Amsterdam stays on roll s Union

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Amsterdam stays on roll Times Union Amsterdam. Even as his squad secured another victory Tuesday night, Amsterdam baseball coach Robby Hisert cannot help but harken back to the sun and fun ...


Even as his squad secured another victory Tuesday night, Amsterdam baseball coach Robby Hisert cannot help but harken back to the sun and fun the team experienced a month earlier in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Actually, the Rams went south for a fact-finding mission. They looked to discover exactly who they are as a team.

"Myrtle Beach was significant," Amsterdam junior catcher Mike Rocas said. "I think we were out for a day or two before playing Ballston Spa (in the season-opener April 1). It gave us a chance to get out and play our way and get things fixed before playing league games."

"We were able to make little mistakes in scrimmage play in warm weather," Hisert said. "I attribute everything we've done with being able to go down there."

All Amsterdam has done since returning home is win baseball games. The latest victim for the Rams is Averill Park. Carson Cotugno and Nick Agresta combined a five-hitter as Amsterdam produced a 9-3 nonleague triumph over the Warriors at Shuttleworth Park.

Since dropping its opener by a 17-7 count against Ballston Spa, Amsterdam has reeled off 12 consecutive victories by outscoring foes 103-21 during that span. In addition to going undefeated in the Foothills Council, the Rams also have wins against Niskayuna (14-7) and now Averill Park.

"This is a good win," Rocas said. "We are just going game by game."

"Tonight, we caught a few breaks and took advantage of them," Hisert said.

Tuesday's win was a nice bounce-back outing for Amsterdam after a sloppy 10-7 Foothills Council decision over Glens Falls on Monday.

Cotugno allowed a leadoff single to Joe Milanese to open the game, but struck out Avery Pascucci and Jake Nichols to escape.

"His velocity was good, his offspeed stuff was great and he had us guessing. He was a difference-maker," Averill Park coach George Brooks said of Cotugno. "It is all about momentum. We came out and had a guy on and we had our No. 3 and 4 hitters up. He struck out both of them."

Averill Park starter Quinn Dzembo was not as adept as Cotugno at avoiding consequences when putting runners on base. He walked Peyton Ausfeld in the bottom of the first and allowed a single to Jeffrey Brennan. Another walk to Jake Greco loaded the bases and a wild pitch allowed Ausfeld to score. Rocas later grounded into a fielder's choice to plate Brennan.

In the second, the Rams blew things open as two hits — the second being a two-run single by Rocas — three walks, one hit batter and an error allowed five runs to score for a 7-0 advantage. Amsterdam, ranked No. 11 in the Class A state poll, added two more runs in the third.

"If you want to make it to the top, you have to play the good, strong teams. You want to be challenged," Hisert said of playing teams like Averill Park (9-6). "If you go out and things are easier, you become complacent. You want to keep working and keep getting better."

Cotugno threw 96 pitches in four innings. The sophomore right-hander walked six, struck out five and allowed a two-run single by Milanese in the fourth.

"He has been killing it lately. He had three hits (Monday)," Brooks said of Milanese.

Agresta worked three innings and gave up two hits.

"Nick Agresta came in and threw great for us, his longest outing of the year," Hisert said. "He picked up the slack where we needed it. We were down on pitching."

[email protected] 518-454-5062 @TUSidelines

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