LITTLE FALLS, NY— Monday night as Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls, baseballs were flying high in the air, most of them staying in the park, but some of them flying out of it.
While the Amsterdam Mohawks had a hard time with the balls that stayed in, it was the balls that went out that gave them the advantage.
Tyler Frank (Loxatachee, FL/Florida Atlantic University) and Teddy Cillis (Latham, NY/Hofstra University) hit a home run apiece, as the Mohawks overcame three errors to knock off hated rival Mohawk Valley, 10-7.
Mac Crispino (Avon, CT/Fairfield University) would get the scoring going in the bottom of the first, as his RBI single would score Kevin Radziewicz (Cromwell, CT/Fairfield University). Crispino would come home himself on a fielder’s choice by Tanner Leeknecht (Billings, MT/Treasure Valley CC). Leeknecht would show the smart baserunning that made him a PGCBL All-Star, as he and Mike Martinez (West New York, NJ/Rutgers University) would perform some excellent baserunning to score Leeknecht.
Cillis, in his debut at Veteran’s Memorial Park, would make his presence known very quickly. He would blast a ball to right field to pull the Mohawks to within two.
Not to be outdone, Andrew Turner (King of Prussia, PA/Long Island University-Brooklyn) would start off the bottom of the second with a bang. Turner hit a booming home run on the first pitch he saw over the left-center field wall to pull the Diamond Dawgs ahead by two.
Back to back doubles by the Mohawks would tie up the score, as Frank would score Chris Givin (Castle Rock, CO/Xavier University) and Marcus Still (Queen Creek, AZ/New Mexico State University), tying up the score at four.
Frank would finally put the Mohawks ahead, with a solo home run crushed to left-center field in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back doubles would put Amsterdam even further ahead, as Joe Genord (Lake Worth, FL/University of South Florida) would start it off, then Andruw Gazzola (Coram, NY/Stony Brook University) would bring him home with a double of his own. That would chase starter David Palmer (East Islip, NY/University of New Haven) from the game, and he would be replaced by Brendan Welch (Easton, MA/Southern New Hampshire University). Welch would only need one pitch to get out of the inning, as he would force Dan Maynard (Burnt Hills, NY/University of Maryland) to fly out to end the inning.
Drew Arciuolo (Milford, CT/Fairfield University) would pull the Diamond Dawgs even in the bottom of the sixth. His two-run triple would score Michael Conti (Glastonbury, CT/Fairfield University) and Sean Mazzio (West Chester, PA/Wagner College).
Amsterdam would pull the lead back in the top of the seventh, as Maynard would bring Frank home with an RBI single. Cillis would grab more runs for Amsterdam, when his ground-rule double would bring home Genord and Maynard. Nick Patten would bring Cillis home with an RBI single soon after that would extend the Mohawks’ lead to four.
That four-run lead would be all Mohawks reliever Chase Haney (Winter Garden, FL/Florida State University) would need in the ninth, but not before Leenknecht would rip a ball to right field that would score Arciuolo. However, the Amsterdam All-Star would strike out Martinez to end the game.
Sean Keenan (Marist College) would pick up the win for the Mohawks (20-11), while Colin Bohnert (West Caldwell, NJ/Rutgers University) will take the loss for Mohawk Valley (16-14), who saw their four-game winning streak snapped. Haney would pick up the save for Amsterdam.
The Mohawks will head back to Shuttleworth Park on Tuesday for a doubleheader with second place Oneonta that may well determine who is in first place by the end of the night. The Diamond Dawgs will try to start a new streak on Wednesday at Colburn Park as they will face the Newark Pilots.