LITTLE FALLS, NY – Sunday night's game was all about sweet redemption for the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs, after a debilitating loss to the Oneonta Outlaws on Saturday. Without question, the Diamond Dawgs got it and got it quickly
Mohawk Valley would score five in the very first inning and never look back, taking advantage of seven solid innings from starter Joe DeSarro (Frankfort, NY/ Southern New Hampshire) to earn a split of the home-and-home series with the Outlaws, 8-2 at Veteran's Memorial Park.
Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, NJ/Villanova) kicked off the festivities by bringing home Austin Pollack (Harrison, NY/Hofstra) home with a looping single to right field. Pollack reached base in the leadoff spot after being hit by Oneonta pitcher Tom Kretzler (Albany, NY/SUNY Brockport), extending his league leading on-base streak to 33 games. Ryan Hernandez (Boston, MA/San Jacinto CC) extended the lead on another hit to right field, bringing home Joey Castellanos (Nutley, NJ/UMass Lowell). Joel Alvarez (Hainesport, NJ/Barry) doubled the lead on a 2-RBI single that cleared the bases, bringing home Toohers and Hernandez. Owen Wosleger (East Hampton, CT/Mount St. Marys) would get into it as well, sacrificing his time on base to score Alvarez.
Back to back doubles would score the first run for Oneonta in the top of the second from Steve Minter (Powder Springs, GA/Georgia) and Derek Orndorff (Mill Run, PA/Penn State). Orndorff's double would get all the way to the left field wall, scoring Minter.
Three straight Diamond Dawgs would quickly load the bases in the second (on a walk and two singles)with just one out. Kretzler walked Alvarez to bring home Toohers, the end of four straight Diamond Dawgs on base.
Mohawk Valley extended the lead further on a wild pitch in the third that scored Drew Fureno (Canajoharie, NY/LeMoyne). Two strange occurrences happened in the third as well, as both Pollack and Castellanos were ruled out when they were both hit by back-to-back balls in play. The other was the fact that the third ended with three straight fielder's choices, a rare occurrence in itself. Castellanos would sacrifice himself again in the fifth, but in the out, he would score Fureno.
Oneonta would pull closer in the seventh, with a comebacker by Orndorff that would score Logan Thomason (Richmond, KY/Eastern Kentucky). That would be as close as the Outlaws would get, as relievers Sam Beck (/Skidmore) and Zach Taglieri (/The Citadel) kept Oneonta off the scoreboard for the rest of the game and put the game away.
DeSarro got the win for the Diamond Dawgs (23-16). Kretzler was saddled with the loss for Oneonta(15-22), which all but eliminates the Outlaws from playoff contention.
The Outlaws have six of their last seven games at Damaschke Field, starting with a four-game home stand beginning on Monday with a crucial Eastern Division tilt against the Albany Dutchmen. They'll enjoy a day off on Tuesday before welcoming Watertown, Amsterdam and Saugerties before ending the week in Amsterdam to face the Mohawks.
The Diamond Dawgs will spend the last full week of the season bouncing between Veteran's Memorial Park and Western Division opponents after a day off on Monday. They will host Adirondack on Tuesday before a doubleheader on Wednesday against the Jamestown Jammers. They will have crucial Central Division matchups against the Trail Blazers and the Utica Blue Sox on Thursday and Saturday respectively, bookending a trip to Elmira on Friday.