Who would have thought a game that included 12 runs in the very first inning would come down to a walk-off single?
Just ask the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs, who scored seven of those 12 runs in their half of the first inning, but needed a walk-off single to squeak by the Amsterdam Mohawks, 10-9.
Hunter Tackett (Knoxville, Tennessee/ Auburn University) would get the Mohawks on the board first, as his single would score leadoff hitter Craig Dedelow (Munster, Indiana/Indiana University). Brendan Tracy (Rumford, Rhode Island/Fairfield University) would load up the bases on Diamond Dawg starter Marcus Failing (Fort Plain, New York/Herkimer CC) on a single. Another single by All-Star Game MVP Scott Manea (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/North Carolina State University) would score two more in the first, and Tyler Kirkpatrick (Eagleville, Pennsylvania/Marist College) would do the same thing with a line drive to center field. That would be all Amsterdam would get in the first, as Failing would get the bottom three batters out to end the inning.
Two straight doubles would get the game going for the Diamond Dawgs, as Matt Pagano (Cranston, Rhode Island/Marist College) would lead off the game with one, then Colin Hawk (Beech Grove, Indiana/University of Indianapolis) would hit another one to score Pagano.
Amsterdam starter Evy Ruibal (Millburn, New Jersey/University of Notre Dame) would find himself in the same situation Failing found himself in the top of the inning: with the bases full of Diamond Dawgs and no outs. Sam Machonis (Tampa, Florida/Florida Southern College) would make him pay with a double that slipped past the shortstop and would score Hawk and Troy Scocca (Syosset, New York/Fairfield University). Then, Andrew Turner (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania/Long Island University-Brooklyn) would make Ruibal pay with a three-run home run to left field to put Mohawk Valley ahead, 6-5. Pagano, in his second time around in the inning, would score Nick Rybarczyk (Addison, Illinois/Marist College) on a ground out, and that would be all for Mohawk Valley in the bottom of the inning.
Tracy would pull his Mohawks to within one in the second, as his single would score Tackett.
Failing and Ruibal would have a good pitcher’s duel after they both settled down, until Failing was pulled in the fifth by Ryan O’Connor (Bloomfield, New Jersey/Fairfield University).
Ruibal would continue into the fifth, but would find himself with the bases full of Diamond Dawgs with two outs after getting the first two batters out. However, Ruibal would force Hawk into a grounder back to the mound to end the inning.
The Mohawks would tie the score at seven in the sixth, as a sacrifice fly to right field would score Drew Freedman (Naples, Florida/Wake Forest University).
Mohawk Valley would retake the lead in the seventh, as a double by Hawk would score the speedy Anthony Herrera (McKinney, Texas/University of Louisiana-Monroe) from second.
Handsome Monica (Mandeville, Louisiana/University of Arizona), the Mohawks’ home-run derby participant in the All-Star Game, would come into the game in the top of the ninth and crush a two-run blast to left-center field to put the Mohawks ahead, 9-8.
The Dawgs would make it interesting in the ninth, as a single by Machonis would score Hawk. Then, one batter later, Turner would win it in walk-off fashion as his single would score Ryan Stekl (Lancaster, New York/Canisius College).
Zachary Vennaro (New Hartford, New York/Monroe CC), though he seemingly gave up the winning run, would get the win for Mohawk Valley. Joe Nellis (Johnstown, New York/Herkimer CC) would be saddled with the loss for Amsterdam.
With the win, Mohawk Valley (24-17) sees their win streak extended to four. That streak also currently leads the league. Their magic number to make the playoffs also drops to six. With the loss, Amsterdam’s (33-9) four-game winning streak comes to an end.
The Diamond Dawgs are on the road on Thursday, as they head off to Victor High School to face the RailRiders. The Mohawks look to start a new winning streak as they head to Cantine Field to face the Saugerties Stallions.