By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs
It had been 33 years since an Auburn team last set foot on the field at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Of course, back then, they were the Auburn Astros and the Little Falls Mets doing battle in the New York-Penn League. Thursday night, the names had changed, as well as the league. They’re now the Auburn Doubledays (one of the last remnants of the old NY-P) and the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, but that didn’t change the intensity of the baseball on the field in Little Falls.
However, the visiting team would make their first visit to Little Falls since 1988 one to remember, taking advantage of six Mohawk Valley errors to send the home team to a 12-4 defeat.
The Doubledays got on the board first on a bouncing ball to third base from Brian Norsen (Hamburg, NY/St. John Fisher) to score Logan Matson (Neillsville, WI/Wisconsin-Eau Claire) in the first. Auburn added another run on a passed ball from Sam Beck (Warren, NJ/San Francisco) in the second, that scored Noah Campanelli (Pittsford, NY/St. John Fisher). They’d add yet another from a stolen base by Griffin O’Ferrall (Richmond, VA/Virginia) scoring Genki LeClair (Larkspur, CA/Colby) in the third.
The third would be very good for the Doubledays, as a hard hit ball by Tyler Attal (Los Angeles, CA/Bates) and an error by the Mohawk Valley right fielder scored himself, O’Ferrall, and Evan McDonald (Austin, TX/Trinity).
The defensive woes for the Diamond Dawgs continued in the fourth, as another error, again by the Mohawk Valley right fielder, scored Marcus Maristela (Grayslake, IL/McHenry County College). Then, a 2-RBI single by Matson to center field scored LeClair and Kelvin Cortez (Corona, NY/Eastern Nazarene).
John Nowak (Pelham, NY/Bates) would get one of the three Mohawk Valley runs back just two batters into the fifth. Nowak deposited a ball into the center field bleachers for his first home run of the season.
Mohawk Valley finally got on the board in the fourth after a sharply hit ball to left field by Brady Fureno (Canajoharie, NY/LeMoyne) scored Daniel Burnett (Granville, MA/Hartford). The third hit batsman of the game, Kyle Kuramoto (Fort Lauderdale, FL/Palm Beach Atlantic) would bring home Grant Santangelo (Hershey, PA/Delaware), then a fielder’s choice by Tyler Cannon (Clayton, NJ/Iona) brought home Chris Peralta (Lynbrook, NY/Molloy).
Santangelo would get the Diamond Dawgs another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly that scored Alfredo Delgado (Bronx, NY/Manhattan). Unfortunately, passed balls would give the run back to Auburn in the seventh.
Errors would continue to plague Mohawk Valley in the seventh, as another dropped fly ball from the right fielder would score Attal. That would be all Auburn would need the rest of the way, keeping the Diamond Dawgs hitless for the last four innings to pick up their second win of the season.
Dan Johnson (White House Station, NJ/Scranton) picked up the win for Auburn, while Beck was saddled with the loss.