The Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs pinned fourteen runs on the Adirondack Trail Blazers on Thursday night in a 14-5 victory at the Smith Sports Complex.
Friday night, the Diamond Dawgs could only muster less than a quarter of that, but it was enough at Veteran’s Memorial Park, as they would hang on to beat the Utica Brewers, 3-1.
Through the first five innings, both teams could only muster eight baserunners (both teams had 4) and only one hit (Utica’s Ryan Cox’s (Aliquippa, Pennsylvania/Kutztown University) single in the second inning). That all changed in the bottom of the inning, when the Diamond Dawgs’ Nick Rybarczyk (Addison, Illinois/Marist College) ripped a bouncer down the third base line that scored Ryan Stekl (Lancaster, NY/Canisius College).
The Diamond Dawgs would extend their lead to two in the bottom of the sixth, as Sam Machonis (Tampa, Florida/Florida Southern College) blasted a ball to the left-center wall, which would drive in Matt Pagano (Cranston, Rhode Island/Marist College). That was all Mohawk Valley would get in the sixth, as Troy Scocca (Syosset, New York/Fairfield University) would pop up to center to end the inning.
Utica starting pitcher Collin Gee (Holland, Michigan/Oakland University) would load the bases full of Diamond Dawgs in the seventh. He would do so on an error, a single by Stekl (who would be pulled for pinch-runner Malcolm Kelsey (Piscataway, New Jersey/St. John Fisher College) later) and hitting Rybarczyk before being pulled for Tyler Palm (West Branch, Michigan/Oakland University). Anthony Herrera (McKinney, Texas/University of Louisiana-Monroe) would make Palm pay, as his sacrifice fly would score Kelsey. Palm would later load the bases himself soon after by walking Pagano. Unlike Gee before him, however, Palm would force Thomas Walraven (Pine Bush, New York/University of New Haven) into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Brewers would finally get on the board in the top of the eighth, as Taylor Olmstead would park a ball over the left-center fence for his fourth home run of the season. That home run would put him into third in the home run race behind Amsterdam’s Hunter Tackett and Brendan Tracy, also of the Mohawks.
Diamond Dawgs starter Ben Moxley (Oneonta, New York/SUNY Cortland) would have a great game, only allowing one run on three hits in eight innings before being pulled before the ninth for Zachary Vennaro (New Hartford, NY/Monroe CC). Moxley would also get the win for Mohawk Valley. Vennaro would only allow one baserunner before forcing Zach Piazza (Huntington, Maryland/Wake Forest University) into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Vennaro, in only seeing three batters and extending Mohawk Valley’s streak to two, would get the save for the Diamond Dawgs (11-11). Gee would get the loss for Utica, who now sports a two-game losing streak.
The Diamond Dawgs get to rest for the July 4th holiday, then head off to Bob Bellizzi Field to face the Albany Dutchmen on Sunday. The Brewers have the whole July 4th weekend off before heading off to Victor High School to face the RailRiders.