With the 90-degree heat in Little Falls on Tuesday, all anyone was trying to do, no matter whether they supported the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs or the Adirondack Trail Blazers, was stay cool.
Unfortunately for the Trail Blazers, there was no cooling off the red-hot Diamond Dawgs, as they swept a doubleheader from Adirondack, 7-6 and 3-0.
The Trail Blazers would get on the board first just two batters into Game One, however, as Bryan Haberstroh (Columbia, Pennsylvania/NJIT) would blast one over the center field wall.
Mike Flax’s (Potomac, Maryland/LaSalle University) sacrifice fly in the second would score Shane Allen (Phoenixville, Pennsylvania/Northeastern University) and extend the Adirondack lead to two. However, a spectacular play by Malcolm Kelsey (Piscataway, New Jersey/St. John Fisher College) to Andrew Turner (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania/Long Island University-Brooklyn) to get Kyle Walker (Piscataway, New Jersey/Rutgers University) out would mitigate the damage to just a 2-0 lead.
Kelsey would tie up the game with one swing in the Diamond Dawgs’ half of the second, as he would place a ball in the middle of the center field bleachers. His home run would score himself and Ryan Stekl (Lancaster, New York/Canisius College).
Jonathan Lindau (Pine Bush, New York/SUNY Orange), in only his third game as a Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawg, would score his second RBI in his short career in the fourth. His single would score Stekl. However, Anthony Capo (Staten Island, New York/Long Island University-Brooklyn) would fly out to right field to end the inning and hold the Mohawk Valley lead to one.
Trail Blazer starter Joe King (Woodbridge, Virginia/Youngstown State University) would load the bases full of Diamond Dawgs in the bottom of the sixth, and the two Mohawk Valley Anthonys, Herrera (McKinney, Texas/University of Louisiana-Monroe) and Capo, would make him pay. Capo would ground into a fielder’s choice, which would score Kelsey. Herrera would make the price more dear with a three-run shot that just barely made it over the wall in left field to make the score 7-2.
The Trail Blazers would not be done in Game One, however, as Haberstroh’s double in the seventh would score Flax and Walker. Chris Kwitzer (Cheektowaga, New York/University at Buffalo) would score himself and Haberstroh one batter later with a big home run to center field to make the score 7-6. That would be enough for starter Ryan O’Connor (Bloomfield, New Jersey/Fairfield University), as he would be pulled for normal second baseman Herrera. Herrera would then set the next three Trail Blazers down in order to close the book on Game One.
O’Connor would get the win for the Diamond Dawgs, with Herrera receiving the save. King would get the loss for the Trail Blazers.
In Game Two, Stekl would get the Diamond Dawgs on the board in the first with a two-run home run that almost cleared the bleachers in center field. That home run would also score Thomas Walraven (Pine Bush, New York/University of New Haven).
Mohawk Valley would get some insurance in the bottom of the sixth, when Turner would score Troy Scocca on an RBI single.
That would be all Mohawk Valley’s Adam Ashenfarb (Morganville, New Jersey/Union College), Marcus Failing (Fort Plain, New York/Herkimer CC), and shortstop-turned-closer Colin Hawk (Beech Grove, Indiana/University of Indianapolis) would need. In the bottom of the seventh, Hawk, who had done some pitching at the University of Indianapolis, but none in Mohawk Valley, set the Trail Blazers down in order to slam the door on the doubleheader.
Ashenfarb would get the win in Game Two, while Hawk, who pitched a one-inning, no-hit gem, would get the save for the Diamond Dawgs. Utica native Jason Zongrone (Utica, New York/Mohawk Valley CC) would get the loss for the Trail Blazers (17-31).
With the win, the Diamond Dawgs (30-18) hit 30 wins for the first time in their history in the PGCBL, and the eighth 30-win season in league history. They also have a five-game winning streak.
The Diamond Dawgs head to the highway on Wednesday, as they will travel to Colburn Park to take on the Newark Pilots. The Trail Blazers will head back to the Robert Smith Sports Complex in Boonville on Wednesday as they continue to battle for a Western Division playoff spot, this time against the Utica Brewers.