, who started the fireworks with a home run in the bottom of the first inning giving the Mohawks a 2-1 lead.

“I knew I put a good swing on it,” Yurchak said. “But, I didn’t know if it had enough carry. We’re trying to play our best baseball going into the playoffs.”

Yurchak added a single in the fifth and came through with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning for a much needed insurance run. Yurchak’s three hits and three RBI’s led the Mohawks offense.

“We needed to get him going,” Mohawks manager Keith Griffin said of the slugger. “That was a big hit in the eighth inning. He’s a really good, heads up baseball player.”

Riley Mahan had two hits and scored two runs, Handsome Monica drilled an RBI double in the Mohawks four run first inning and finished with a run and two hits. Tyler Kirkpatrick singled and scored on Mahan’s RBI single in the fourth.

The Mohawks pitching had it’s hand in the win as well. Mohawks starting hurler Brad Schaenzer gave up a run on an RBI single by Sean Aspinall, but Schaenzer along with relievers Fernando Guerrero and Joe Nellis retired the next 20 Dutchmen batters in a row with Guerrero and Nellis teaming up for 8 straight strikeouts between the fifth and seventh innings. Tom Moore broke the string with a home run in the eighth that was part of a three run frame for Albany. Zach Remillard also had a two run triple to make it a 5-4 game. The Dutchman put a couple of runners aboard with one out in the ninth before Mohawks first baseman recorded the second out on a hustling catch of a pop up in front of the Mohawks dugout. Tyler Smith retired the last batter on strikes to record the save.

“We have guys with outstanding stuff,” Coach Griffin said of the Mohawks pitching staff. “I thought the pitching as great, but we gave them a chance to beat us and we can’t do that.”

The Mohawks have one more home game on Thursday against the Saugerties Stallions. It’s “Beach Night” and fans are encourage to bring their swimsuits or their best Hawaiian shirt. Amsterdam (38-10) will host the first game of the PGCBL East division best of three playoff series at Shuttleworth Park on Saturday. The Dutchmen along with the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs and Glens Falls Dragons are still in contention to be the Mohawks opponent. Amsterdam is the defending PGCBL champions.

(Photos by Scott Mulford)

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.