LITTLE FALLS, NY – The last time the Watertown Rapids were at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls, they would ride a controversial call to a victory and send the defending champion Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs home.

This time in Little Falls, there would be controversy, but a very different result. The Diamond Dawgs scored four in the eighth in what was, to that point, a very low-scoring affair, but it would be enough for sweet retribution for the 2018 playoffs and a 7-1 victory for the home team.

Jake Barbiere (Randolph, NJ/Rider) kicked off the scoring for the Diamond Dawgs in the second. His screaming grounder down the third base line allowed Dylan Klock (St. Johnsville, NY/St. Thomas Aquinas) to take a leisurely jog home.

Watertown starter Greg Tobin (Medway, MA/Brandeis) would be wild all day, hitting four batsmen. The Rapids as a team would plunk five Diamond Dawgs total, while the Mohawk Valley rotation hit three. It would come back to bite him in the fifth when a sacrifice grounder by Ryan Hernandez (Tampa, FL/Houston) would score the speedy Owen Wosleger (East Hampton, CT/Mount St. Mary’s) from second.

In a sixth inning that may go down in PGCBL infamy, Tony Socci (Trumbull, CT/Fairleigh Dickinson) looked to charge Mohawk Valley starter Vincent Vitacco (Staten Island, NY/Rider) after being hit by a pitch. Socci would be thrown out of the game, as would Watertown manager Mike Wood. Socci would be replaced by Jonathan Catapono, who would score as a result of a hard-hit double by Evan Harold (Orlando, FL/Lander).

The Diamond Dawgs would get the run back in the bottom of the seventh, as Hernandez, showing great fundamentals, legged out an error by the third baseman that scored Kyle Johnson (Jackson, NJ/Rider).

That was when the Diamond Dawgs broke the game wide open, sending all nine batters to the plate against reliever Teddy Lepcio (Chattanooga, TN/West Point), knocking five hits (all singles) and runs on four straight batters to break the game wide open. That was all Mohawk Valley (5-3) fireballer Hunter Sibley (Millville, NJ/Iona) would need, striking out one and forcing two other popouts to end the game.

Vitacco would pick up the win for Mohawk Valley, while Tobin picked up the loss for Watertown.

The Diamond Dawgs and Rapids (5-3) will be right back at it on Monday night, this time at Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in Watertown.

Photos by Dave Warner