Golden Eagles Ready For Title Bout With Top Seeded Mohawks

As seemed destined for much of the season, the road to the championship will roll through Amsterdam.  The Mohawks have been the class of the PGCBL and have been dominant for much of the season.  But standing in their way will be a red-hot Glens Falls Golden Eagles team who has seemed to have their number this season.

Out of all the teams in the PGCBL, only Glens Falls has had a winning record against Amsterdam, going 5-3 against the Mohawks, taking five of the first six meetings, with most being in convincing fashion.  The Mohawks took two nail biters late in the season to push the series to the 5-3 final marker.

The Golden Eagles got here with their sweep of the Newark Pilots, which included a win both a home and on the road.  Glens Falls got off to a golden start in the series by scoring six runs in the first two innings, which they would ride to a 6-5 victory.  Despite falling behind early in game two, a Casey Rodrigue grand slam tied the game, before Kevin Meyers hit a two run homerun that soared over the right field fence, giving the Golden Eagles a 10-8 victory.

Rodrigue was the offensive hero for the series, filling in for the departed Ross Kivett.  Rodrigue hit .573 in the two games against Newark, providing a lot of pop at the top of the Glens Falls order, all being capped off by the grand slam in game two.  Alberto Morales was also an offensive juggernaut, hitting .500 with an on base percentage of .667.  Buddy Putnam came into his own offensively in the Newark series, hitting .444, tying for the team lead with four hits.

Glens Falls was also carried by their long relief pitching.  After getting shorter than usual outings from both Tayler Saucedo and Wes Judish, the Golden Eagles turned to their long relief to throw up zeroes.  Jordan Keysor was brilliant in Game One, holding the score at 6-5 during his five innings of shutout baseball.  Keysor, used predominantly in shorter spells throughout the season, racked up six strikeouts while shutting down a lineup that got the best of Saucedo.  Neil Fryer was an unsung hero in Game Two, putting up five innings of one run baseball, to keep the Pilots at bay while the offense came back.  The only blemish against Fryer was an unearned run, but he has eight strikeouts and was dominant in closing out the game to earn the win and end the series.

Ryan Petersen and Cory Folk look to be the likely candidates to pitch Game One of the finals against Amsterdam, although it has not been officially announced yet.  Both had strong campaigns and can be expected to handle a touted Mohawks lineup with success.  Saucedo would be back on regular rest for Game Two with the same holding true for Judish in game three, but Fryer and either Folk or Petersen could get one of those starts as well, especially if the series goes to three games.

Glens Falls returns home for the final time tomorrow evening at, when they will host Amsterdam for Game Two.  If necessary, the series will return to the Mohawks for a third and decisive game.  All three games are slated to begin at 7PM.

2012 Golden Eagles Playoff Preview

By Zach Dooley

With an 8-5 victory over the Oneonta Outlaws Wednesday night, the Glens Falls Golden Eagles clinched the second seed in the PGCBL playoffs, giving them home field advantage in their upcoming first round series. Their opponents will be the Newark Pilots, who clinched put the pressure on Glens Falls by winning their own game in walk-off fashion, but had to settle for the third seed with the Golden Eagles victory.

The Golden Eagles and Pilots will meet in a best of three series beginning Friday August 3rd in Glens Falls. The series shifts to Newark on Saturday August 5th and, if necessary, returns to Glens Falls on Sunday August 6th. All three games will begin at 7PM.
Despite all of the turnover with the Golden Eagles roster this season, the starting lineup has played its way out heading into the post season. One strength that Glens Falls has had is the ability to use several lineups throughout the season and be successful, and versatility is essential in the postseason. Here’s a look at how the Golden Eagles breakdown heading into the playoffs.

Catcher: All season long the Golden Eagles have gone with a platoon of Chase Griffin and JP Rousseau behind the plate. Both catchers have their strengths as players, with Griffin being one of the top hitters in the Glens Falls order, and Rousseau providing top notch defense behind the plate, along with some pop at the bottom of the lineup. Griffin will most likely be starting behind the plate, but Coach John Mayotte has also shown that he will use Griffin as a designated hitter from time to time with Rousseau behind the plate. Both will be important assets in the postseason.

First Base: Mike Vigliarolo has been the main stay at first base this season. Vigliarolo is not only one of the top hitters in the Golden Eagles lineup, but is also a top defensive first baseman in the entire league as evidenced by his second place ranking in putouts. Vigliarolo leads the Golden Eagles in runs batted in and is fifth in the entire league, and his presence in the middle of the order has been essential for the Golden Eagles this season.

Middle Infield: The three man group of Casey Rodrigue, Anthony Pisani and Kevin Meyers will man the shortstop and second base positions for the Golden Eagles. Rodrigue seems to have taken over full time as the starting second baseman following the departure of Golden Eagles player of the year, Ross Kivett, who is currently attending the Olympic Games in London. Rodrigue has proven to be more than adequate as a replacement, hitting .347, second only to Kivett. As for shortstop, ever since Pisani returned to Glens Falls, he and Meyers have both seen extensive looks at the position. The two form a formidable tandem, with Meyers’ hot bat and Pisani’s quick glove. Whoever doesn’t get the start at shortstop will be in contention to play outfield or designated hitter, as neither player is one the team wants out of the lineup.

Third Base: Alberto Morales has taken a stranglehold on the hot corner for the Golden Eagles. Morales is hitting .321, good for second amongst active Golden Eagles. After an up and down start to the season, Morales has taken off in the second half of the season and was rewarded with an all-star selection for his efforts. Morales spot is as secure as anyone’s and his bat in the heart of the order will be crucial for Golden Eagles success in the playoffs.

Outfield: Danny Brennan has a lock on the centerfield position for Glens Falls, but the corner outfield spots are up for debate. Between Buddy Putnam, Kevin Meyers, Connor Hoagland and Brandon Matthews, there are plenty of candidates for the right and left field positions. Putnam is the most experience of the group, having seen a lot of playing time in right field this season. Putnam has been a solid defender for the Golden Eagles, and should expect to see time in the playoffs as well. Meyers was the shortstop for much of the season, but got the start in left field in the season’s final game against Oneonta, and responded with two hits and a beautiful catch in left field. Matthews saw the start in that game as well in the designated hitters spot, but he provides a big arm out of the bullpen. Hoagland is a new addition to the team, but is a natural outfielder, unlike the other corner outfielder candidates.

Starting Pitcher: The starting five to end the season for Glens Falls was Taylor Saucedo, Wes Judish, Ryan Petersen, Cory Folk and Neil Fryer. With Folk and Fryer having both thrown against Oneonta, expect the first three to see the starts in the first round, with one of Folk or Fryer being saved for a potential championship series, and the other becoming a part of the bullpen. Saucedo was recently named pitcher of the year, and has had several stellar starts at East Field, where he could get the ball for Game One. Petersen has been a starter all season and provides stability to the rotation, while Judish was a top bullpen option before being converted to starter out of need, as both Folk and Fryer were as well. With the losses of Brandon Magallones, Tony Urban and Nick Pivetta amongst others, the Golden Eagles were short on starting pitching and the three aforementioned pitchers answered the call.

Relief Pitcher: With the loss of Jared Cheek, Ryan Skoubo has taken over in the closer’s role, where he has performed admirably, with three saves, and a team leading 2.76 ERA amongst active pitchers. His set up man will presumably be Jake Dollar, who has been one of Coach Mayotte’s top options out of the bullpen all season. Jordan Keysor and Matthews are the left handed options out of the bullpen in middle relief and Joey Moore is the lone remaining right hander. All three could get their opportunity depending on the length that the starting rotation gives. Either Folk or Fryer will presumably be used in relief.

Projected Playoff Lineup
2B: Casey Rodrigue
CF: Danny Brennan
3B: Alberto Morales
DH: Chase Griffin
1B: Mike Vigliarolo
LF: Kevin Meyers
RF: Buddy Putnam
C: JP Rousseau
SS: Anthony Pisani

SP: Game 1: Taylor Saucedo
SP: Game 2: Wes Judish
SP: Game 3: Ryan Petersen

Golden Eagles Professional Alumni Update – Double A and Triple A

By Joe Fitzhenry

The Glens Falls Golden Eagles have a handful of former players now playing baseball in the minor leagues. There are four players who are either at the Double AA or Triple AAA level. Here’s a look at how those former Golden Eagles are doing in the pros.

Stefen Romero (GF’08) has been tearing it up with the Jackson Generals of the Southern League. Romero is hitting .339 with five home runs, 32 RBIs and 42 hits over 32 games played.

Kevin Mahoney (GF’ 07) is playing for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees’ Double AA affiliate and is hitting .277 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 60 games.

Playing in the Texas League with the Springfield Cardinals is Jake Shaffer (GF’07). Mahoney’s former teammate has played in 77 games and is hitting .262 with five home runs, 38 RBIs and 14 doubles.

The Golden Eagles currently boast one player in Triple AAA and that is Brian Moran in the Seattle Mariners organization.

Moran is currently playing for the Tacoma Rainiers where he is 2-1 with a 3.97 earned run average in 22.2 innings pitched over 13 games out of the bullpen. The southpaw has also struck out a remarkable 36 batters over those 22.2 innings.

Saucedo, Doller lead Golden Eagles to victory on the mound

With storms just passed and a talented Oneonta Outlaws team standing in the way, Golden Eagles pitcher Taylor Saucedo knew he needed to lift his team.  In what seems to be typical fashion for him at East Field, Saucedo delivered another gem, striking out ten batters over six and two thirds innings pitched to secure a crucial 12-5 victory.

“I just came out here today after those two losses knowing that I had to put my team back in the win column, so my mental state was here tonight,” Saucedo said.

The only blemish on the evening was a three run third inning, but otherwise, Saucedo was brilliant.  He had great command over both his fastball and his breaking ball, which kept the Outlaw hitters off balance for the majority of his start, which carried his PGCBL career high 10 strikeouts.  Coming off of a league pitcher of the week award, Saucedo’s pitching has stabilized a staff that has been decimated by the loss of players to departure and injury.

“Our bullpen’s kind of down right now, with losing a couple arms, so the starters have to come out and set an example,” Saucedo said.

The example Saucedo set is certainly one that the rest of the team needs to follow for the rest of the season.  As Saucedo mentioned, Glens Falls’ bullpen is slightly delpeted with the loss of a few pitchers recently, and no one has been more affected than Jake Doller.  Doller, the right hander out of Kansas State, has seen a huge increase in his workload, and has responded well, becoming one of the most trusted arms out of the bullpen.

With much of the Golden Eagles bullpen decimated, Doller saw action in his sixth straight game, which has seen him move into a tie for the team lead in appearances.  With players like Wes Judish being forced into the starting rotation, Doller has seized the opportunity as a go to guy out of the bullpen.

“Yeah definitely,” Doller said, when asked if he likes the added innings.  “When you get into a groove, get into your rhythm and you’re pitching well, it’s definitely a great opportunity to be out on the mound.”

As a whole, Doller has seen a resurgence in his pitching, following a rough college season at Kansas State.  He has nearly halved his ERA from college ball, something he attributes to the work he has put in with the Glens Falls coaching staff this summer.

I’ve worked on my mechanics a lot this summer, and they’re way different than they were at school,” Doller said.  “It’s something I’m just going to keep working on, and hopefully build upon.”

With the win over Oneonta and an extra innings victory the following evening over Albany, the Golden Eagles currently sit just one half game behind Newark for the second seed in the PGCBL standings.  With pitching like the Golden Eagles got on Saturday, however, they appear to be ahead in the count against most opponents.

Golden Eagles Professional Alumni Update – Single A

By Joe Fitzhenry

There are a number of former Glens Falls Golden Eagles playing professional baseball all over the country. This article will take a look at those players who are currently playing in Single A ball.

Daniel Watts (GF’09) is playing for the Yakima Bears of the Northwest League. Watts, a pitcher is 1-1 with a superb 1.29 earned run average and 11 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.

Also playing in the Northwest league are Dan Klein (GF’11) and Eric Phillips (GF’09). Both are playing for the Vancouver Canadians. Phillips has played in just eight games, after being drafted this year but is hitting .182 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Meanwhile, Klein is hitting .188 with two homers, nine RBIs and eight runs scored in just 15 games.

Andrew Brown (GF’09) is pitching out of the bullpen for the Tri-City Dust Devils and is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA and two strikeouts in three games.

Rodarrick Jones (GF’ 09) is playing for the State College Spikes in the New York-Penn League where he has driven in three runs, scored three more and hit two doubles in 11 games.

Also playing in the New York-Penn League are Jack Wagoner (GF’07) with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Jon Koscso (GF’ 08) with the Hudson Valley Renegades. Wagoner, a Lake George native is 1-2 with a 3.09 earned run average and 11 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched for the Scrappers.

Koscso has yet to appear in a game for Hudson Valley this summer, but hit .333 in 2011 for the team.

Lance Durham (GF’09) is currently playing for the Lakeland Tigers in the Florida State League where he has a hit in just two games played. Durham played earlier in the year for the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League and hit .295 with two homers and 13 RBIs.

Chris Lashmet (GF’ 09-10) is playing for the West Virginia Power of the South Atlantic League and is hitting .250 with 20 RBIs, 24 runs and 48 hits in 62 games played.

Chad Stang (GF’08) is playing for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League and is hitting .266 with four home runs, 30 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and 78 hits in 82 games played.

Anthony Giansanti (GF’08-09) is also playing in the Midwest League with the Peoria Chiefs. The two year Golden Eagle is hitting .296 with 12 RBIs and 29 hits in 25 games.

Three former Golden Eagles have been reunited with the Charleston River Dogs of the South Atlantic League. Nick McCoy (GF’08), Nathan Forer (GF’09) and Mike Ferraro (GF’09) are all playing for the River Dogs.

McCoy is 6-15 on the season in just six games, but is currently on the disabled list with an injury.

Neither Forer or Ferraro has played in a game, but both hope to see some action soon for Charleston.

Bryant George (GF’08) is playing for the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League and has posted a record of 3-2 with a 5.23 earned run average, two saves and 38 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched.

Lastly, but certainly not least, Eric Arnett (GF’08) is playing his baseball for the Brevard County Manatees and is 1-0 with a 3.67 ERA and has struck out 35 batters in 34.1 innings over 21 games.

Best of luck to all of our former Golden Eagles in Single A for the rest of the season!

Golden Eagles Professional Alumni Update – Rookie Leagues

By Zach Dooley

Jack Graham: The native of Fairfield, Connecticut finished his college career at Kenyon College and was drafted in the 38th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Graham was assigned to the GCL Orioles of the Rookie Gulf Coast League, where he has seen time in four games in the 2012 season. Graham is hitting .300, with a .417 on base percentage, giving valuable time as a catcher.

Christian Garcia: After being taken in the 29th round of the Major League Baseball draft out of Florida-Darlington Tech, Garcia was assigned to the Greensboro Astros, of the Rookie Appalachian League. Garcia has been one of the top relief pitchers on the team, appearing in seven games with a 2.38 earned run average. In 11.1 innings pitched, Garcia has fanned nine hitters, and opponents are hitting just .225 against him, showing he has adapted well to the professional level.

Jake Brown: Following his career at Kansas State where he started 60 of 61 games in his junior season, Brown was drafted in the 30th round by the Chicago White Sox. Brown was assigned to the Bristol White Sox, of the Rookie Appalachian League. Brown has seen action in 13 games, with an on base percentage of .333. Brown has made just one error in the field, solidifying his defensive prowess.

Dylan Baker: Baker entered the 2012 MLB Draft as one of the top junior college prospects in the nation, after going 13-0 with a 1.91 ERA at Western Nevada College. He did not disappoint on draft day, being taken in the fifth round by the Cleveland Indians. Playing with the AZL Indians of the Rookie Arizona League, Baker has only pitched in one inning, but his career with the Indians organization looks extremely promising.

Kayvon Bahramzadeh: Bahramzadeh was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 29th round of the 2012 draft, following his career at Kansas State University. Kayvon was a workhorse with the Wildcats, finishing second on the team in his senior seasons with 79.2 innings pitched, to accompany a team leading seven wins. Bahramzadeh is now pitching for the AZL Athletics of the Rookie Arizona League, where he is currently 1-0.

Shane Davis: After being drafted out of Canisius College in 2011, Davis was originally assigned to the Vancouver Canadians, of the Northwest League, where he pitched during the 2011 season and amassed 16 strikeouts over 19.1 innings pitched. In 2012, Davis was moved to the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Rookie Appalachian League, where he has been solid with a 4.50 ERA over four appearances.

Golden Eagles Professional Alumni Update – Independent Leagues

By Zach Dooley

Blake Nation: The Statesboro, Georgia native comes to the Fort Wayne Cats independent league baseball following a three year career in the minor league baseball system. Nation was originally a 22nd round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners. Nation is currently a leading starting pitcher on the Cats, with a team high six victories, in a team high 10 starts, to accompany a 2.81 ERA.

Ken Gregory: After graduation from Kean University in 2011, Gregory signed on with the Southern Illinois Minors of the Frontier League. Gregory led his college team in batting average, homeruns and runs batted in during his senior season, and is currently putting together a strong professional season in 2012, hitting .308, good for third on the team, with three homeruns and 26 RBI’s, good for second on the team.

Dan DeGeorge: DeGeorge is entering his second season with the Somerset Patriots, after he played in58 games for the team in 2011. Before coming to Somerset, DeGeorge spent time with Cleveland Indians organization, where he played in over 150 games in their minor league system. DeGeorge is currently hitting .244, with a homerun and nine runs batted in, as he is a fixture in the Patriots lineup.

Will Hassett: A local product out of Siena College, Will Hassett’s comes to the Rockland Boulders from New York Federals after his contract was purchased back in 2011. Hassett pitched in eight games with New York where he went 2-4 with a 3.74 ERA. Hassett has pitched in five games this season with Rockland, with four of those appearances coming as starts. Despite a high ERA, Haskett has struck out 14 batters over 16 innings pitched.

Nick Valdez: Valdez is entering his second season in the North American league, and his first with the Maui Na Koa Ikaika, following playing in the 2011 campaign in Edmonton. Valdez had a strong campaign last season hitting .290 with a homerun and 19 runs batted in. Valdez has since taken his talents to the state of Hawaii, where he is enjoying another productive season, hitting .267, playing in all thirty of his team’s games.