Rams baseball wins second straight, topple South Glens Falls

The Amsterdam Rams varsity baseball team followed up a solid effort in Monday’s season opener with another strong showing against South Glens Falls on Wednesday. The Rams put together three consecutive four- run innings in the early going getting clutch hits from Brendan McGillin and Dale Stananvich to defeat the Bulldogs 13-5 at Shuttleworth Park.

The game had actually been scheduled to be played at South Glens Falls, but the Bulldogs field was not in playable condition so Amsterdam hosted the Bulldogs but was the visiting team on the scoreboard. However, when the Rams batted wasn’t a factor, as they struck early and often.

Robbie Spagnola collected the first hit for AHS with one out in the top of the first and came around to score on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of McGillin, who picked up the first of his three runs batted in and staked AHS to a 1-0 lead. The Rams sent six men to the plate and worked some good pitch counts off Bulldogs starter Ben Wilson, but only one run, However, a different trend developed as the Rams began the second frame, one that decided the outcome of the game.

Ryan Bradt led off the second frame for the Rams with a walk, but was denied second on a heads up play by South High right fielder Eric Corhouse, who made a diving reach for a liner off the bat of Owen Devine. It initially looked like Corhouse had caught the ball, but when he got up it was revealed that he had only trapped it. Bradt, not wanting to be doubled off, stopped midway between bases and was forced at second leaving Devine at first. The breaks for the Bulldogs stopped there though, as Amsterdam broke through with two out on an RBI single from Max Spagnola, and a two run hit from McGillin boosting the lead to 5-0 AHS. The two out hits became a theme that greatly benefited the Rams.

“When you’re getting two out hits good things happen,” Amsterdam coach Brian Spagnola said. “We had a lot of runs score with two outs and that was the difference in the game.”

Amsterdam loaded the bases in the top of the third inning with Jeffrey Brennan and Bradt aboard on infield errors and Devine reaching on a walk. Wilson picked up a strikeout and appeared ready to pitch out of the jam, but a walk to Max Spagnola, and an infield bobble, the third of the inning by the Bulldogs allowed Robbie Spagnola to score and kept the inning alive. The miscue gave Rams starting hurler, Stanavich a chance to break things open with another key two out single building the AHS cushion to 9-0. Amsterdam tacked on four more Runs in the fourth with a sacrifice fly by Michael Rocas, and three straight singles from Max Spagnola, Robbie Spagnola, and Stanavich, all with two down, as Amsterdam continued to pad its lead, this time off Bulldogs reliever Matt Steves.

“We had a lot of good at bats today,” added Coach Spagnola.

At the plate was not the only spot in the game where the Rams shined. Stanavich pitched through some rough patches in the first three innings getting plenty of support from his defense. Jared Thomas led off the Bulldogs half of the first with a walk, but became the third out when Rams catcher Rocas threw a laser to second where shortstop Brennan was waiting to apply the tag. Stanavich helped his own cause in the third inning picking off Andrew King who wandered too far off second base after starting the frame with a walk. The Rams defense then came to the rescue again aiding their hurlers’ cause by turning an inning double play with Brennan, Robbie Spagnola, and Bradt turning the feat. Stanavich allowed only one hit trough three innings of work on the mound with Joe Battista’s single to right that scored Thomas. Stanavich struck out five including three in the third, but walked six and hit a batter, exiting the mound after three innings. A pitch count rule put in place by Section 2 baseball limits how many pitches any one player can throw in a game, and having to work through some full counts, Stanavich had reached his.

“We talk about him (Stanavich) staying mentally tough,” Coach Spagnola said. “He was fighting through some tough spots today.”

Robbie Spagnola came on in the fourth and pitched a pair of scoreless frames keeping Amsterdam up 13-1. South Glens Falls loaded the bases off Andrew Bracchi in the sixth as Brendan Yanao, Wilson, and Steves all reached with Connor Bovair’s sacrifice fly to right plating Yanao with the second Bulldogs run. Bracchi settled down and pitched out of further trouble with a strikeout and a run saving catch in center by Devine. The Bulldogs scored three off Devine, the fourth Rams pitcher, to close out the game with Steves’ two run double providing the big hit. Amsterdam was also able to get everyone off the bench and in the game. Tyler Krakow’s single in the seventh rounded out the eleven Amsterdam hits, all singles.

“We were fortunate to get everyone in again today,” Coach Spagnola said. “It was nice being able to get some of the younger kids in the game.”

Devine and Robbie Spagnola each scored three runs for Amsterdam (2-0 Foothills, overall). Robbie and Max Spagnola, as well as Stanavich, each had two hits. McGillin, Trey Ausfeld, Devine, Bradt and Krakow had one each for the Rams. Every spot in the AHS lineup either scored a run or drove in a run for the overall strong team effort.

Brendan Yanao scored two runs for South Glens Falls (0-1 Foothills, overall). Thomas, Battista, and Dylan Schrammel scored one apiece for the Bulldogs. Wilson also had an RBI in the effort.

The Amsterdam varsity returns to action on Saturday evening with a non league contest against the Flying Horses of Troy. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm at Shuttleworth Park.

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.