By JON RATHBUN
Senior Sports Editor
Posted Jul 27, 2015
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — Already postseason-bound, the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs secured their Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League playoff Sunday and set a new franchise record for wins by sweeping a doubleheader against the Utica Brewers.
The DiamondDawgs won 6-3 and 8-7 at Veterans Memorial Park and raised their record to 28-18. They have now clinched second place in the East Division and will host a one-game playoff Friday against either the Glens Falls Dragons or the Albany Dutchmen. The 28 wins are two more than Mohawk Valley had in 2013 and 2014, and three more than its 2012 total.
Mohawk Valley came back from a 3-0 deficit in the first game and Florida Southern University’s Sam Machonis led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a go-ahead home run. LeMoyne College’s Brian Cox added a run-scoring double then scored on a hit by Anthony Herrera from the University of Louisiana-Monroe to give the DiamondDawgs a three-run cushion.
Herrera had homered for first Mohawk Valley run; he went 2-for-3 at the plate and pitched the top of the seventh inning to earn his second save of the summer.
Utica scored single runs in the first three innings against Louisiana-Monroe’s Payton Coddou.
Herrera homered with one out in the bottom of the third. Colin Hawk singled in a run in the fourth and the University of Indianapolis shortstop stole home to tie the game.
Hawk, Cox and Herrera each had two of the 12 Mohawk Valley hits.
Lake Sumter Community College’s Mason McClellan homered for Utica and the University of Connecticut’s Taylor Olmstead had two hits.
The second game was Mohawk Valley’s turn to blow an early lead. The DiamondDawgs led 6-2 before Utica scored four runs in the fourth to tie the game. Mohawk Valley came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and led 8-6 before giving up a run in the top of the seventh.
Alec Morrison from the College of the Holy Cross walked the first DiamondDawgs to bat after Utica had tied the game, and the Brewers brought the National Taiwan Sport University’s Wei-Yang Tsao in for relief. Hawk singled in the go-ahead run and Jonathan Lindau, the newest DiamondDawg from SUNY-Orange CC, added a sacrifice fly.
Utica loaded the bases and failed to score in the fifth inning then did so again in the sixth. A two-base error and wild pitch put Concordia College’s Vincent Capone at third base to start the top of the seventh and Corban University’s Ryan Rosas got the run home with a ground ball. Kyle Schade from St. Andrew University singled, putting the tying run on with two outs, before Manhattan College’s Shawn Kanwisher struck Olmstead out on a foul tip to end the game.
The Brewers had scored single runs against Monroe Community College’s Zach Vennaro in the first and second innings. Long Island University-Brooklyn’s Anthony Capo tied the score with his two-run single in the bottom of the second, and Thomas Walraven from the University of New Haven singled in a run for a 3-2 lead. The DiamondDawgs added a run when Ryan Stekl from Canisius College walked with the bases loaded.
Hawk started the third inning with a triple and scored on an error. Lindau added a run-scoring single.
Utica loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth inning and Capone cleared them with a double. Capone ended up at third base on the throw to the plate and scored the tying run on a passed ball.
Lucas Godlewski from Little Falls and Herkimer College picked up his first win in relief for the DiamondDawgs. Godlewski relieved Vennaro after Utica had tied the game and allowed a hit, two walks and a hit batsman in 1 2/3 innings while striking out four batters.
Hawk had three hits and scored twice, and Cox added a pair of hits.
Kyle Schade had two hits for Utica while Olmstead and Ismael Herrera each had two.
While the outcome was filled with positives for the DiamondDawgs, the losses were the fourth and fifth in a row for the Brewers and dropped them half a game behind Newark in the race for the West Division’s final playoff spot. Newark split a doubleheader with Victor Sunday and moved back into third place after falling to fifth earlier in the week.
Monday is a day off for the DiamondDawgs who play a doubleheader at home Tuesday against Adirondack. Mohawk Valley travels to Newark Wednesday and finishes the regular season at home Thursday with another game against Adirondack.