by Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs
LITTLE FALLS, NY – It was an exciting game, that was for certain. It always is when the Utica Blue Sox and Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs get together.
Both teams combined for 14 runs in extra innings, but in the end, Utica’s nine trumped Mohawk Valley’s five and they walked away with the 16-12 win.
Back-to-back-to-back errors by the Blue Sox gave the Diamond Dawgs their first run of the game, as a booted ball by Troy Hamilton (Royal Palm Beach, FL/USC Upstate) scored Richie Sica (Wyckoff, NJ/Rider) in the second. Zach Brush (New York Mills, NY/LeMoyne) made the Blue Sox pay even further for their mistakes with a fly into the center field. That two-RBI double scored Evan Berta (Yorktown Heights, NY/Fairfield) and Noah Lucier (Sandown, NH/Fairfield). Brush came home on an RBI double by the very next hitter, Alfredo Delgado (Bronx, NY/Manhattan).
Back-to-back errors by the Diamond Dawgs in the fifth brought in the first run of the game for Utica on an RBI single by Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, IL/Valparaiso), scoring Easton Brenner. The same play, this time by Daedrick Call (Marion, AR/Arkansas State) just one batter later, brought in Ryan Enos (Oriskany, NY/SUNY Oswego) and cut the Mohawk Valley lead to two.
The Blue Sox cut the lead to one in the very next inning, on an RBI single by Hamilton that rolled into left field and score Lukas Schramm (Apex, NC/Kentucky). The very next batter, Kade Reinertson (Huxley, IA/Valparaiso), scored Dewey Roden (Sherrill, NY/LeMoyne) on a bloop double into right field to tie the game up.
Mohawk Valley retook the lead on the first pitch Demetrius Johnson (Glassboro, NJ/Goldey-Beacom) saw in the seventh. Johnson rocketed the ball over the left-center field fence for a solo home run. That was the first round trip ball for Johnson and the Diamond Dawgs this season. Brush would extend the lead in the eighth with a roller into right field, scoring Berta. Delgado would get into the fun once again, smashing his bat and the ball into left field to score Ty Sallie (Mount Tabor, NJ/NJIT).
Back-to-back singles and a hit batsman gave the Blue Sox a chance in the ninth with the bases loaded. The second hit batsman brought in Brenner, and a 2-RBI single to left field by Schramm tied the game up heading into the bottom of the ninth.
The Blue Sox would get another two in extra innings, thanks to the bat of Hamilton, lacing a 2-RBI single into center field. Just a couple of batters later, Brenner would park another ball into the center-field bleachers to bring the Utica lead to five. An RBI triple by Chris Fernandez (Boca Raton, FL/Felician) brought the lead to seven. In all, Utica would bring 13 batters up in the tenth, scoring nine runs.
Lucier got the bottom of the tenth off to a good start, scoring Berta with an RBI double. Delgado would soon follow with a bouncer up the middle that scored Lucier. Johnson followed a couple of batters later and knocked in another two with a long ball that rested upon the center-field wall. Ernesto Polanco (West New York, New Jersey/Coastal Carolina) cut the lead to four with a sacrifice fly, but that was as close as Mohawk Valley would get, as David Thurman forced a flyout to end the game.
Gehrig Spradlin (Roanoke, VA/Limestone) picked up the win for Utica (3-0). Dom Spinoso was saddled with the loss for Mohawk Valley (0-2).
Utica will return to the field on Tuesday for an exhibition game against the Capital City Reds at Murnane Field. Their next PGCBL game will be on Wednesday when they host the Elmira Pioneers. The Diamond Dawgs will be back in action on Monday for the front end of back-to-back road games when they head to Watertown to face the Rapids. They will return to Veteran’s Memorial Park on Thursday for the first game of the Patriot Bank Cup against the Amsterdam Mohawks.