June 7, 2018 

By Jon Rathbun – TimesTelegram 

LITTLE FALLS – The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs scored five runs on two hits in the first inning Thursday, setting the tone for an eventual 16-2 victory over the Adirondack Trail Blazers.

The win was the third for the DiamondDawgs over the Trail Blazers, the team’s fifth in a row, and Mohawk Valley’s first this season in Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League play at home at Veterans Memorial Park.

The 16 Mohawk Valley runs were scored on only 11 hits, including home runs by Villanova University’s Ryan Toohers and SUNY-Albany’s Ryan Hernandez. The DiamondDawgs drew 15 walks in the game and added two to their league-leading total of 16 hit batters. Nine DiamondDawgs were hit by pitches during Tuesday’s doubleheader against Adirondack in Boonville.

Five of the walks and Toohers’ three-run home run contributed mightily to the DiamondDawgs’ big first inning. Niagara University’s Kyle Smyth walked Joseph Castellanos from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and Monmouth University’s John LaRocca to start the inning, and Toohers’ home run gave Mohawk Valley a quick 3-0 lead.

Another walk followed before Smyth recorded his only out. Rider University’s Jake Barbiere walked and Villanova’s Tyler Bruno singled one run home with a second scoring on an error. Smyth also walked Le Moyne College’s Drew Fureno before handing the ball to Malone University’s Anthony Stillwagon to finish the first inning.

Stillwagon got the Trail Blazers through the third inning with just one more run scoring – LaRocca walked and scored from second base on a dropped third strike in the second inning – and three more pitchers took their turns on the mound for Adirondack.

Toohers went 3-for-5 with four runs batted in, and Hernandez and two hits, including his fourth home run of the season, and scored two runs. LaRocca reached base five times with a single and four walks, Barbiere walked and scored three times, and Castellanos, Bruno and Fureno each scored twice and drove in two runs.

Designated hitter Matt Rubayo from Marist College drove in both Adirondack runs with singles in the sixth and eighth innings.

Aaron Glickstein, the Mohawk Valley starter from SUNY-Stony Brook, went six innings for the win, allowing one run on three hits and three walks while fanning five batters. Stony Brook teammate Sam Turcotte, The Citadel’s Zach Taglieri and Fordham University’s Marc Bisogno each pitched an inning in relief.

The DiamondDawgs played an exhibition game Friday against the Capital City Reds, a Canadian 22-and-under team from Ottawa, Ontario, and wrap up a three-night homestand Saturday with a 6:45 p.m. game against the Watertown Rapids. They play on the road Sunday in Albany and return to Little Falls for Monday’s game against the Elmira Pioneers.