Amsterdam Post 701 keeps on winning


Categories: Sports

AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam Post 701 American Legion team fell behind again Tuesday evening, and came back again, just as it has throughout much of its summer baseball season.

Brodryk Benton and Jeff Brennan were the hitting stars, and Amsterdam turned an early 2-0 deficit into a 7-2 win over the Saratoga Stampede at Shuttleworth Park.

“We’ve been behind in most every game and come back to win,” Amsterdam head coach Bill Agresta said of his group’s winning streak that reached nine games. “It’s a good team we’ve got here.”

Amsterdam stood at 2-3 early in the season after dropping both ends of a doubleheader to Saugerties.

“We lost both games really bad,” Benton said. “Next game, we came back hungrier than ever.”

Benton didn’t mention that Amsterdam wasn’t at full strength for that twin bill with Saugerties.

 “Some guys had commitments, and we only had eight kids. We picked up a kid so we could have nine,” Agresta said. “After that, all of the kids started coming to games.”

And Amsterdam hasn’t lost since.

Tuesday’s victory included a three-run first that answered a quick Saratoga burst, and some tack-on runs afterward.

“We don’t lose energy when we get down,” said Benton, Amsterdam’s catcher, who finished with a double, single and four RBIs. “Once we spark up, it doesn’t go away.”

Amsterdam is playing a much better brand of ball since early in the campaign.

“We were making a load of mistakes. A lot of base running mistakes and a lot of fielding mistakes. They’ve grown mentally, and that’s what this is about,” Agresta said. “We weren’t hitting the ball all that well early on, either. That changed, too.”

 Amsterdam has been an opportunistic team during its streak, and displayed that trait Tuesday when Saratoga’s trio of pitchers issued 10 walks. Two of those free passes came in the home first inning, and Brennan followed with a two-run triple down the right field line. Brennan later scored for a 3-2 Amsterdam lead when Benton hit an RBI fielder’s choice grounder.

“We have definitely been taking advantage of what teams have been giving us,” Benton said.

Benton hit an RBI single in the third inning and another run came across afterward on an outfield error. Two walks in the fifth set the stage for a two-run double by Benton.

“We score runs when we need it,” Benton said. “Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun.”

Amsterdam starter Raymond Strausser gave up the two runs in the first, but shut down Saratoga in the second and third. Relievers Brady Myles, Andrew Bracchi and Brennan blanked the Stampede over the final four frames. The group scattered eight hits.

 “Our pitching has been good,” Agresta said.

Brennan finished with two hits, stole a base and scored three times.

Rece McClements hit an RBI double, and Brady Eugair hit an RBI single in the Saratoga first. Jordan Catone had a double and two singles for Saratoga, and Colton Weatherwax had two singles.

Amsterdam has a game remaining against a Hayner Brothers team next week at a date and location to be determined.

“This is a real good group of guys,” Agresta said of his cast of players. “We had a cookout last week and had a great time. These guys are a lot of fun to be with.”

Reach Jim Schiltz at

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