By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs

The Auburn Doubledays did not need power bats to knock off the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs on Tuesday night. All they needed to do was think small.

The Doubledays took advantage of only one extra-base hit through eight innings to topple the harder-hitting Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs, 9-8 in a game that came right down to the wire.

Pierce Hendershot (Barton, NY/St. Bonaventure) got things going after three scoreless innings with a hard-hit double to left-center field. His 2-RBI double would score fellow Doubledays Dymitri Kanellakis (Cary, IL/McHenry County CC) and Logan Matson (Wisconsin – Eau Claire). Unfortunately, passed balls by Mohawk Valley starter Jack Erbeck (Skilman, NJ/Fairfield) would score two more runs for Auburn, making for a four-run fourth.

The Diamond Dawgs got one back in the bottom of the fourth with a towering home run by Matt Parkinson (Whitesboro, NY/Carson-Newman). That solo shot made it 4-1 after four, but the Doubledays would score another four in the fifth on five hits, all singles. The most controversial came on a passed ball that scored Kanellakis that clearly should have been called an out, at least to the partisan fans. Arguments did no good from the home team, and that made the game 8-1 in favor of the visiting team.

Mohawk Valley would not be denied, as in the seventh, an RBI double from Chris Peralta (Lynbrook, NY/Molloy) would score Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, NY/Bryant). A walk of Parkinson with the bases loaded would score Peralta a few batters later and cut the lead to five, and the same would happen to Ryan Morash (Califon, NJ/Hofstra) to cut the lead to four in a three-run seventh.

It got even better for the Diamond Dawgs in the eighth, as they would bring home four runs in the eighth, led by a two-RBI single by Brady Fureno (Fort Plain, NY/LeMoyne). That outburst in the eighth would tie the score at 8.

That would be as close as Mohawk Valley would get, as a Pierce Hendershot sacrifice fly and expert pitching from Carson Gerhardy would close out the game for the Doubledays.

Brandon Matthews (Punxatawney, PA/Youngstown State) got the win for Auburn (16-12) while Carson Gerhardy (Piedmont, CA/Trinity) got the save. Nathan Draves (Manhattan Beach, CA/Lynn) was saddled with the loss for Mohawk Valley.

Mohawk Valley will head to Keenholts Park on Wednesday for a game with the Albany Dutchmen. This is ahead of a three-game homestand that includes an exhibition against the Albany Athletics of the Albany Twilight League on Saturday. The Doubledays will play four of their next six games at home, which includes Wednesday night when they host the Newark Pilots.

Photos by Dave Warner