LITTLE FALLS, NY – With 13 players between the Watertown Rapids and Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs heading to Elmira for Wednesday night’s All-Star Game, it was only natural for the fans in attendance to expect a hard-fought affair between the two on Thursday night.
Neither team disappointed, as five balls left Veteran’s Memorial Park on Thursday, but unfortunately for Mohawk Valley, the Rapids would score six runs in both the second and the ninth, knocking off the Diamond Dawgs, 18-9
Andrew Bacon (Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky) gave the Rapids the early lead just two batters in with a long home run to left center field off of Mohawk Valley starter Sam Beck (Warren, NJ/Skidmore). The Diamond Dawgs would get the lead back, and then some, in part from 2-RBI efforts from JD Davis (Goose Creek, SC/The Citadel) and Joel Alvarez (Hainesport, NJ/Barry). Mark McKenna (Grand Island, NY/Canisius) would also score on a passed ball to give the Diamond Dawgs a 5-1 lead after just one inning.
Back-to-back home runs by Nick Bosma (Overland Park, KS/Rhodes) and Josh Bozoian (Chino Hills, CA/Union) brought the Rapids back within one in the top of the second. Bacon tied up the score again with an RBI double that brought home Trevor Kuncl (Cincinnati, OH/George Washington). Michael Russell (Staten Island, NY/Stony Brook) gave the Rapids the lead right back with a 2-RBI single that would score Julian Kurych (Middletown, DE/Wilmington) and Bacon.
Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, NJ/Villanova) got the PGCBL home run lead and the Diamond Dawgs within one with just one swing of the bat in the bottom of the fifth, sending a ball over the bleachers in center field. Stephen Furman (Brookhaven, PA/Iona) tied up the score with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Alvarez, but Kurych would give the Rapids back the lead on a long home run to center field.
Five straight singles by the Rapids resulted in two runs in the top of the seventh inning, chasing reliever Collin Nye (Salem, MA/Union) from the mound, replacing him with Jon Hardy (Clinton, NY/Mohawk Valley CC). Bozoian would extend the lead even further with a 2-RBI double that would bring home Heurtin and Bosma.
The Diamond Dawgs would continue to claw back, as Furman would add his second sacrifice fly of the night in the bottom of the seventh to score Toohers, who started the seventh with a triple.
Alexis Calderon (Bethlehem, PA/Manhattan) would help the Watertown cause, though not by choice, walking the bases loaded then bringing in four runs on free passes. An error by the Mohawk Valley third baseman would bring in another two runs, and that would be all reliever Dylan Wiley (Cape Vincent, NY/SUNY Oswego) would need, only allowing one run by Stephen Furman (/) in the bottom of the inning to put the game away for the Rapids.
Christian Bacon (Cincinnati, OH/Mount Vernon Nazarene) got the win for Watertown (15-11).Marc Bisogno (Staten Island, NY/Fordham) was credited with the loss for Mohawk Valley (20-12).
Mohawk Valley will spend one more day at Veteran’s Memorial Park this week, on Friday when they host the Adirondack Trail Blazers. The Diamond Dawgs will go to Utica on Saturday to face the Blue Sox for the last time in the regular season at Murnane Field (the last two games between the two this season will be in Little Falls). Mohawk Valley will head into the All-Star Break early with a day off on Monday, but not before a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Amsterdam Mohawks.
Watertown’s day off before the All-Star Break will be on Saturday. Before that, the Rapids will continue their three-game road trip on Friday with their own trip to Utica to face the Blue Sox. The Rapids are back in action on Sunday, finishing up their road trip with a game against the Adirondack Trail Blazers, then head back home just before their trip to Elmira for a game against the Glens Falls Dragons.