DiamondDawgs, Pilots start Home Run Derby early, Dawgs edge Newark, 10-6

Before the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game on July 20, there will be a home run derby, where all the PGCBL teams will get a chance to show their hitting prowess.


Someone forgot to tell the date to the Newark Pilots and the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs.


The two teams clobbered five home runs combined in one game. It would be the Diamond Dawgs, however, who would leave Little Falls with the win, 10-6 over the Pilots.


Starting catcher Chris Rave (Middletown, NY/Herkimer CC) would get Mohawk Valley on the board first in the first, as he would float the first home run of the night over the left-center field fence off of Newark starter Clayton Spiker (Oxford, Michigan/Saginaw Valley State).


Rave would do more damage to the Pilots, as he would sacrifice himself to score Matt Pagano (Cranston, Rhode Island/Marist College) in the bottom of the third inning.


William Gorman (Nassau, NY/RIT) would get the Pilots on the board in the fourth inning with a ground rule double that would Corey Lerche (West Nyack, NY/Central Connecticut State). Newark would even up the score just one batter later, when a sacrifice by Gabe Levanti (Baldwinsville, NY/Northeastern University) would score Kyle Bartelman (Chicago, Illinois/Columbia University). The bleeding would continue one batter later, when a triple by Anthony Spina (Brooklyn, NY/Amherst College) would score Gorman. Spina would score himself just seconds later, as the umpire determined the ball was dead and advanced him home. Fortunately, Mohawk Valley starter Marcus Failing (Fort Plain, NY/Herkimer CC) would stop the bleeding with two straight outs.


The bottom of the fifth inning would feature two solo home runs for the Diamond Dawgs. Matthew Johnson (Ankeny, Iowa/South Dakota State University) would park one right in front of the fans in center field to put Mohawk Valley down by one. Then, Pagano blasted one to right field to tie the game.


Gorman would hit a solo home run of his own in the top of the sixth, to put the Pilots out front, 5-4.


The home run derby would continue for the Diamond Dawgs, as Troy Scocca (Syosset, NY/Fairfield University) would park one into straightaway center field. That would score him and Sam Machonis (Tampa, Florida/Florida Southern) and put Mohawk Valley ahead, 6-5.


That would be enough for both starters, as Failing would be pulled for Blair Lakso (Hamburg, NY/University at Buffalo) in the seventh. Spiker would hand the ball off to Bret Viola (Carmel, NY/Stevens) in the seventh as well.


Anthony Herrera (McKinney, Texas/University of Louisiana-Monroe) would give the Diamond Dawgs some insurance in the bottom of the eighth as a single would drive in Machonis. Pagano would make Viola pay for loading the bases as he would hit a triple that would score Herrera, Brian Cox (North Kingston, Rhode Island/LeMoyne College) and Johnson.


The Pilots would get one run back in the top of the ninth, as Willy Yahn (Sharon, Connecticut/University of Connecticut) would hit a long double that would score pinch-hitter Charlie Sobieraski. That would be all the Pilots would get, as Lakso would get the next two batters out to end the game.


Failing would get the win for Mohawk Valley. Spiker would get the loss for Newark.


The Diamond Dawgs (16-15) head off to the Smith Sports Complex in Boonville on Sunday to face the Adirondack Trail Blazers. The Pilots (12-18) will try to end their losing streak at three as they head to Dunn Field to face Western Division leader Elmira.

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