BOONVILLE, N.Y. - The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs traveled to Boonville on Monday to take on the Adirondack Trail Blazers in the first game of a three-game set this week and emerged victorious 11-4.
The Dawgs took an early lead in part to a solo home run by Tim Zeng (Fairfield). Back-to-back RBI doubles from Clay Koniencki (Monmouth) and Ben Porter (Columbia) gave Mohawk Valley an early 3-0 lead.
The Trail Blazers did not let the early lead dampen their morale and chipped away in the home half of the first with a pair of hits and run scored. Joe Simone (Rider) hit a single and was hit home one batter later off a double by John Michael Boswell (Furman).
The second, third and fourth innings saw little action from each team, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Trail Blazers were able to tie the game 3-3. With runners on the corners, Steffen Torgersen (Dartmouth) scored from third on a passed ball, which allowed Simone to reach third base all the way from first. Boswell, the batter at the time of the passed ball, hit Simone home with a single, earning his second run and RBI of the game.
The top of the sixth was the turning point in the ball game. The DiamondDawgs put their first four batters on base, and a two-RBI single from Joe Engel (Columbia) gave the Dawgs a 5-3 lead. Two batters later, Zeng would ground out to second, but allowed Tom Moore to score, increasing the lead to 6-3.
In the top of the seventh, Mohawk Valley got themselves out of a potential save situation for their bullpen, tacking on an insurance run, a sacrifice fly to left field, bringing the score to 7-3.
The top of the ninth brought more bad news for the Trail Blazers as the Dawgs brought four runners home off three straight doubles. Moore hit home two, then Engle and Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Barry) followed with RBI doubles of their own. The DiamondDawgs had a total of five RBI doubles on the night.
Adirondack had one final gasp of air in the bottom of the ninth, picking up four singles, including an RBI single by Justin Smith (Hofstra) scoring Bay McIntosh (Florida Tech). Unfortunately, the 11-4 deficit was too much for the Blazers.
John Hardy (MVCC) evened his pitching record at 2-2 following the loss in his fifth start this season for Adirondack. He struck out only one batter and walked two in seven full innings.
Tyler Ksiazek (Monmouth) improved to 3-1 with the win, striking out four batters with no walks.
This was the second home game of a three-game home stand for the Blazers and the first of a three-game series against Mohawk Valley this week. On Tuesday, Adirondack will play at home against the Newark Pilots. The Dawgs and Blazers will square off in Little Falls on Wednesday and Friday.