LITTLE FALLS, NY – The Watertown Rapids and Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs entered their three game set on Friday just a half game apart in the Central Division standings. When the third game was over, the standings certainly looked different.
The Diamond Dawgs completed the weekend sweep of the Rapids, taking advantage of a nine-run third en route to a 14-3 victory, their third straight. With the three wins, Mohawk Valley now opens up a three and a half game lead over the Rapids.
The Rapids got on the board first just four batters into the game as Michael Russell (Staten Island, NY/Stony Brook) laced a ball into the first-second gap to score Daniel Little (Nicholesville, KY/Richmond). Ryan Hernandez (Boston, MA/San Jacinto CC) would repay the favor in the bottom of the inning, lacing a ball right up the middle to score Mark McKenna (Grand Island, NY/Canisius) and Joey Castellanos (Nutley, NJ/UMass Lowell). Rapids starter Nick Cowen (Tecumseh, MI/Wayne State) would not help his own cause, walking JD Davis (Goose Creek, SC/The Citadel) to bring Hernandez home.
In the bottom of the third, what was a close game after two innings turned out to be a nightmare for the Rapids after the inning was over. In all, 13 Diamond Dawgs would step up to the plate, scoring nine runs on just seven hits and not only ending Cowen's night early, but also reliever David Marmann (Jericho, NY/LIU Post) as well. Also, three Diamond Dawgs would score multiple RBIs in the inning, including McKenna on a 2-RBI ground rule double. Castellanos and Joel Alvarez (Hainesport, NJ/Barry) would also pick up two RBI's in the nine-run inning.
Little brought home another run in the fourth, bringing home Josh Bozoian (Chino Hills, CA/Union) on an RBI single to left field. However, that run would soon be neutralized by sacrifices by Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, FL/Barry) and McKenna.
Russell would get another RBI for himself in the top of the seventh, knocking a double all the way to the wall to bring home Julian Kurych (Middletown, DE/Wilmington). However, it would not be enough, as the Mohawk Valley bullpen only allowed one run the rest of the way to keep the blowout intact.
Aaron Glickstein (Dix Hills, NY/Stony Brook) picked up the win for Mohawk Valley (18-10), who have won three in a row. Cowen got the loss for Watertown (15-14), who have now dropped six straight and now fall percentage points behind Utica for the second guaranteed playoff spot in the Central Division.
Mohawk Valley will head north to Boonville on Sunday for a game with the Adirondack Trail Blazers. This will be their last Sunday afternoon game on the road this season, with all but one of their weekend games coming within the friendly confines of Veteran's Memorial Park. In that, they will face the Rapids three more times after Saturday night, all in Little Falls.
The Rapids head back to Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in Watertown on Sunday for the first half of a home-and-home series with the Newark Pilots. After that, the Rapids will go on a five game road trip that will take them to Newark, Adirondack (twice), back to Little Falls and Utica.