(June 22nd Game)
By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs
LITTLE FALLS, NY – It’s a known fact that no matter where you are, fireworks provide a sense of excitement. The same could be said of last at-bat wins. As luck would have it, both happened in the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs game on Thursday night.
The Utica Blue Sox squandered a five-run lead after six innings, and reigning Eastern Division Player of the Week Mitchell Balint scored the game winner on a wild pitch as the Diamond Dawgs pulled out the 6-5 win in ten innings.
The Blue Sox got on the board just four batters in, on an RBI triple to right field by Will Shannon (Bloomfield Hills, MI/Hillsdale) that scored Ben Partridge (Bardonia, NY/Rockland CC). Another RBI single in the second, this time by Josh Skowronski (Frederick, MD/Kentucky) extended the lead to two, then a throwing error would give the Blue Sox a three run lead after four innings.
The lead got extended to five in the sixth, thanks to a two-run home run by Shannon. However, back-to-back wild pitches by Utica’s Alex Canino put the Diamond Dawgs on the board in the sixth, bringing home Jaden Ross (Tampa, FL/Hudson Valley CC). A ground out by Balint (Avondale, PA/Carson-Newman) brought home Corey Adams (Richmond, VA/William and Mary) to cut the Utica lead even further.
Mohawk Valley pulled to within one in the seventh, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Nick Sturino (New Milford, CT/Fairfield) and another RBI ground out by Ross. It would stay a one-run game until the ninth, when Owen Pincince (North Haven, CT/New Haven) tied it up with an RBI single that scored Brian Heckelman (Mineola, NY/Towson).
Wild pitches would finally doom the Blue Sox, however, as two of them by Daniel Jirgal (Chicago, IL/Hamilton) brought Balint home in the tenth and won the game for Mohawk Valley.
Matt Alduino (Yorktown Heights, NY/Quinnipiac) got the win for Mohawk Valley (12-4). Jirgal got the loss for Utica (6-7).
The Diamond Dawgs will be back in action on Friday night with a doubleheader at Veteran’s Memorial Park as they host the Oneonta Outlaws. Utica will have an off day on Friday before returning to Donovan Stadium on Saturday to host the Boonville Lumberjacks.