LITTLE FALLS, NY—The Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs have prided themselves on playing small-ball baseball this year—legging out bunts and taking counts full most of the season.
Sunday night at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls, the Diamond Dawgs played as small a baseball game as you can get.
Mohawk Valley scored all their runs while racking up only six hits, but they hit the Blue Sox bullpen heavily, racking up 11 walks in their 7-5 victory.
Michael Ketchmark (Dallas, TX/Dartmouth College) put the Diamond Dawgs on the board in a big way in the bottom of the first. His double over the head of the Utica left fielder would score Kevin Radziewicz (Cromwell, CT/Fairfield University) and Drew Arciuolo (Milford, CT/Fairfield University). That would be all that starter Nolan Freeman (North Ridgeville, OH/Mercyhurst North East) would give up, however, as he would force Andrew Turner (King of Prussia, PA/Long Island University-Brooklyn) into a double play to end the first inning.
Freeman would walk two of the first three Mohawk Valley batters he saw in the bottom of the third (Radziewicz reached on a courageous single, in which he cut his hand sliding into first) to put himself in a bases-loaded jam with no one out. Turner would get hit by a pitch soon after, bringing home Radziewicz. One batter later, Sean Mazzio’s (West Chester, PA/Wagner College) sacrifice fly would score Mac Crispino (Avon, CT/Fairfield University). Michael Conti (Glastonbury, CT/Fairfield University) would finally chase Freeman from the game, as his RBI single would score Ketchmark. Freeman would be replaced by Craig Prince (Newark, OH/Otterbein University), who would strike Garrett Kelly (Hollister, CA/UC Davis) out to mercifully end the third inning for the Blue Sox.
Anthony Young (Midland, GA/Andrew College) would break the scoreless streak in the top of the fifth for Utica, as he would score on a double play from Jack Goertzen (Salisbury, MD/Shippensburg University). That would be all starter Anthony Rupp (Staten Island, NY/Long Island University-Brooklyn) would allow, as he would end the Blue Sox’ half of the fifth with a flyout to center field.
Rupp would find himself in a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth inning. Taylor Olmstead (Greenwich, CT/Southern New Hampshire University) would get to Rupp first, as his RBI single to right field would score Alex Ralph (Mount Washington, KY/Bellarmine University). Anthony Young would plate another run for Utica with the bases loaded, as his sacrifice fly would score Jared Baldinelli (Niagara Falls, Ontario/St. Bonaventure University).
Brandon Romero (Miami, FL/Marshall University) would take over for Prince in the bottom of the sixth, and he would start by allowing three Diamond Dawgs to reach base, hitting Mazzio and walking Kelly and Arciuolo to load the bases up quickly. That would end Romero’s day after only four batters, as he would be replaced by Eric Handelman (Rye, NY/University of Miami-Ohio). Handelman would start out by forcing Radziewicz into a fielder’s choice, but then would walk Crispino with the bases loaded to bring Kelly home. That would be all Handelman would give up, however, as he would strike out Ketchmark to end the sixth.
Nick Plachno (Bristol, CT/Central Connecticut State University) would take over in the top of the eighth, and he would quickly find himself in a second-and-third jam. Olmstead would make him pay, as his two-RBI double would score Baldinelli and Kyle Winkler (Littleton, CO/Miami University-Ohio)and pull the Blue Sox to within one run. That would end Plachno’s night rather quickly as well, as he would be pulled for Spencer Bunting (Rocky Hill, CT/Marist College) after only three batters.
Ketchmark would pull the Diamond Dawgs back ahead by two in the bottom of the eighth, as an error by second baseman Baldinelli would score Radziewicz. Ketchmark would make it all the way to second base walking, as no one was there for Utica to cover the base, but would not make it any further, as Mike Martinez (West New York, NJ/Rutgers University) would line out to end the inning.
The Blue Sox would get a runner all the way to third in the bottom of the ninth, but Bunting would steel his resolve, forcing Utica (19-8) into three straight outs to earn the save for Mohawk Valley (13-13).
Rupp would earn the win for the Diamond Dawgs, who snap a three-game losing streak in the process. Freeman would earn the loss for the Blue Sox, who have dropped their last two games.
The Diamond Dawgs have the July Fourth holiday off before coming back to Veteran’s Memorial Park to take on the Oneonta Outlaws on Tuesday. The Blue Sox have no such break, however, as they will head west for the holiday to Victor High School to take on the RailRiders.