LITTLE FALLS, NY—The last time the Utica Blue Sox and the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs met at Veteran’s Memorial Park, Mike Martinez (West New York, NJ/Rutgers University) provided some last-minute heroics with a 3-RBI single that game the Diamond Dawgs an 11-10 victory.
Tuesday night in Little Falls, however, no such heroics were needed this time.
Mohawk Valley, led by an Andrew Turner (King of Prussia, PA/LIU-Brooklyn) home run, took advantage of a five-run sixth inning and stellar pitching from all aspects of the pitching rotation, as they cruised to a 7-0 victory.
The Diamond Dawgs would draw first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Turner, on a stolen base attempt, forced Utica third baseman Alex Ralph (Mount Washington, KY/Bellarmine University) to bobble the pickoff throw. The ball would head into left field, and Turner would head home for the first run of the game.
Errors would haunt the Blue Sox again, as a throw from Franklin Jennings would score Mac Crispino (Avon, CT/Fairfield University) in the bottom of the sixth inning. Turner would make the pain even worse for the Blue Sox, as he would park a ball in the center field bleachers at Veteran’s Memorial Park, scoring himself, Martinez, and Kevin Radziewicz (Cromwell, CT/Fairfield University). Tanner Leenknecht (Billings, MT/Treasure Valley CC) would break the game wide open for the Diamond Dawgs, as his single would score pinch hitter Michael Ketchmark (Dallas, TX/Dartmouth College) and give Mohawk Valley a six-run lead heading into the late innings.
Tanner Wessling (Kent, WA/University of Tennessee-Martin) would extend the lead for the Diamond Dawgs in the eighth, as his sacrifice RBI single would score Justin Fowler (Aliso Viejo, CA/Dartmouth College).
From there, it was all about pitching for Mohawk Valley. Shane Reardon (Kinnelon, NJ/Southern New Hampshire University), Lucas Godlewski (Little Falls, NY/Monroe CC) Nick Plachno (Bristol, CT/Central Connecticut State University), and Colin Bohnert (West Caldwell, NJ/Rutgers University) would finish what starter Anthony Rupp (Staten Island, NY/LIU-Brooklyn) had started. The four Diamond Dawg relievers would combine to shut out the Blue Sox for one inning each and close the book on the game.
Despite the stellar efforts of the Mohawk Valley (4-6) bullpen, Rupp would walk away with the win, while Utica (7-4) starter Michael Hope (Camp Hill, PA/Shippensburg University) would be saddled with the loss.
The Diamond Dawgs will return to Little Falls on Wednesday as the Patriot Bank Cup series starts anew for 2016 against the Amsterdam Mohawks. The Utica Blue Sox, who are currently saddled with a two-game losing streak, head back to Donovan Stadium at Murnane Field on Wednesday to face off with division rival Jamestown.