Diamond Dawgs Wrap Up Central With 5-2 Win Over Utica
LITTLE FALLS, NY – Do you believe in second chances? The Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs certainly do, especially after Saturday night.
After failing to clinch the Central Division despite a win in Elmira on Friday night, Mohawk Valley made sure they would only need two chances at it. Taking advantage of a three-run eighth inning, the Diamond Dawgs played small ball the rest of the way, taking the Central Division (and the guaranteed home playoff game that comes with it) with a 5-2 victory over their Route 5 Rival, the Utica Blue Sox
Isaiah Torres (Brooklyn, NY/Grambling State) kicked off the scoring for the Blue Sox in the first with an RBI single that brought in Khalyd Cox (Palmetto, FL/Savannah State) from second. That would be all starter Marc Bisogno (Staten Island, NY/Fordham) would allow, forcing Mohammed Hussein (East Elmhurst, NY/Keystone) into a double play to end the top of the inning.
It would stay that way until the fourth, when Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, FL/Barry) brought Ryan Hernandez (Boston, MA/San Jacinto CC) home on an RBI single with the bases loaded. Austin Pollack (Harrison, NY/Hofstra) would have the spotlight in the bottom of the inning, snagging two highlight-reel catches in center field, one that robbed Cox of his tenth home run of the season and kept the Blue Sox off the scoreboard. Patrick Bordewick (St. Louis Park, MN/Concordia-St. Paul) gave the Blue Sox back the lead in the sixth, sacrificing an out to score Torres.
Pollack finally made it on base for the 38th straight game, smacking a ball to left field in the seventh. He would come home and tie the score on Hernandez’ hit, which was dropped by the Utica center fielder. The Diamond Dawgs would finally get the lead on an Owen Wosleger (East Hampton, CT/Mount St. Mary’s) hit in the eighth that went over the first baseman’s head to score Mark McKenna (Grand Island, NY/Canisius). Stephen Furman (Brookhaven, PA/Iona) extended the lead on a passed ball by J.T. Gosweiler (Sicklerville, NJ/Iona), and Wosleger would come home the same way from reliever R.J. Kuruts (Forest City PA,/St. John Fisher).
That three-run lead would be all closer Zach Taglieri (Port St. Lucie, FL/The Citadel), striking out the Blue Sox in the ninth to put the game away and wrap up the Central Division for the Diamond Dawgs.
Eddie Rives (Hialeah, FL/Barry) picked up the win for Mohawk Valley (26-17). Gosweiler got the loss for Utica (23-21), while Taglieri picked up the save for the Diamond Dawgs.
Mohawk Valley will round out its home schedule on Sunday when they face the Watertown Rapids. The team will honor their host families as well before and during the game with a pre-game picnic and ceremony just before the game. The Diamond Dawgs will round out their 2018 regular season campaign on Tuesday in Boonville when they visit the Adirondack Trail Blazers.
The Blue Sox will have Sunday off. After their day off, they will finish out their regular season on Monday on the road, when they head to Damaschke Field to face the Oneonta Outlaws in a doubleheader.