The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs are your 2017 PGCBL Champions (photo credit: Travis Larner).
By Thaddeus Johnson
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. - In a winner-take-all game in front of 1,109 fans at Diethrick Park on Tuesday night, the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs defeated the Jamestown Jammers 8-4 to win their second Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) championship in the last three years.
Mohawk Valley, which also won the 2015 PGCBL title, was the No. 3 seed out of the East Division, but upset the No. 1 Amsterdam Mohawks in the division finals, before knocking off the West Division’s top-seeded team en route to the franchise’s second championship.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Jammers got on the board first by scoring two runs on three hits. Skyler Valentine (UTSA) led the inning off with a single, followed by an Alex O’Donnell (Mercyhurst) triple that drove in Valentine. Jimmy Standohar (Mercyhurst) then ripped an RBI single to put the Jammers up 2-0 after two.
The DiamondDawgs answered back in the top of the third and scored three runs on three hits in the frame. Mohawk Valley added another run in the top of the fourth, when Ben Porter (Columbia) crushed a solo home run over the left-field fence that gave the DiamondDawgs a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, the Jammers would level the score at 4-all by scoring twice. The inning got started with back-to-back walks, which were followed by RBI singles from Connor Rule (Kansas State) and John Conti (Canisius) that evened the score at 4-4.
Once again, however, the DiamondDawgs returned the call by taking the lead in the top of the fifth, as Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Barry) tripled and scored the go-ahead run on a Tim Zeng (Fairfield) RBI double that gave the DiamondDawgs a 5-4 lead. Mohawk Valley bullpen was lights out from there, as Levi Abrahamson (Treasure Valley C.C.) and Zach Vennaro (Mount Olive) each threw 2.0 scoreless innings out of the pen to keep the Jammers’ offense in check.
Jamestown had plenty of opportunities late in the game but did not score after the fourth inning. On the other hand, the DiamondDawgs continued to add to their lead by scoring once in the eighth and twice in the top of the ninth.
Winning Pitcher: Joe DeSarro (Southern New Hampshire) 5.0 IP, 0 R/ER, 5 H, 4 K
Losing Pitcher: Bradley Griggs (UTSA) 4.1 IP, 5 R/ER, 5 H, 4 K
Save: Zach Vennaro (Mount Olive): 2.0 IP, 0 R/ER, 2 H, 1 K