By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs

LITTLE FALLS, NY – On this date 45 years ago, the Little Falls Mets and Utica Blue Jays met in the first game ever at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

The Mets won that day, but in the present, the current Utica Blue Sox took advantage of five Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawg errors to take home the win – 45 years later – 9-6.

Back-to-back singles got things going for the Diamond Dawgs in the first, and Noah Lucier (Sandown, NH/Fairfield) brought one of those home – leadoff hitter and Stags teammate Evan Berta (Yorktown Heights, NY/Fairfield) – with a ball that bounced right in front of the catcher. Utica tied the game up in the next half-inning on a sharply-hit RBI single by Troy Hamilton (Royal Palm Beach, FL/USC Upstate). That RBI single brought home Chris Fernandez (Boca Raton, FL/Felician).

The Blue Sox got the lead back in the third on a throwing error by Orlando Pena (New Jersey City, NJ/Coastal Carolina). That error would bring home Brandyn Durand (Somerset, MA/Kentucky) and gave Utica a 2-1 lead. They’d extend their lead on another throwing error, this one scoring Easton Brenner (Houston, TX/LaFayette).

Pena got some redemption in the third, cutting the Blue Sox lead to one on a roller to third base. That slow roller scored Zach Brush (New York Mills, NY/LeMoyne). Marshall Awtry (Hockessin, DE/Goldey-Beacom) tied the game up on a looping RBI single to center field. That single would bring home Lucier.

Durand gave the Blue Sox the lead again in the fourth, just clearing the center field fence with a fly ball that scored himself and Lukas Schramm (Apex, NC/Kentucky). The score would stay that way until the seventh, on a bloop RBI single by Will King (New York, NY/Eastern Kentucky). Hamilton extended the lead to five on an RBI single that scored Luke Odden (Scottsdale, AZ/Wabash Valley) and King.

Berta cut the deficit to four in the bottom of the seventh, lining a ball into left field that scored Lucier. The Blue Sox would get it back on an RBI single by Hamilton. That would be all they would need, as David Thurman (Southfield, MI/Wayne State) left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, allowing just two runs to close out the game for Utica (13-3).

Chris Campanella (Marshall, NC/Wabash Valley) got the win for Utica, while Darin Horn (Bluffton, SC/Coastal Carolina) got the loss for Mohawk Valley (7-8).

Mohawk Valley will be back in action Friday night when they host the Amsterdam Mohawks.

Photos by Dave Warner