July 15, 2023

By Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs

LITTLE FALLS, NY – To paraphrase Fall Out Boy, the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs were “gonna need a spark to ignite” if they were going to get out of the hitting slump they had been in the last couple of weeks. On Friday night against the Saugerties Stallions, they found that spark as the heat lightning flashed around them and ignited Veteran’s Memorial Park in a big way.

The Diamond Dawgs got on the board first in the third on a bouncing fielder’s choice by Owen Pincince (North Haven, CT/New Haven) that scored Mark Darakjy (Randolph, NJ/St. Bonaventure). Corey Adams (Richmond, VA/William and Mary) would follow that up with a slow dribbler to right field that brought home Nick Sturino (New Milford, CT/Fairfield).

The lead moved up to three in the fifth thanks to an RBI single by Mitchell Balint (Avondale, PA/Carson-Newman), bringing home Pincince. That RBI was Balint’s 36th of the season, extending his league lead. Jaden Ross (Tampa, FL/South Florida) also proved in the sixth why he deserved to be selected as a PGCBL All-Star, rapping a 2-RBI single to the deepest part of right field with the bases loaded to score Sam Miller (McMurray, PA/Columbia) and Justin Hackett (Wallingford, CT/Bryant). ‘

An error by right fielder River Hart (Nashua, NH/UMass Lowell) allowed Adams to score three runs – Pincince, Darakjy, and Ross – as the ball rolled away from Hart.

Two Saugerties runners would come home on passed balls in the seventh to cut the lead to six. Then, Travis Hobbensiefken (Chino, CA/Mount San Antonio) cut the lead to five on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Mason Snell (St. Johnsville, NY/Herkimer) brought home some insurance in the eighth, bouncing a ball over shortstop Aaron Stelogeannis’ (Ocala, FL/Polk State) head to score Adams. A walk with the bases loaded brought home Balint and put the Diamond Dawgs into double digits.

That would be all reliever Bo Buckley (Petrolia, Ontario, Canada/Fairfield) and Matt Alduino (Yorktown Heights, NY/Quinnipiac) would need, putting the Stallions down in order in the last two innings to slam the door on the game.

Colin Dowlen (Middletown, NJ/Seton Hall) got the win for Mohawk Valley (19-11). Xavier Rodriguez (Tampa, FL/Webber) got the loss for Saugerties (15-13).

Mohawk Valley will travel to Boonville on Saturday to take on the Lumberjacks at the Robert Smith Sports Complex. Saugerties will head back to Cantine Field to host the Glens Falls Dragons.

If you want to watch the live stream of the games, you can go to https://mvdiamonddawgs.com/livestream/, or if you have an Apple TV device or Roku, search for Creative Outpost and add the app.