LITTLE FALLS, NY – The last time the Amsterdam Mohawks came to Veteran’s Memorial Park to face the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs, they left with a bitter taste in their mouth, as the Diamond Dawgs put together some late-inning heroics to advance to the PGCBL Championship Series last year.
This year, the taste did not get any more appetizing.
Mohawk Valley scored in bunches on Sunday night, scoring four runs twice and three runs once. They also snapped a four game losing streak by knocking off perennial Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League juggernaut Amsterdam, 13-9.
Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, NJ/Villanova) got the scoring started with a bang, jolting a ball all the way to the right field wall to get a double and score Austin Pollack (Harrison, NY/Manhattanville) and Joey Castellanos (Nutley, NJ/UMass Lowell). The first three Diamond Dawgs to face Amsterdam starter Trip Lockhart (Lexington, KY/Kentucky) made it on base. Toohers would come home just two batters later on a hard-hit double by Mark McKenna (Grand Island, NY/Canisius) just out of the reach of the Amsterdam left fielder. McKenna would come home as well on a hot grounder by Tyler Bruno (Breinigsville, PA/Villanova).
Two straight singles and a walk would fill the bases full of Mohawks in the top of the second. Joe Genord (Lake Worth, FL/USF) would hit into a double play, but score Tanner Allen (Theodore, AL/Mississippi State). The same situation would present itself in the third, and this time Allen would take advantage. He hita ball to the left-center field wall that would give Allen a 2-RBI double, scoring Elvis Peralta (Lowell, Mass/Marshall) and Mike Antico (Colts Neck, NJ/St. John’s).
Castellanos would extend the leas in the fourth, hitting a comebacker just out of the reach of the middle of the Amsterdam defense to bring in Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, FL/Barry). A passed ball by Lockhart would bring in another run, represented by Owen Wosleger (East Hampton, CT/Mount St. Mary’s). Genord brought the lead back to two with an RBI single to center that scored Michael Ludowig (Ashburn, VA/Wake Forest).
Shane Muntz gave the Mohawks the lead in the fifth with a three-run shot to left field that scored himself, Justin Foscue (Huntsville, AL/Mississippi State) and Genord.
However, three straight walks by Lockhart and reliever Dale Stanavich loaded the bases full of Diamond Dawgs and Wosleger, the newest Mohawk Valley player, made him pay with a 2-RBI single to right to score . Castellanos and Pollack would get into it as well, hitting back to back RBIs on a sacrifice fly and a single, respectively.
Genord cut the lead to one in the seventh with a home run to straight away center field, scoring himself and Foscue. However, the Diamond Dawgs would extend the lead on a confusing set of events set in motion by Stephen Furman (Brookhaven, PA/Iona). A pop fly seemed to be caught by Amsterdam right fielder Ludowig, but was not called out by the umpires. That bit of confusion would score two runs for the Diamond Dawgs. McKenna would also score a run on an RBI single, scoring Toohers.
That insurance would be all reliever and PGCBL All-Star Zach Taglieri (Port St. Lucie, FL/The Citadel) would need, seeting the Mohawks down in order to put the game away. With the win, the Diamond Dawgs pick up the season sweep of Amsterdam, while knocking the Mohawks into a tie for first place in the East with idle Saugerties.
Alexis Calderon (Bethlehem, PA/Manhattan) picked up the win for Mohawk Valley (21-14). Stanavich got the loss for Amsterdam (20-15), while Taglieri picked up the save for the Diamond Dawgs.
Mohawk Valley has both days off before their contingent of five representatives head off to Elmira for Wednesday night’s All-Star Game. When they return, the Diamond Dawgs will spend seven of their last eleven regular season games at Veteran’s Memorial Park. They’ll start with a two-game, Central Division home stand on Thursday and Friday, when they play the Watertown Rapids and the Utica Blue Sox, respectively. They’ll finish off All-Star Week with a home-and-home series with the Oneonta Outlaws on Saturday and Sunday.
Amsterdam has no such luck, having games both days before the All-Star Game. They’ll finish off their three-game road trip on Monday with a trip to Saugerties to face the Stallions in a crucial Eastern Division matchup, with the winner likely holding an edge on first place heading to Elmira. The Mohawks head back home on Tuesday to face the Oneonta Outlaws, the first game of a three-game home stand that will take up the rest of the week.