By Connor Stalker, Blue Sox Staff Writer
Amsterdam, N.Y.– The Utica Blue Sox struggled mightily on the road against the Amsterdam Mohawks, losing their fourth game of the season 12-1. The game started off competitively, as Blue Sox starting pitcher Tom Roefaro kept the Mohawks’ bats in check. For the Mohawks, Carson Cotugno started the game on the mound and struggled walking 3 batters in 2 innings of work. Despite dealing with control issues, Cotugno still kept the Blue Sox scoreless.
In the 3rd inning, the Mohawks turned to Von Baker, an imposing righthander. Baker kept the Blue Sox bats off balance striking out 2 in 2 innings of work.
The Mohawks exploded for 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th, headlined by a double by NJIT product Luke Longo that scored 2. The Blue Sox pitching struggled with control throughout the inning walking home 3 batters and hitting another with a pitch to score a run. Harry Williams replaced Roefaro halfway through the inning, though he was quickly pulled because he could not find the zone. Mason Roy was called into the game to try and clean up the mess and did so after allowing the Longo double.
Utica’s first run of the game came on a big fly by Josh Skowronski whose raw power was on full display as the ball easily cleared the right-field fence. Unfortunately, this did not ignite the rest of the Blue Sox lineup as this would be their only run of the ballgame.
Last year’s player of the year in the PGCBL, Gage Miller, responded accordingly smoking a one-hop double off the left field fence scoring Utah’s Cam Gurney and Marshall’s Eddy Leon. Shortstop Bruer Webster tacked on another run for the Mohawks on a chopper to the shortstop making it 10-1 Mohawks.
Greg Levin out of Colby College replaced Roy in the bottom of the 6th. Luke Longo came to the plate and hit a towering fly ball that Utica’s right fielder lost in the lights resulting in an easy double. Levin quickly got Mississippi State catcher Bryce Hubbard to flyout, before another Utah prospect, Dakota Duffalo, lined a double to center field to increase the Mohawks’ lead to double digits. A single later in the inning by center fielder Jalen DeBose put Amsterdam ahead 12-1.
Utica failed to string together any runs in the top of the 7th meaning the mercy rule went into effect, ending the game.
It was a tough loss for the Blue Sox as they fell to 2-4 on the season and continue to struggle. Amsterdam improved to 6-0 on the season and appears to be a juggernaut with both strong offense, as well as pitching. The Mohawks have outscored opponents 59-7 thus far and appear to be an early championship favorite in the PGCBL.
Tom Roefaro earned his first loss of the season after giving up 5 earned runs on 3 hits and 5 walks. Von Baker improves to 1-0 after a solid relief outing of 2 innings. The Blue Sox struggled to hit the Mohawks’ pitching compiling only 3 hits including the home run by Skowronski, a single up the middle by Easton Brenner, and a line drive rip by Greg Kopp. Norris McClure and Wyatt Jensen also contributed with 1 steal apiece.
Mohawks’ Cam Gurney led all hitters with a 3 for 3 performance improving his batting average to .857 in the early season. Luke Longo, Dakota Duffalo, and Jalen DeBose all had 2 hits, with Longo getting his 3rd and 4th doubles of the season. Gage Miller led all bats with 3 RBIs increasing his season total to 8.
The Blue Sox play again tomorrow, June 7th, as they take on the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs for the 2nd time in the past week. They will look to come back from tonight’s tough loss and reawaken their bats much like they did on opening night.