LITTLE FALLS, NY – The bats were active for the Albany Dutchmen all night in Tuesday night's game with the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs. Unfortunately, where the Dutchmen played for the big play all night, the Diamond Dawgs played small-ball, and it wound up biting the Dutchmen.
Albany clobbered three home runs, including a grand slam in the first, but in the end, the Diamond Dawgs kept grinding away, finally grinding the Dutchmen to figurative dust with the 8-7 victory.
Mohawk Valley starter Erislandy Rives (Hialeah, FL/Barry) started off the game by walking the first three batters he saw. Ubaldo Lopez (Miramar, FL/Dartmouth) made Rives pay with the grand slam to straightaway center field to pick up the early 4-0 lead. In all, Rives would start the game giving four of the first nine batters he saw a free pass to first base.
Cameron Masterman (Prospect, KY/Louisville) extended the lead in the top of the third with a solo home run of his own over the right-center field fence to give the Dutchmen a 5-0 lead.
Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, NJ/Villanova) finally put Mohawk Valley on the board in the bottom of the third, slamming a broken-bat RBI single to shallow right field that scored Joseph Castellanos (Nutley, NJ/UMass Lowell). Toohers would get another RBI in the fifth, knocking an RBI single right up the middle that would get past the center fielder to score .
Austin Pollack (Harrison, NY/Manhattanville) would get into the scoring as well, hitting a 2-RBI double, extending his on-base streak at 25 games in a row. That hit would score JD Davis (Goose Creek, SC/The Citadel), as well as Toohers. Pollack would score on his own on a stolen base/error combination by the Albany catcher, tying the score at five.
Alexis Monge-Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, FL/Barry) gave the Diamond Dawgs the lead in the bottom of the sixth on an error by the Albany shortstop on a fielder's choice. That miscue by the Dutchmen scored Mark McKenna (Grand Island, NY/Canisius).
Then, in the bottom of the seventh, the Diamond Dawgs' local boy would make good, as Canajoharie native Drew Fureno (LeMoyne) laced a ball between three different Dutchmen fielders and into center field. That hit would score Pollack and extend the Mohawk Valley lead to two at 7-5
Griffen Herrera (Glendora, CA/Azusa Pacific) brought Albany back to within one with a solo home run of his own, slamming one over the left field fence to bring the score to 7-6. Toohers would get it right back in the bottom of the inning though, just squeaking a ball over the right field fence.
Herrera would bring the game back to one on an RBI single to left field, but that would be all reliever Alexis Calderon (Bethlehem, PA/Manhattan) would allow, forcing McNamee to fly out to center to end what was an exciting game.
Jon Hardy (Clinton, NY/Mohawk Valley CC) picked up the win for Mohawk Valley (20-10), while Calderon picked up the save. Nick Bird (Rotterdam, NY/UAlbany) was saddled with the loss for Albany (16-13). With the win, the Diamond Dawgs extend their league-best win streak to five games, and move a half game behind the Jamestown Jammers for the best record in the league, which will allow the winning division three playoff participants and the recipient of that record a day off.
Mohawk Valley will make the first of two trips to Murnane Field on Wednesday, one of the last two times they will visit the Blue Sox (the last two games will be at Veteran's Memorial Park) this season. The Diamond Dawgs will come back to Little Falls on Thursday to start a two-game, Central Division home stand. They will play the Watertown Rapids on that day, followed by a game against the Adirondack Trail Blazers on Friday.
Albany will alternate days off with a home-and-home series against Amsterdam to finish off their week. That will also culminate in a two game home stand against the Mohawks on Saturday and the Glens Falls Dragons on Sunday. The Dutchmen will go into the All-Star break with a trip to Newark to face the Pilots next Monday.