Photo by Dave Warner
LITTLE FALLS, NY – After the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs allowed themselves to get doubled up on Tuesday night to the Adirondack Trail Blazers, they were looking for revenge on Thursday night. It turned out, the Diamond Dawgs give just as good, if not better, as they get.
Mohawk Valley scored double-digit runs in the sixth and seventh innings, sending 30 batters to the plate in those innings and turning a 3-1 Adirondack lead after five innings into a 22-3 final score
Matt Rubayo (Skillman, NJ/Marist) got the first run for the Trail Blazers just three batters in, knocking a ball almost over the center field bleachers. Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, NJ/Villanova) would get the run right back in the bottom of the inning, smoking a ball off the second baseman’s glove, scoring Joey Castellanos (Nutley, NJ/UMass Lowell).
The lead would go right back to Adirondack in the very next half inning, when Jon Iadevaia (Commack, NY/Adelphi) hit a bloop fly to left field, scoring Isiah Daubon (Highland, NY/Sacred Heart). They’d extend their lead in the fifth, when Rubayo hit a sacrifice fly to score Lucas Stalman (Bedford Hills, NY/Boston College ’18)
The Diamond Dawgs forced Adirondack starter Anthony Stillwagon (Pittsburgh, PA/Malone) into two singles and a walk to load the bases in the sixth with no one out. The second walk, to Joel Alvarez (Hainesport, NJ/Barry), hurt the most, scoring Castellanos and cutting the lead to one. Stephen Furman (Brookhaven, PA/Iona) hit a nubby grounder to second base to score Ryan Hernandez (Boston, MA/San Jacinto CC), and Mark McKenna (Grand Island, NY/Canisius) cleared the bases with a two-RBI single to right field, scoring Toohers and Alvarez. Throwing errors would plague the Trail Blazers as well, as the second of two would bring home another two runs.
Another RBI, on a single by Austin Pollack (Harrison, NY/Hofstra), made for Pollack’s 35th straight time on base this season. He would come home, along with three other players on a long grand slam by Toohers that sneaked just over the right field fence. Toohers tenth long ball of the season broke a tie with Utica’s Khalyd Cox for the league home run lead. In all, 15 Diamond Dawgs would come up in the sixth, scoring 11 runs on just six hits and two errors.
Castellanos brought home another run in the seventh, sacrificing an out to score Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, FL/Barry). Toohers and Alvarez both got another RBI as well, walking with the bases loaded to score Tyler Bruno and, respectively. Drew Fureno (Canajoharie, NY/LeMoyne) bounced a ball over the second baseman’s head to score another run, this time Joe Tevlin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Niagara). In the seventh, another 15 Mohawk Valley players, scoring another ten runs on just another seven hits.
In the final two innings, reliever Justin Proteau (Wolcott, CT/Manhattanville) set the Trail Blazers down in order to put the game away, only the third 20-run game of the season.
Ryan Rodriguez (Upland, CA/UC Davis) got the win for Mohawk Valley (24-17), who extends their lead over Utica (who lost to Watertown on Friday night) to two games with three to play, including one on Saturday against the Blue Sox. Stillwagon was saddled with the loss for Adirondack (17-25).
Mohawk Valley will travel to Elmira on Fridy before finishing the season on a tour of the Central Division. On Saturday, the Diamond Dawgs will welcome to Veteran’s Memorial Park the Utica Blue Sox for the final game of the 2018 Route Five Rivalry in a game that might decide the Central Division champion. On Sunday, Mohawk Valley will have its home finale, taking on the Watertown Rapids and honoring the team’s host families with a pre-game picnic and post-game fireworks. The Diamond Dawgs will round out their regular season with a trip to Adirondack on Tuesday to face the Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers will finish their season after a day off on Friday with two separate trips to Watertown and an opportunity to spoil the Rapids’ playoff hopes in the last weekend of the PGCBL season. They’ll finish out their season at home against Mohawk Valley at the Robert Smith Sports Complex in Boonville on Tuesday.