LITTLE FALLS, NY – It’s a situation every little kid all across the nation only dreams of accomplishing: hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series.
While it did take three more innings than previously dreamed of, the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs’ Nick Cimillo got to live that dream on Wednesday night at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Cimillo came on in relief in the 10th inning and got not one, but two hacks at the dream. Fortunately, he hit paydirt on the second try, sending the Diamond Dawgs home with a 4-2 victory in 12 innings.
After three innings of scoreless ball, the Pioneers got on the board in the fourth while only swinging the bat once. Passed balls by new Mohawk Valley catcher CJ Rodriguez (Newport Beach, CA/Vanderbilt) would score both Mason Ruhlman (Algonac, MI/Minnesota-Cookston) and Trae Harmon (Somerset, KY/Kentucky).
The Diamond Dawgs got a run back in the bottom of the seventh, after a sacrifice fly by Ryan Keenan (Lighthousen Point, FL/Vanderbilt). He would score the defending PGCBL Player of The Week, St. Johnsville native Dylan Klock (St. Thomas Aquinas), who needed no effort to come in from third base.
They would tie it up in the very next inning off reliever Connor Takacs (Jackson, NJ/UAlbany) with an RBI single from the debuting Jacob Josey (Ellenton, FL/Vanderbilt). His RBI single scored Justin Guerrera (Watertown, CT/Fairfield) to tie the ball game up at two.
It would stay tied up at two for quite a while when in the bottom of the 12th, Nick Cimillo (Airmont, NY/Manhattan) got an opportunity little kids all over the Mohawk Valley dream of. With one out and Keenan on first, Cimillo smacked a ball into the right-center field bleachers to send every Diamond Dawgs fan home happy. He would pick up the win for reliever Luc Scudalleri (Roswell, GA/Georgia College).
Trae Harmon (Somerset, KY/Kentucky) got the loss for Elmira, who have a two-game losing streak and have lost three of their last four to drop to 3-8 on the year.
The Diamond Dawgs (6-3) will hit the road on Thursday, heading to the home of the 2019 PGCBL All-Star game, Cantine Field in Saugerties, to face the Stallions. The Pioneers will head home to Dunn Field on Thursday, hoping to avenge their loss on Sunday as they face the Geneva Red Wings.
Photos by Dave Warner