Mohawks claim 1,000th franchise win in sweep against Albany
Mohawks claim 1,000th franchise win in sweep against Albany

AMSTERDAM, NY (NEWS10) — Since their inaugural season in 1978, the Amsterdam Mohawks have been a major summer baseball franchise in the Capital Region, boasting an overall winning percentage well over .600, 12 league championships and a number of former players who have appeared in the Major Leagues.

The Mohawks celebrated another milestone on Wednesday afternoon: the organization’s 1,000th win overall.

“To accomplish what we’ve done in a season of about 46 games – I know I’ve been to 15 of them – is just incredible,” said head coach Keith Griffin. “I mean, the quality of baseball we’ve played year after year has been mind-blowing, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Amsterdam reached the 1,000 mark with a 3-2 win over the Albany Baseball Club in the first game of a doubleheader at Shuttleworth Park.

Two 518 products secured the win. Burnt Hills native Mason Veronezi got the win on the mound, throwing two scoreless innings as a replacement for starting pitcher Justus Agosto, while Columbia graduate and East Greenbush native Zach Eldred got the save.

“I grew up in Burnt Hills and have been going to Mohawks games my whole life. I’ve watched Coach Griffin and all the guys that have played here win and represent the community well,” Veronezi said. “This is a super cool accomplishment. It’s a tribute to what they do here; the guys they bring. Coach Griffin does a great job every year. And you know, my dad played for the Mohawks, so we have a long tradition of winning here.”

Another local talent, CBA’s Matt Sgambati, delivered a solid outing on the mound. He started for Albany and threw two scoreless innings before his offense gave him a lead in the second half of the second. An RBI double by Donovan Rhoden along third base gave Brody Kenneston the first run of the game.

Amsterdam finally managed to get Sgambati to score a run in the third inning – an RBI single by Javar Williams tied the score at 1-1.

The Mohawks took the lead two innings later when Steven Spalitta hit a single into right field just out of reach of Albany second baseman Matt Thorsen, bringing in Drake Digiorno to make the score 2-1.

However, Thorsen responded in the second half with a solo home run to right field, tying the score at 2-2.

Thorsen, a Chatham High School graduate, had a chance to put his team ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning by batting with the bases loaded and two outs. But Veronezi went to work and struck out Thorsen to get out of the inning unscathed.

Amsterdam loaded the bases in the seventh inning, and with one base remaining in the inning, pinch-hitter Austin Fawley hit a fly ball to right field. Albany’s Matt Cruz made the put-out at the free throw line. Pete Daniel, who had started the inning with a leadoff double, came forward with the fly ball from third base. Daniel got home just in time for a strong throw from Cruz and scored the winning run.

Eldred retired Albany in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the win.

Amsterdam won the second game of the doubleheader 11-3 and improved its season record to an astonishing 24-5, while Albany fell to 7-18-1.

The Mohawks return to action on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Glens Falls to face the Dragons. Albany will look to get back to winning ways on Thursday with a home game against the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs.

By Everly