The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs welcomed the inaugural Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) champions Newark Pilots to Veteran’s Memorial Park Monday night for the second meeting of the season. The first meeting in Newark resulted in a 19-6 romp by the Pilots. The DiamondDawgs sought to return the favor in front of its home crowd looking to move closer to a .500 record (3-5) while the Pilots sought to keep up with the league leaders at 5-3.
Cameron Sorgie (UAlbany) stepped up to the rubber for the DiamondDawgs and looked good out of the gate by forcing two ground balls and striking out a batter in the first inning. Sorgie was able to quickly jump out and put two strikes on the scoreboard but was unable to finish batters off with counts running up to three balls and two strikes. Despite only giving up one hit in 4 2/3 innings of work and striking out three he issued seven walks and hit two batters resulting in three runs. The DiamondDawgs squandered an opportunity in the second inning when Newark starter Daniel Thorpe (Saint Joseph’s Pa.) hit Eric Helmrich (Marist) and allowed Jack Morrow (Young Harris) to single and walked catcher Jonathan Scott (Bryant). Eddie Sorondo (Delaware State) came up and hit into a double play and Tom Valichka (Young Harris) ended the inning with a ground out to third.
The DiamondDawgs found themselves down 2-0 going into the bottom of the third inning when they responded with two runs of their own off of Thorpe. A lead off single by Mark Stuckey ((Marist) followed by David Del Grande (Sacramento State) reaching on an error and a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Heck (Union) resulted in a run batted in (RBI) followed by an RBI single by Chris Cruz (Cornell) and the game tied at 2. Sorgie found himself in trouble in the 5th when he loaded the bases by issuing three walks and turned it over to Joe Perrotta (Lynn) with two outs who walked the first batter he faced to give the Pilots a 3-2 advantage. Perrotta was able to give the DiamondDawgs 3 1/3 innings of work allowing two hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The DiamondDawgs again had an opportunity to put runs on the board in the sixth but failed to convert with bases loaded and just one out when designated hitter Eddie Sorondo hit into a double play to end the inning.
Thorpe finished the game after six innings of work in which he allowed six hits, two runs (one earned), three walks, a hit batter and a strikeout and turned it over to Chris Rodgers (Oklahoma Baptist) to close out the game. The DiamondDawgs turned to Aaron Casper (Canisius) in ninth who allowed a walk and a hit batter while recording a strikeout in his inning of work and gave the Dawgs a chance in the bottom half of the ninth.
The bottom half of the ninth began when Morrow hit a shot to the left field wall that was dropped by the left fielder and resulted in a double. Jonathan Scott then reached on a fielder’s choice as Morrow was thrown out at third. Scott was then substituted by pinch runner Hassan Evans (Herkimer) in exchange for speed. Evans stole second and Eddie Sorondo struck out leaving it up to Tom Valichka – however the game ended on a pickoff move at second in which Evans was called out and the rally ended with the Newark Pilot leaving Veteran’s Memorial Park with a 3-2 win improving to 6-3 while the DiamondDawgs drop to 3-6. The DiamondDawgs are home again tomorrow night against the first place Amsterdam Mohawks.