LITTLE FALLS, NY--The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs promised the 1,826 people that came to Veteran’s Memorial Park a fireworks show on Saturday.
They didn’t know they would be getting two for the price of one.
The Utica Brewers and Mohawk Valley would combine for 18 runs, but ultimately, it was the DiamondDawgs who would come out on top. They scored 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to knock off Utica, 11-7.
The Brewers would strike first in the first inning, however, with a sacrifice fly from Mason McClellan (McDonough, Georgia/Lake Sumter CC), which would score leadoff hitter Vinny Capone (Yonkers, NY/Concordia College). Ryan Cox (Aliquippa, PA/Kutztown University) would extend the lead to two with a blooper to left field, scoring Taylor Olmstead (Greenwich, Connecticut/University of Connecticut). That was all Utica would get, however, as Mohawk Valley pitcher David Palmer (East Islip, NY/University of New Haven) would strike out Andrew Taft (Clinton, NY/University of Buffalo) with the bases loaded to get out of the inning.
The Brewers would extend their lead to three in the second with a looping single to left-center field by Capone, which would score leadoff hitter Zach Piazza (Huntington, Maryland/Wake Forest University).
Taft would bat in his own runs in the third, as a towering home run to left-center field would score himself and Kyle Schade (Dunkirk, Maryland/St. Andrews University) to extend the Utica lead to five.
Sam Machonis (Tampa, Florida/Florida Southern College) would get the DiamondDawgs on the board in the third inning, as a fly ball went all the way to the wall in left to score Chris Rave (Middletown, NY/Herkimer College). That was all Utica pitcher Chase Cleary (Arvada, Colorado/University of Northern Colorado) would allow, however, as he would get the last two outs in only four pitches to retire Mohawk Valley.
The DiamondDawgs would continue to chip away at the lead in the fourth, as a overthrow on a pickoff attempt by Taft would bring home leadoff hitter Thomas Walraven (Pine Bush, NY/University of New Haven). Cleary would allow that run and another batter, Troy Scocca (Syosset, NY/Fairfield University), to reach third before recording his first out of the inning. However, Cleary would get the next three Mohawk Valley batters to end the inning.
The Brewers’ lead would shrink to two in the fifth, when a long triple by Machonis would score Colin Hawk (Beech Grove, Indiana/University of Indianapolis). Machonis would score himself one batter later, when a groundout by JD Osborne (Whitby, Ontario, Canada/Polk State College) would score him.
The DiamondDawgs would tie the score just two batters later, when a long fly to center by Scocca would earn him a double and score Matt Pagano (Cranston, RI/Marist College). That would knock out Cleary and replace him with Tyler Palm (West Branch, Michigan/Oakland University).
Utica would regain the lead in the sixth, when Piazza would send a Tyler Brien (Ilion, NY/SUNY Cortland) pitch over the left field wall to put the Brewers ahead, 6-5.
Palm would allow three DiamondDawgs to reach base with two outs in the sixth, and they would make them pay. Pagano would tie it right back up in the bottom of the inning, driving a ground ball into left field to score Machonis. Osborne would score on a throwing error by third baseman Piazza one batter later that would give Mohawk Valley their first lead.
Brien would pitch admirably for the DiamondDawgs, only giving up the one run to Piazza before being relieved by Ryan O’Connor (Bloomfield, NJ/Fairfield University).
The DiamondDawgs would extend the lead to two in the bottom of the seventh, as a passed ball from Jake Amoroso (Stratford, Connecticut/Pace University) would score Scocca.
The Brewers would claw back again in the top of the eighth, as a triple from Piazza would score pinch-runner Ryan Rosas (Rancho Cucamonga, California/Corban University). One run was all the Brewers would get, however, as Piazza would be stranded on third by two straight outs by reliever Zachary Vennaro (New Hartford, NY/Monroe CC).
Anthony Capo (Staten Island, NY/LIU-Brooklyn)would break the game wide open for Mohawk Valley in the eighth, as a double that would roll all the way to the wall would score Machonis, Osborne and Walraven, who had all walked to load the bases.
That was all the DiamondDawgs would need, as Vennaro would strike out three of the last four Brewers to come to the plate to shut the door on Utica.
Tyler Brien would get the win for the DiamondDawgs (2-2), with Vennaro getting the save. Tyler Palm would be saddled with the loss for the Brewers (2-2)
The Brewers will travel back to Murnane Field on Sunday for their first home game of the season, as they will try to get revenge on the Victor Railriders. The DiamondDawgs will travel to Smith Sports Complex for a noon matinee with the Adirondack Trail Blazers.
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