By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs (June 29 Game)
It’s a dream every kid has every night of his young life: bottom of the ninth, two outs, home run wins it for your team.
For the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs’ Alfredo Delgado (Bronx, NY/Manhattan), it wasn’t a dream. It was real life.
Trying to beat out a large rainstorm that threatened to suspend the game, Delgado hit a three-run bomb to left field to be the hero for the hometown Diamond Dawgs, giving them their 11th win of the season, 6-3 over the Watertown Rapid
Watertown got on the board first in the first on a hard-hit bloop single to center field by Hazel Martinez (New York City, NY/Cayuga CC) to score Ryan Strollo (Wolcott, CT/Fairfield). That was all Mohawk Valley starter Joey Silan (Newark, DE/Delaware) would allow, however, bookending the Martinez single with strikeouts to keep the run damage at one.
Another run would come home for the Rapids in the second on a throwing error by Silan. That error would bring home David Stirpe (Hilton, NY/Niagara County CC).
Mohawk Valley cut the lead in half on a sacrifice fly in the third by Evan Berta (Yorktown Heights, NY/Fairfield). That fly to left would score fellow Stags teammate Mike Becchetti (Eastchester, NY/Fairfield). The Diamond Dawgs tied the game on that same play in the fourth, this time on a fly ball by Cedric Rose (Pittsfield, MA/UMass Lowell). That fly ball would score the debuting (in Little Falls, at least) Vincenzo Castronovo (Utica, NY/Bryant).
The score remained tied at two until the first pitch of the sixth when Dixon Black (Archbald, PA/Monmouth) rocketed a solo shot to left field, his second of the season. Ever vigilant, the Diamond Dawgs would get the run back in the eighth, as Castronovo would walk with the bases loaded to score Berta. However, a tie was as much as they would get in the eighth.
However, in the ninth, the Diamond Dawgs, who had already been through two extra-inning games in as many days, were determined not to have a third. Delgado crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run shot, scoring himself, Becchetti, and Tyler Cannon (Clayton, NJ/Iona) and winning the game for the Diamond Dawgs.
Shawn Morrow (Melrose, MA/Saint Anselm)got the win for Mohawk Valley (11-12). Scott Burkland (Danville, CA/Chapman) picked up the loss for Watertown (6-11).
Both teams will have home-and-home series over the next two days, with the Rapids starting theirs by hosting the Auburn Doubledays on Wednesday. The Diamond Dawgs will start the first half of their home-and-home series with the Utica Blue Sox on Wednesday at Donovan Stadium. The same two teams will play on Thursday, with the venue shifting to Veteran’s Memorial Park.