DiamondDawgs drop home finale to Pilots

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. - The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs dropped their 2013 regular season finale to the Newark Pilots, 6-1, on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Park. Mohawk Valley, who had already clinched a playoff spot, finished the regular season with a 26-19 record. Newark's win, combined with Elmira's loss to Adirondack, gave the Pilots home-field advantage in the opening round of the PGCBL playoffs which begin on Thursday night.

The DiamondDawgs will host either the Glens Falls Golden Eagles or the Albany Dutchmen on Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Park in the opening round of the PGCBL playoffs. The two teams were tied, 5-5, in the 15th inning at press time. The Newark Pilots will host an opening round game as well on Thursday night against the Elmira Pioneers.

Fighting for home-field advantage, the Pilots jumped out early on the Dawgs in the top of the second inning.  Josh Ludwig (Rochester) singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Coleman Lukas (Pomona-Pitzer) connected on a two-out single off of Mohawk Valley starter Zach Williams (UC Davis) to score Ludwig with the first run of the night.

Newark threatened against relief pitcher Trey Hunt III (Point Loma Nazarene) in the third however Hunt was able to pitch out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam. He retired two men in a row with the bases loaded to keep the score 1-0 Newark.

In the top of the fourth the Pilots increased their lead with three more runs. Scott Matthews (Washington, Md.) doubled to start the inning and then advanced to third on a fielding error. A passed ball allowed Matthews to score from third. Max Rosing (Cortland State) and Samm Wiggins (Houston Baptist) added RBI singles later in the inning to give the Pilots a 4-0 advantage. Newark left the bases loaded in the fifth and then struck twice in the sixth to build up a six-run lead. David Vandercook (Columbia) highlighted the inning with an RBI single.

The DiamondDawgs finally were able to get on the board in the seventh on a Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) RBI double but that would be the only run allowed by Newark pitchers James Harris (Young Harris) and Ryan Gray (Trinity, Texas).

Mills struck out seven batters over seven innings and conceded one run on six hits. Ryan Gray worked two scoreless innings to close out the game.

Max Rosing (Cortland State) went 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Coleman Lukas went 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Josh Ludwig (Rochester) crossed the plate with two of Newark's six runs.

Mohawk Valley's Tyler Bray (ULM) and Matt Zanotta (Bryant) had two hits apiece. The Dawgs used five different pitchers in the game - Zach Williams, Trey Hunt III, Patrick Michon (Texas A&M), Casey Rodrigue and Gavin Culpepper. All but Hunt pitched two innings each. Rodrigue, a regular infield and outfield starter, struck out four.

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