Photo by Dave Warner – Salvatore Fusco gets hit by a pitch in his left elbow, which draws a trip to first base.

By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs

After all the chaos that happened at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Friday night, no one would complain about a nice, normal baseball game on Saturday.

Recovering rather quickly from a transformer fire, the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs grabbed the lead in their exhibition game on Saturday, knocking off the Albany Athletics of the Albany Twilight League, 6-4.

Back-to-back doubles got the Athletics on the board first just four batters in, but it was Nate Novak (SUNY Albany) that would draw first blood, as his hard-hit double to right field scored Nick Hansen (Hudson Valley CC). In the bottom of the inning, Cedric Rose (Pittsfield, MA/UMass Lowell) tied up the score with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Rob Taylor (Wolcott, CT/University of New Haven).

Taylor would strike again in the second, walking with the bases loaded to score Chris Peralta (Lynbrook, NY/Molloy) and give Mohawk Valley the lead. Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, NY/Bryant) would do the same, scoring fellow local Diamond Dawg Brady Fureno (Canajoharie, NY/LeMoyne). Yet another Diamond Dawg would come home with a walk, this time Jimmy Joyce (/Wake Forest), thanks to Rose.

Albany cut the lead to two in the third after a bad throw by the Mohawk Valley catcher scored Cam Overbaugh (Bridgeport College). They’d get back to within one on a bloop single by Connor Pingatore (Alfred State) that scored Ryan Lambert (SUNY Albany).

Hansen would strike again in the fifth, this time tying the game on a groundout by his Great Dane teammate Craig Mastroianni (SUNY Albany). However, Taylor would strike a third time in the bottom of the sixth, sending the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence. His second home run (both solo shots) in as many nights would give the Diamond Dawgs the lead. Mohawk Valley extended the lead to two on a big triple by Matt Venuto (Mansfield, MA/Fairfield) to right field, scoring Castronovo.

That would be all Eddie Rogers (Little Falls, NY/Herkimer) would need, setting the Athletics down in order to put the game away for the Diamond Dawgs

Reece Bolton (Wilmington, DE/Delaware) picked up the win for the Diamond Dawgs, while Kyle Lambert (Ithaca) was saddled with the loss for Albany. Rogers got the save for Mohawk Valley

The Diamond Dawgs will be back at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Tuesday when they host the Watertown Rapids.