By JON RATHBUN
Times Sports Editor
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — A pair of former Little Falls Mounties returned to the comforts of home Thursday and sparked the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs to their first victory of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season.
Back on the Veterans Memorial Park mound, right-handers Evan Davis and Lucas Godlewski each allowed one run in eight combined innings as the Diamonddawgs defeated Utica’s Brewers 3-2. Davis, Godlewski and Matt Pidich combined to strike out 12 Brewers.
Davis, who both started and relieved as a junior at Marist College in the spring, went five innings and turned a 2-1 lead over to the bullpen. Godlewski, coming off his freshman year at Herkimer County Community College, retired the first seven batters he faced in his three innings. Pittsburgh Panther Pidich earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The Brewers also received a strong start from University of Cincinnati-bound left-hander Patrick Boyle who allowed only two hits through five innings. One of the hits was Zach Collett’s leadoff home run in the second inning. The Diamonddawgs added an unearned run without a hit in the fourth inning.
Boyle walked Zane Smith with one out in the fourth and a pair of errors by the Brewers gave Mohawk Valley a 2-0 lead. Smith advanced to third base when Collett’s grounder got by shortstop John Jennings then scored on Jayson Sullivan’s grounder to shortstop. Second baseman Reno Rankin dropped the feed from Jennings as he hurried to relay the ball to first base; Smith scored on the potential inning-ending play.
Leading 2-1, the DiamondDawgs added a run against reliever Josh Garran in the seventh inning. Garran hit Eric Strano with a pitch with one out. After his foul pop-up was dropped by Utica catcher Zach Ledbetter, Jake Glauser singled through the left side of the infield. Colin Hawk followed with a single to left field and the DiamondDawgs opted to challenge Zacarias Hardy’s arm. Hardy’s throw was up the third base line and Strano scored as Ledbetter flipped the ball past the uncovered plate. Garran retrieved the ball in time to throw back to Ledbetter who tagged Glauser out as he tried to follow Strano home.
Hayden Kelly, Utica’s first baseman and cleanup hitter, created both of the Brewers’ runs. He homered to the back of the football bleachers with two outs in the fifth inning against Davis. With one out in the eighth, he hit a pitch from Godlewski off the fence in right field for a triple that drew a mild protest from DiamondDawgs manager Blake Nation following a safe call on a close play at third. Kelly scored when Cedric Mullins grounded out to second base.
After an off day Friday, the DiamondDawgs have a pair of home games over the weekend. Mohawk Valley takes on Glens Falls Saturday then plays a 5:05 p.m. game Sunday against Elmira.