LITTLE FALLS, NY – The last time they were here, the Newark Pilots were very inhospitable guests to their hosts in the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs, needing extra innings to grab a 4-3 win at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
On Thursday, though, the Diamond Dawgs returned the favor, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, thanks to a 2-RBI error off the bat of Nick Cimillo to grab their sixth straight victory, 5-4 over Newark.
The Pilots got the scoring started in the second on an RBI triple by Allen Murphy (Richburg, NY/St. Jonn Fisher) into the right-field corner. That hit, Murphy’s third triple of the season, would score Kameron Reynolds (Cherryville, NC/Mars Hill). The Diamond Dawgs would get that run back in the fourth on a hard-hit ball by Nick Cimillo (Airmont, NY/Manhattan) to right-center field. That double from Cimillo would score Jake Barbiere (Randolph, NJ/Rider) all the way from second.
Logan Stirr (Canadensis, PA/East Stroudsburg) gave the Pilots the lead again in the fifth on a hard-hit ball to left field, allowing David Bermudez (East Brunswick, NJ/Rider) to score from second. Yet again, though, the Diamond Dawgs would tie the game up once again in the bottom of the inning, this time on a miscommunication between the Newark catcher and third baseman that would bring home Dylan Klock (St. Johnsville, NY/St. Thomas Aquinas).
Stirr would strike again in the seventh, knocking a ball into left field that would score Reynolds and James Wrabel (Harrisburg, PA/Seton Hill). Luke Turner (King of Prussia, PA/York) would get one of those back in the eighth, knocking a sacrifice fly to right field that would score the newest Mohawk Valley player, Matt Tobin (Newport, NY/Herkimer). Cimillo would strike again, and once again on a Pilots’ miscommunication. Newark right fielder Jordan Fiedor (Greensburg, PA/Seton Hill) dropped a lazy fly ball by Cimillo, scoring Barbiere and Jacob Josey (Ellenton, FL/Florida Atlantic), giving Mohawk Valley a one-run lead going into the ninth.
That would be all reliever Josey would need, setting the Pilots down in order in the ninth to earn the save for Mohawk Valley (24-11), who have won six straight games. Tyler Faccenda (Denville, NJ/LaFayette) picked up the win for the Diamond Dawgs, while Chris LeVere (King George, VA/Maryland Eastern Shore) was unable to match his luck from almost three weeks ago and was saddled with the loss for Newark (13-23).
The Diamond Dawgs will take to the road on Friday when they face the Oneonta Outlaws at Damaschke Field. That game is before a big rivalry game on Saturday with the Amsterdam Mohawks at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Both games have a scheduled first pitch of 6:35.
The Pilots will try to push the playoff issue in a wild Western Division race starting on Friday with their next four games against Western opponents before another game in Little Falls on Tuesday. They’ll start their four-game Western swing on Friday at McDonough Park with a game against the Geneva Red Wings before a doubleheader on Saturday with the Elmira Pioneers.
Photos by Dave Warner