The Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs (14-12) played 13 innings of baseball on Monday, sweeping the Newark Pilots in a non-traditional doubleheader (called in the fourth due to rain) at Colburn Park.
They only needed nine on Tuesday night at Veteran’s Memorial Park, as Mohawk Valley squeaked by the Saugerties Stallions, 2-1.
Mohawk Valley would get on the board first in the bottom of the third, as a sacrifice fly by Anthony Herrera (McKinney, Texas/Louisiana-Monroe) would score Malcolm Kelsey (Piscataway, New Jersey/St. John Fisher College).
The Diamond Dawgs would pick up another run in the fourth, as Sam Machonis (Tampa, Florida/Florida Southern College) would get home on an error by Stallions first baseman Billy Riedel (East Northport, New York/SUNY Oneonta). The error was made after he fell off first base trying to snare a ground ball by shortstop Keith Andrews (Commack, New York/SUNY Cortland) to get Kelsey out.
Zachary Vennaro (New Hartford, New York/Monroe CC) would enter the game for Diamond Dawg starter Adam Ashenfarb (Morganville, New Jersey/Union College) in the eighth. Vennaro would start by getting the first two batters he faced out, but in the ninth, loaded the bases full of Stallions (10-17).
Pinch hitter Jesse Uttendorfer (Kingston, New York/NJIT) would make him pay on an error by third baseman Ryan Stekl (Lancaster, New York/Canisius College) that would score Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pennsylvania/Susquehanna University). That would get Vennaro pulled for second baseman Herrera. That one run margin was all Herrera would need, as he got pinch hitter Chris Reynolds to ground into the rare third-to-catcher-to-first double play to slam the door on Saugerties.
Ashenfarb, in only allowing one run in eight innings, would get the win. Herrera, with the amazing double play to end the game, would get the save. Andrew Bruss, in his first day as a Saugerties Stallion, would get the loss in a hard-fought battle.
With the win, combined with a Glens Falls loss to Utica, Mohawk Valley pulls ahead of the Dragons by percentage points for the second seed in the PGCBL playoffs, which means an extra home game for the Diamond Dawgs if they are able to hold on to that spot.
The Diamond Dawgs continue what could be considered an historic run on Wednesday. They are roughly a quarter of the way through a run of 80 innings of baseball (barring any extra innings) in a week, and continue that run at Dunn Field Wednesday night with another non-traditional doubleheader with the Elmira Pioneers. The Stallions head home to Cantine Field on Wednesday to play a battle of the division cellar-dwellers with the Adirondack Trail Blazers.