Senior Sports Editor
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — Almost as soon as the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs had tied Saturday’s game, the Newark Pilots took another lead on their way to a 4-3 win in the final game of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s regular season at Veterans Memorial Park.
The loss dealt a significant blow to the DiamondDawgs’ postseason plans. Shortly after the postgame fireworks ended in Little Falls, the Albany Dutchmen scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and rallied to beat Saugerties 8-7. At the end of the night, the Dutchmen led the DiamondDawgs by half a game in the race for second place in the East Division and home field for their meeting in the first round of the playoffs, a single game scheduled for Monday at a site to be determined. Albany also owns the head-to-head tie-breaker and the DiamondDawgs now need to sweep their doubleheader Sunday in Glens Falls, and have Amsterdam beat Albany, to get Monday’s game on their home field.
Newark took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. The DiamondDawgs left the bases loaded without scoring in the fourth then strung together three hits and scored their first run in the fifth.
Hinds Community College’s Chase Cockrell led off the top of the sixth with a home run and gave Newark back its two run lead.
Mohawk Valley loaded the bases for a second time in the seventh inning and tied the game when two runs scored on a two-out single by Long Island University-Brooklyn’s Andrew Turner.
As they did when Mohawk Valley scored before, Newark responded quickly. Darian Herncane from SUNY-Binghamton led off the eighth inning with a triple into the corner in left field then tagged up and scored when Cockrell, the next batter, flied out to center.
Niagara County Community College’s Loukas Bechakas walked two of the first three DiamondDawgs to start the bottom of the ninth. Brian Dolan from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell was summoned from the bullpen with the tying and winning runs on base, and retired the next two batters to earn his ninth save, matching the league-leading total of DiamondDawg Zach Vennaro from Monroe Community College.